Squirrels are rodents and their fur is soft, fluffy and short. They are found on almost every continent of the world. The fur is naturally dark gray blue or red and it is frequently dyed a pale brown.
In the early 14th century Europe, it was discovered that lush, gray-white northern squirrel fur was an ideal compliment to high quality, brilliantly colored woolen fabrics. Squirrel was relatively inexpensive compared to Sable or Marten, and therefore was available to an economically and socially diverse population. As a result, squirrel pelts, which came from Scandinavia and Northern Russia were in demand. In 14th century London, the highest prices paid for fur were for winter Squirrel pelts imported from Novgorod, which was the principal supplier of squirrel fur to Western Europe.
Written by Pauline Cameron & Katie Kemsley