Faux fur has been a popular trend in the fashion world for quite some time. From classic and neutral styles to bold, colorful flair, there's never been a more chic variety to select from. Whether you're looking for faux fur to keep your bits warm, decorate your den, or just want to spice up your wardrobe with something new, there are many things that should be considered before making your purrrchase. We want you to be purrrfectly aware of the ins and outs of shopping for your ideal fake fur coats and accessories.
What is Faux Fur?
In a nutshell, faux fur mimics the luxurious look and feel of real fur without the need for harming our furry friends. Be aware—the quality of materials used will greatly affect the pet-worthiness of your fluffy garments and home décor. But when you choose high-quality fake fur, it can very much replicate the real deal.
The Lowdown on Faux Fur vs. Real Fur
Back in the 1900s, real fur was all the rage. In fact, there really wasn't a fake fur vs. real fur debate to be had. Stepping out into public in a fake fur coat was a fashion faux pas, to say the least. Anyone with wardrobe sense, and let's be honest-deep pockets, was dripping with the luxurious stylings of a real fur coat.
The Lack of Fake Fur Acceptance
Before synthetic fibers were invented and purrrrfected, fake fur coats and accessories were produced with shaved South American Alpaca hair. While they certainly weren't as fancy as the real thing, alpacas were a lot more cost-effectivethan their real fur counterparts.
Fake furs proved to be fairly effective in keeping the bod warm. The problem was, it was often snubbed by the fashion industry and upper class for its laughable price tag and wannabe dreams of being as aesthetically appealing as the real thing. In reality, back then, it wasn’t.
Real Fur Gets a Paws Down from Animal Rights Activists
By the mid-1950s, pressure from animal rights advocates was escalating. To adorn your body with a fur friend in the name of fashion was becoming a no-no, and for obvious reasons in this advanced era.The faux fur industrytook notice and leaped into action. (See what I did there?)
Fake fur manufacturers quickly made the switch from the not-so-dreamy Alpaca hair to synthetic polymers as soon as they realized it could be a viable competitor to the real deal. This new material gave artificial fur a boost in both appearance and feel. Honestly, many were amazed at the likeness and couldn't believe the faux fur coats and accessories looked and felt just like real fur. If you ever find yourself side by side with a real fur and fake fur, we highly recommend analyzing the two together and see for yourself how far the faux fur industry has come in replicating animal fur without harm coming to the animals.
What to Consider When Faux Fur Shopping
There are many pawsitives to considering a fake fur coat, hood, or home décor item. But don’t be fooled—not all fake fur is created equal. In fact, before impulsively buying that furry bad boy calling your name from the shopping window, there are many things to take into consideration. Quality should be the highest purrriority on your shopping list.
What to Look for in a High-Quality Fake Fur Material
If you’re making the (fabulously commendable) decision to wear faux fur over real fur, you’ll still want to do your homework. A high-quality fake fur should meet high standards in three major areas.
3 Factors in Determining High-Quality Faux Fur:
Softness of Faux Fur
Honestly, do you know anyone who wants to slip into a chic-looking coat that feels like you’re being snuggled by a porcupine? I didn’t think so. You want to feel like you’re wrapped in a warm, fluffy cloud as you strut your stuff around town. When you drape that body in supple textures, you’ll turn heads.
Shedding of Faux Fur
And while you’re prowling around at your favorite music festival or howling around the campfire, the last thing you want is to leave a fur trail! A high-quality fake fur won't shed like Harold the house cat. All furs do shed, but you certainly don't want faux fur that will easily fall away from a simple spot clean, routine brush, or dance in the winter wind!
If you’re eyeing a fabulous faux fur in person, give it a little ruffle. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt it. Run those paws through the fur and make sure you’re not easily baptized in clumps of hairs shedding like 200 year old parchment paper.
Faux Fur Resilience
While you're petting your fashionable faux fur, watch to see the synthetic fibers bounce back into position. Does it spring back to life after being compressed or does it resemble colorful roadkill? You can’t be the life of the pack party if you’re lookin’ all dull and lifeless, ya know?
Selecting Pile Lengths and Weights
There are a variety of options to understand when choosing the puurrrfect weight and fur length of your item. While weight and pile length may boil down to your purrreference, you should know a bit about their influence on the quality of your fur wear.
The pile length refers to the length of your faux fur. You may love the look of a short and sassy ‘do or, alternatively, a long fur billowing in the breeze. We highly recommend slipping into a few styles to get a feel for the fur you love most. When it comes time to choose long-pile faux fur vs. short-pile faux fur, we say go with your inner animal voice. Note: Longer pile faux fur is typically not as soft as short pile faux furs.
The weight of your faux fur plays a role in your coat or accessory’s thickness and how heavy it feels draped over your body. And just because you hear the word fur, it doesn’t automatically mean it has to be as thick or heavy as a mama bear’s hug.
There are plenty of people who love the look of chic fur décor and garments but puurrrfer a lightweight feel. That's why you'll find a wide variety of fine faux fur densities and styles at SpiritHoods, like our "Tissavel +" selections that offer the thickest and heaviest weights.
Tissavel? What’s That?
We’re glad you asked! There are several fake fur producers in the world, but only two are recognized for producing near-real fur in hand feel quality (aka softness). If you’re looking for paws down the BEST high-end luxury imitation furs on Earth, with the softest hand feel, there are two dens that outrank them all: Tissavel in France and Tiger J. in New York.
Since 2015, SpiritHoods has hailed Tissavelas its top fake fur manufacturer. Tissavel is available in our premium product lines for apparel and home goods. The brand has been producing fake furs since the 1950s and provides custom-made fakes to brands like Prada and Chanel. Swoon. See... ending the use of real fur doesn't mean sacrificing luxury or softness with premium faux fur from Tissavel.
Bold Colors, Classics, and Neutrals, Oh My!
You’ll never be left wanting more when you #gofaux. Seriously, these babies come in a wide range of colors and patterns. From prowling the night in a sleek, mysterious black wolf, to flaunting your wings in a hooded butterfly, the possibilities are endless! We suggest looking within your inner animal in mind to help you decide which look best suits your purrrsonality.
Ensure Your Faux Fur Doesn't Contain Real Fur
Yep, you read that right. It’s a real problem.
Sadly, there are some lions in sheep's clothing passing off real fur coats and accessories as fake fur. They'll lure you in with their "no real fur" policies and hope your easy prey. So, how do you ensure your faux fur fashion isn't real fur in disguise?We’ve got a few helpful tips to help you spy a leopard’s spots.
Tips for spotting real fur:
- price isn’t a tell-all
- check the base
- Shop with reputable brands
- the burn test
In general, faux fur items are typically much less expensive than real furcoats and accessories. But keep in mind, a deceiving seller will go to any lengths to trap its prey. Sometimes manufacturers are using barbaric and grossly inhumane practices of illegally (or legally depending on the country) killing dogs and cats to sell as fur. Though this isn’t very common these days in the main stream markets, it has been known to happen. So before you swoop in and swipe that card, look for other signs your fake fur isn't areal fur in disguise.
All About That Base
This will take a bit of detective work on your part. I know, fun, right? Examine the hair to determine how it is connected to the base of your product. Real fur is connected to the animal's skin, so the base will have a rather leathery feel to it.On the other hand, fake fur will have a fabric-weave backing.
Shop with Reputable Brands
There are a variety of trustworthy brands out there to explore when shopping for faux fur. Many of the best fashion houses have stopped selling real fur and switched to faux fur only products. Regardless of the choice a well known brand has made in its decision to sell real fur or faux fur, the brand's reputation is at stake when it claims something to be faux fur or real fur made, and that is often a powerful incentive to tell the consumer the truth about it’s faux fur products and to ensure the production managers are inspecting the factories closely.
The Burn Test
Now, we certainly aren’t suggesting you break out the lighter and test every faux furitem you’re considering bringing back to the den. Just don’t do it. We just want you to be aware of an additional way you can zero in on areal fur faker. Testing out a piece of a faux you already own will help you grasp what we’re sharing.
So, if you already own a fake fur robe or decorative pillow, this little test, when done SAFELY, can tell a lot about your fur. If you were to trim a tiny section of fur to burn, there are a few telling signs you would notice if it were truly faux fur.
Faux fur will:
- have a sticky consistency
- create rough plastic balls once cooled
- give off a burnt plastic smell
It's one thing to be warm and comfy looking, but you don't want to look like you’re wearing an entire bear, right? or do you? That's why, when buying a fake fur coat online, it's critical to get your measurements right.
Don’t be that shopper who guesses their sizing. Seriously. Take the extra minute to look for the brand’s sizing guide and maybe skim through a few buyer reviews. Take note if the faux fur your eyeing is known to have a snug fit, runs big, or should hit at the knees if you’re a certain height. Review the size chart and take measurements to ensure a cozy fit.
Each brand is different, which is why we strongly urge you to check out their sizing guides. Keep in mind, each style may also have a different fit, so stop the whining and just read through the carefully crafted product descriptions!
General measurements include:
- the widest part of your hips
- shoulder to shoulder
- around the widest part of your chest
- from your wrist to the top of your shoulder
Know How to Care for Your Faux Fur
All is well while you’re prowling around in your warm bundle of silky, soft faux fur. But what do you do if your fabulous fur has a run-in with, say, dinner? Accidents happen, but you’ll need to consider the proper care your fake fur needs before making the investment.
Yes, that's true that real fur is much more difficult to clean. However, bathing your fake fur items still requires some very specific TLC. You can freshen up your fluff at home, but you’ll want to ensure the life and luxury of your faux bae.
For example, you’ll need to wash your items by hand in a sink or tub, depending on the size. Allow plenty of time for swishing and gentle squeezing. Your faux fur will also require ample time to air dry out of the direct sunlight, so be patient.
For more info on how to wash your faux fur products see our blog.
Lock in a Style
Responsible Shopping: Saying No to Real Fur
When you go for faux, you become a part of the solution. Making the decision to wear and decoratewith fake fur shows you’re a pack leader willing to stand up for what’s right.
At SpiritHoods, our commitment to ending the use of real fur is hoooowwllll we roll. Not only that, but we also recognize we have a duty to create cruelty-free items, as well as produce goods that promote long-term sustainability and global economic wellbeing. We take that responsibility seriously. Our dedication to producing socially and ecologically responsible products is more vital than ever be-faux.
Our pack is always working with manufacturing partners to come up with new methods for producing chic, hyper-realistic, high-quality faux furs. Together, our efforts are creating cutting-edge technology, materials, and products that help save the lives of our fur friends, and is supporting the development of faux furs made from truly sustainable and recyclable fabrics. We anticipate introducing our advanced line of natural fiber garments by 2024, all thanks to your support of the faux fur movement.
It’s not just us that makes it possible for this kind of advancement to happen, our pack partners are pawsitively awesome! Their millions of dollars in investments of R&D in natural fiber faux fur research is truly priceless in our eyes. The future of natural-fiber faux fur in place of real fur fashion is possible because of all our shared passions collectively!
Ready to slip into your inner animal? Grab the faux fur that makes you the cat's meow.