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Your Guide to Shopping for Faux Fur

November 25, 2023

Your Guide to Shopping for Faux Fur

Jump To: What Is Tissavel? | Understanding Measurements | Responsible Shopping

For quite some time now, Faux fur has been a popular trend in the fashion world. From classic neutral styles to bold, colorful flair, there's never been a more sophisticated variety to select from. Whether you're looking for faux fur to keep your bits and pieces warm, decorate your den, or just feel like spicing up your wardrobe with something new, there are many criteria that should be considered before making your purrrchase. We want you to be purrrfectly aware of the ins and outs of shopping for the fake fur coats and accessories of your dreams.

What is Faux Fur?

white 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. And the higher the quality of fake fur, the closer in replicating the real thing.

The Lowdown on Faux Fur vs. Real Fur

Back in the 1900s, real fur was all the rage. In fact, there wasn't a "fake fur vs. real fur" debate to be had. Stepping out in public donned in a fake fur coat was a fashion faux pas, to say the very 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 using shaved South American Alpaca hair. While they certainly weren't as fancy as the real thing, alpacas were a lot more cost-effective than their real fur counterparts.

Fake furs proved to be fairly effective in keeping the bod warm. However, wearing faux fur was often snubbed by the fashion industry and wealthy for its laughable price tag. It was looked down upon for its efforts to mimic the real thing.

Real Fur Gets a Paws Down from Animal Rights Activists

Protestors standing outside of store protesting real fur

By the mid-1950s, pressure from animal rights advocates was escalating. Adorning your body in real fur was quickly becoming a no-no, and for obvious reasons. Many Hollywood stars, like Marilyn Monroe and Doris Day refused to wear real fur and often demanded the use of faux fur while filming. People were waking up to the cruelty of the fur industry and started using their voice to protect our planet's precious animals. The faux fur industry took notice and leaped into action. (See what I did there?)

Fake fur manufacturers quickly made the switch from the rough textured 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. And many people were amazed by the resemblance to real fur. Faux fur coats and accessories were becoming major payers in the fashion industry and were soon rivaling their real counterparts. If you ever find yourself side by side with a real fur and fake fur, we highly recommend analyzing the two. Just by feeling alone, it's evident how far the faux fur industry has come in replicating animal fur without actually harming 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 that keeps calling your name from the shop window, there are many things to take into consideration. And quality should be the highest purrriority on your list.

What to Look for in a High-Quality Fake Fur Material

colorful faux fur

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 first-rate standards in three major areas.

3 Factors in Determining High-Quality Faux Fur:

  1.  Softness
  2.  Shedding
  3.  Resilience 

Softness of Faux Fur

Do you want 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. Keep in mind that 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? So go ahead and make sure there's some fluff to your stuff.

Selecting Pile Length and Weight

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 purrrsonel purrreference, these two components shed some light on the quality of the faux fur item. 

Pile Length

Pile length refers to the length of your faux fur hairs. You may love the look of a short and sassy ‘do or, perhaps, long fur billowing in the breeze is more your style. 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.

Weight

The weight of your faux fur plays a role in your coat's thickness and how heavy it feels draped over your body. And just because you hear the word fur, 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 faux 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 the highest quality and luxuriously soft feel. If you’re looking for paws down the BEST high-end luxury imitation furs on Earth, with the silkiest hand feel, there are two dens that outrank them all: Tissavel in France and Tiger J. in New York.

Since 2015, SpiritHoods has hailed Tissavel as 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.

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 and channeling your inner animal 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 you're easy prey. In fact, some have gone so far as actually mislabeling their items as faux fur, when in fact they are real fur. 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

The Price

In general, faux fur items are typically much less expensive than real fur coats 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 a real 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. And that is often a powerful incentive to tell the consumer the truth about its faux fur products and to ensure the production managers are inspecting the factories closely. And most designers today are only using faux fur. Real fur is becoming a thing of the past. 

The Burn Test

Now, we certainly aren’t suggesting you break out the lighter and test every faux fur item you’re considering bringing back to your den. Because, well that would be wrong. We just want you to be aware of an additional way you can zero in on a real fur faker. Testing out a piece of a faux you already own will help you grasp what we’re talking about.

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:

  • Melt
  • Have a sticky consistency
  • Create rough plastic balls once cooled
  • Give off a burnt plastic smell 

Understanding Measurements

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? We're not here to judge.

But, if you're not going for the big bear look, and you're eyeing a special faux fur coat online, it's critical to get your measurements right before you make that purchase.

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 of your choice 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! After all we include them for a reason, ya silly goose.

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, it's true that real fur is much more difficult to clean than faux fur. 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 take the proper steps to ensure the life and luxury of your faux bae. 

Always try and spot clean with cold water when necessary, but if your garment needs a more thorough wash, you may need need to do that by hand with a mild detergent and cold water. And depending upon the size, enlisting your bathtub for help may be required.  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. We easily guide you through exactly what to do.

Lock in a Style

If you’re still having trouble choosing between that bodacious Grey Wolf and purrrfectly polished Manx Cat, head over to our Spirit Animal Guide and find out which faux fur best suits you! 

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 decorate with fake fur shows you’re a pack leader willing to stand up for what’s right. And as of January 2023, buying real fur in California has become illegal. 

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 we are proudly 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 in 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 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.

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