Ever wondered what is faux fur and how it is different from real fur? Faux fur, or more commonly known as fake fur, is a pile fabric manufactured to replicate animal fur's appearance. This fabric is often used in home decorations for pillows, throws, and sheets as well as clothing such as jackets.
What is Faux Fur?
Faux fur is a synthetic fabric made to look like and as an alternative to real animal fur. Also known as mock fur and artificial fur, faux fur is produced without animal cruelty. Its materials came from synthetic fibers, which assure that no animals are harmed during production. Faux furs come in different colors and textures. The type of faux fur called quality faux fur almost looks the same as genuine fur. Hence, it is called imitation fur.
Nowadays, faux furs are often used as coats, jackets, and sometimes hats. Using faux fur instead of real fur has also become the trend for fashion designers and models lately. It has widely gained popularity globally since it does not harm any animals and promotes environmental care simultaneously.
The advantage of faux fur is that it can also be used for arts and crafts since it can easily be sewn on a sewing machine. Since it was first introduced in 1929, many advances have taken place in order to create a more realistic faux fur. Thus, nowadays, faux fur is sometimes indistinguishable from natural animal furs.
In this article, we will focus on what is faux fur, how to care for it, and how to differentiate it from real fur.
History of Faux Fur
To understand what is faux fur, it’s important to first look at its history. Natural animal fur was used in some of the oldest forms of clothing. Since the production of real fur fabrics imputes harm to animals, fake furs were introduced into the market in 1929.
The first attempt at faux fur was made using an alpaca's hair. From a fashion perspective, that first attempt at faux fur was of low quality and was so dull it looked like a rug. However, manufacturers continued to develop the process of making faux furs, improving it substantially in the 1940s.
When greater textile manufacturing technology was introduced at that time, it developed softer and warmer faux furs. However, it was not until the mid-1950s that the modern faux fur as we know it was developed. The faux fur industry and fabric manufacturers started using acrylic polymers in place of alpaca hair. Since then, more realistic and better quality faux furs were introduced to the public and manufactured in bulk.
What is Faux Fur - Types
Since faux fur is made to look like genuine fur, it is available in different types depending on what type of animal fur it imitates and feels like. Some of these types are faux rabbit fur, faux fox fur, faux sheepskin fur, and luxury faux fur.
These faux animal furs take after the warmth and appearance of the real animals. You can expect the faux rabbit fur to feel so soft and ticklish to the skin. In comparison, the faux fox fur feels like brushes, stroking your skin softly.
Luxury faux furs include faux mink fur, faux chinchilla fur, faux sable fur, faux beaver fur, and even faux leopard fur. As its name implies, these furs tend to be more expensive. Most of these types of faux furs are used as coats and rugs.
The types of faux furs can also vary depending on their tufting length and softness. These include long pile faux fur, medium pile faux fur, and short pile faux fur.
What is Faux Fur and How Does it Feel?
As its name implies, faux furs are made up of synthetic materials. At first, if your skin is not used to the touch of faux fur, it will feel itchy. This often happens when the type of faux fur is made up of poor-quality synthetic fibers. On the other hand, high-quality faux fur will feel soft and warm to the skin.
But what is faux fur quality? The difference between the quality faux fur and the poor-quality faux fur is easily noticeable. Quality faux fur, even when cleaned many times, will still maintain its feel and texture. It will also keep its silky-smooth feel.
If you are looking for faux fur that can withstand extreme temperatures, then quality faux fur is for you. In terms of temperature, this type of faux fur can compete with wool, which is why it can withstand snow and icy-cold temperatures.
What is Faux Fur and How to tell it from Real Fur?
Most people wonder what is faux fur and how to differentiate it from real fur. As advances take place to produce the most genuine-looking faux fur, it's hard to tell a real fur from a faux fur nowadays. Modern faux furs can easily be mistaken for genuine animal fur.
Luckily, it is easy to know what is faux fur and what is real fur. Here are some helpful steps on how you can distinguish faux fur from real fur.
What is Faux Fur vs Real Fur
- Check the Base of the Fur - If your item is made up of faux fur, chances are there is a noticeable fabric backing once you check its surface. You will also notice stitches on the different corners of the item.
- Check the Tips of the Fur Fibers - If your product is faux fur, you will notice machine-cut and pointy fibers. On the other hand, if it is genuine fur, the fibers tend to be soft and tapered.
- Burn a Few Bits of the Fur - If you can trim a few fibers and burn them, it will help you identify the fur's composition. If the ashes smell like burnt hair, then that is genuine fur. On the other hand, if the smell is similar to burnt plastic, your fur is faux fur. (Read burning test for fabrics)
- Determine Weight - Items made up of faux furs tend to be lighter than products made up of genuine fur.
- Poke its Insides Using a Pin - If your item is made up of faux fur, the pin will pass through since faux fur is made up of synthetic materials on a fabric backing. If the pin does not pass through, the chances are your material is made up of animal fur since animal skins tend to be thick.
What are Faux Fur Trends
With so many consumers being conscious of animal cruelty, it is only normal to wonder what is faux fur’s future going to be. Faux fur has become a trend since brands such as Givenchy, Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior, and many more decided to design their 2018 couture with faux fur as the primary material.
Because of their warmth and soft texture, faux furs are perfect for the winter season. There is a wide range of fashion products and items that one can produce using faux furs. These include jackets, coats, vests, shawls and shoes, and purses. Whatever your preferences are, or if you want protection against cold weather, any of these items will suit you.
What is Faux Fur Fabric Care
If you are contemplating whether to purchase faux fur, it is vital to know how to care for it. Generally, faux fur will not attract moths and other insects. It is also cheaper compared to genuine animal fur so you don't need to be as precious with its care. If you have faux fur products, here are a few tips you should keep in mind when caring for them:
- Do not wear faux fur products in the rain.
- When you see spots or stains, you can clean them using specialty sprays and brushes.
- Only spot-clean the dirty area rather than the whole item. Blow-dry it afterward.
- You can also comb your faux fur to untangle and keep the pile looking fluffy.
- Use hangers with your faux fur product rather than folding them up.
How to Wash Products Made up of Faux Fur
Wondering what is faux fur texture after you have washed it? Well, caring for faux fur takes a little bit of effort. One cannot merely throw these faux fur products in the washing machine and expect them to still look their best after drying.
But what is a faux fur washing routine? Always check the labels for the care instructions and laundry symbols. You can either choose to wash your faux fur products by hand or put it in a washer. If you decide to use the washer, use a high-efficiency washer and set it on the gentle cycle with cold water. You can do this for faux products such as coats, sheets, or shawls.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of mild and color-safe detergent to the washer. Let it soak for 15 minutes. If you keep it on for too long, you might end up damaging the fabric.
After washing your faux fur, it's best to dry it with a soft towel. Avoid using tumble dryers since this might make the texture of the faux fur rough and can shrink the item.
It is also best if you can hang it on a drying rack afterward and avoid direct sunlight. It may take up to 1-2 days for your faux fur products to dry due to the pile and thickness. When the product is dry, you can also brush it for extra care and maintenance.
Sewing Faux Fur
There are numerous considerations to take into account when sewing fur due to the pile of the fabric.
- Cut pieces one at a time and remember to flip the pattern piece for mirror images.
- Cut in a spot that is easy to clean as there is going to be lots of mess.
- Use pattern weights instead of pins.
- Keep the fur direction all going the same way for the whole garment. The pile should go down the body.
- Line faux fur items so it is not scratchy.
- Brush or trim fur away from the seams so the pile doesn't get caught.
- Use universal needles in a heavy weight.
- Baste seams before sewing since pins will not stay in the pile.
- Comb the long hairs out of the seam after sewing.
More on Sewing Leather and Vinyl
What is Faux Fur—In Conclusion
In conclusion to "what is faux fur"; it is a warm, luxurious, and soft material that imitates real animal fur. You need to understand what is faux fur so you can take good care of your faux fur products to make them last for over a decade. When it is nearing its end of life, faux fur products can be easily converted into different products. For example, a faux fur coat can be recycled into faux fur purses.
Nowadays, the environment plays a significant role in the fashion industry. Using genuine animal fur not only harms the animals but the environment as well. So, the best alternative to this is the production of faux animal fur. Faux fur provides comfort and durability and says a lot about the person wearing it. Wear faux fur for a great choice if you are against animal cruelty.
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