Typically, fur is associated with coats and boots made for colder seasons. However, in recent decades it has been utilized for far more interesting purposes, including but not limited to handbag accents and luxury accessories. Fur can refer to both voluminous (thick or fine) and flat laid hair (typically, pony or calf).
What Is It?
Fur and hair are some of history’s oldest usable materials for multiple types of functional items; from clothing and shoes to blankets and bags. While we won’t go into the details of its preparation, fur and hair are the exterior coat of an animal that has been treated and/or dyed to the desired effect. Many furs and hairs that are commonly used are rabbit, mink, calf, and pony.
In recent years, due to animal activism and controversy of its manufacture, many companies have opted to steer toward more sustainable and cruelty-free options by either eliminating the use of fur or creating pieces using faux fur. Faux fur is an engineered synthetic pile fabric that has been manufactured to look and feel like fur without the consequences of animal welfare.
Is It Worth It?
There are several factors to consider when it comes to owning fur. Rebag has compiled a shortlist of the good and the bad when it comes to this winter staple.
- Adds texture to an ensemble
- Creates a luxurious feel and serves as a statement piece
- Transitions well between Fall and Winter
- Prone to bald spots
- Stains are difficult to remove
- Banned for retail sale and/or discontinued use by luxury brands
When it comes to fur, keep in mind that it is what was once the hair on an animal and should be treated as such. Note: Faux fur requires similar care and condition consideration, although it may differ. This care article refers to natural fur only.
Depending on the animal, most furs are delicate and should be treated with a light hand. Flat laying hair, such as pony and calf hair, is a bit more sturdy and can handle a firmer touch. For larger debris that may be stuck to longer fluffier fur, use a travel size detangling brush to lightly work it out. Do not tug, gently work out the dirt and associated knots. For denser or flat laying hair, a suede brush does wonders to work out larger pieces and light dirt. For light stains, create a light lather with a mild shampoo on a damp cloth and only work it in the direction of the hair. Do not go against the way the hair lays.
Fur is luckily an easy item to store as long as it is given space to breathe. Fur, over time, can become matted and develop mildew or odors if not stored in a dry place. If it is stored in an area that has items moving next to it often, there is a risk of balding. To avoid this, store in a section where there is less of a chance of movement or store your bag in a box.
Fur is an incredibly delicate material when worn that requires special attention when it’s being used. With improper use fur will likely fall out and create unsightly bald spots or gaps, much like its similar storage issue. After each use, inspect the fur on your bag for any tangles or matted areas and take a moment to lightly brush them out.