Even if it seems like you’ve been seeing more faux fur lately, it’s definitely nothing new. That being said, there are tons of high-quality faux fur products being made these days that are totally eye-catching and enviable in terms of quality and feel. So if you are interested in learning more about faux fur and how to get your paws on some amazing products of your own -- you’ve definitely come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about faux fur, how to use it, and where to get it:
What Is Faux Fur?
Faux fur is, unsurprisingly, fake fur! It is made from a variety of different textile fabrics in order to resemble real fur without having to actually take fur from animals. These days, most faux fur is made from synthetic materials like acrylic and polyester blends. However, there are a variety of different materials that are used to make faux fur depending on the producer that may also include natural fibers like wool or cotton. These materials create products that are so soft and authentic-looking that many people won’t be able to tell that they aren’t actually the real deal! However, faux fur hasn’t always been made this well.
The History of Faux Fur
In order to understand the usage of faux fur in the 21st century, you need to understand the history surrounding the usage of faux fur thousands of years ago. Real fur was used by our primitive ancestors to fashion coverings that were able to keep them warm throughout the cold weather experienced in harsh winters. In later years, fur was a sign of wealth and power and was used by rulers in ancient Egypt. Real fur from animals such as the fox, rabbit, mink, chinchilla, raccoon, beaver, wolves, and more maintained its popularity and prominence over a period of many centuries until faux fur came onto the scene in 1929.
Due to the high demand and high price tag of real fur in the early 20th century, people began attempting to manufacture a faux fur material that was similar to fur in look and feel but more accessible and affordable. The earliest faux fur products were made using Alpaca fur— which is actually still a type of animal! However, this material was not very comparable to the high-quality real furs that were typically used back then as it was of a low-quality and didn’t feature a wide range of colors and textures. Despite this fact, people started buying it because it was cheap, warm, and quite frankly, the best alternative at the time. Thankfully, as time went on, manufacturers began improving the production of faux fur beginning in the 1940s as textile manufacturing technology continued to advance. By the 1950s, acrylic polymers were introduced as practical replacements for the alpaca hair that had been used for 20 years. These materials could be colored and designed with a wide range of textures to better mimic real fur from desired animals like rabbit, fox, and mink. Finally, by the end of the 1950s, the newly created acrylic polymers used to make faux fur were combined with other polymers to create faux fur products that are quite similar to the ones that we see even today almost 60 years later!
How Is Faux Fur Made?
In the 21st century, the production of faux fur products is pretty much completely automated. That being said, there are still several steps involved in the process:
- The synthetic fur fibers are created by mixing different monomers in a large stainless steel container before being pressurized in a high-temperature environment. A powder is produced through this process which is then converted into a liquid by dissolving it in acetone.
- The liquid mixture is then filtered and pumped through spinnerets to create the individual fibers that are then stretched and cut into size before being dyed.
- The backing material is usually made from cotton or wool and is cut and readied for attachment.
- The faux fur fibers are then attached to the backing material either by weaving, tufting, or knitting. Most faux fur products are made by knitting since it’s the fastest and cheapest method.
- The finishing steps of production involve heating the fabric, brushing the fabric, polishing the fibers, and applying an extra layer of color to the garment.
Latest Faux Fur Trends
Even though faux fur is nothing new, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t faux fur hot trends that you need to keep up with! Sometimes it can seem impossible to stay ahead of all the latest runway trends that tend to change every season. Thankfully, we have done the work for you, so here are some of the trends that we are obsessed with in 2020:
- Faux fur vests and shawls
- Faux fur jackets
- Faux fur hats
- Faux fur scarves
- Faux fur handbags
- Faux fur gloves
- Faux fur isn’t just for clothing— it can be used in the home as well. Faux fur throw blankets are the perfect home decor product for winter. Faux fur pillows, rugs, and ottomans are also trendy options.
How to Style Faux Fur
There are so many ways to style faux fur that it’s really easy to do your own thing and let your unique style and personality shine through, whether it’s in your clothes or in your home. However, if you are looking for some inspiration when it comes to styling, here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Dress up faux fur with a dress and high heels
- Dress down faux fur with jeans and combat boots or sneakers
- Spice up faux fur with tons of bold accessories
- Make a statement with colored faux fur combined with more neutral pieces
- Warm up your home (literally) with faux fur accents to add color and texture to plain and neutral rooms
How to Find Quality Faux Fur Products
When it comes to faux fur products, you really get what you pay for! So while it might be tempting to buy cheap products, you should really take the time to analyze the overall quality of the product before buying. Check out the stitching and make sure that it’s durable, evenly-spaced, and not already falling out! If there are any loose areas around the stitching, you should probably avoid that product altogether. You might want to tug on the fur very gently to see if any of it comes out into your hand. Of course, this doesn’t mean to rip or yank it out but definitely test to see if it can withstand everyday wear and tear.
It’s also a good idea to check out customer reviews to make sure that other people are satisfied with their purchases. Just because a product looks good and feels good now doesn’t necessarily mean that it will maintain that into the future. Companies that offer lifetime replacement guarantees, like Everlasting Comfort, definitely win extra points since you have the assurance that you’re purchasing a quality product that the company is confident in.
How to Properly Care for Faux Fur
If you really want your faux fur products to last, then you need to care for them properly! If you are unsure of how to do this, check out the product care tag on the product itself for specific guidelines on how to wash and dry your lovely furry products. That being said, here are some general tips that you can follow in order to care for your faux fur products and hopefully extend the lifetime:
- In order to wash your faux fur products, put them into the washing machine on their own, set the water temperature to cold, and set it on the delicate cycle. Add in a bit of mild laundry detergent that’s designed for hand-washing delicate garments.
- Once your product is done washing, shake or soak out excess water before air-drying. Either lay it flat or hang it up so that it dries quickly and in the ideal shape.
- You can also brush your faux fur products either before or after washing -- or both! Just use a slicker brush that is made with widely spaced metal bristles. Gently brush down the length of the fabric while being careful not to damage the roots of the fur where they attach to the backing.
- If you’re nervous about washing and drying your faux fur products on your own, you can also take them to a trusted dry cleaner who will be able to expertly clean your product and get it back to looking brand new.
Now that you’re an expert in faux fur, you can start looking for the perfect products to add to your home and your wardrobe. Just make sure to buy quality products that are worth the investment and take good care of them in order to get your money’s worth.