Over the years, retailers have been found to be selling real fur under a “faux fur” label. This is why it is always worth checking the fur yourself. If you’ve got your eye on, own or have been gifted an item of clothing with fur, use these 3 quick methods to check if it is animal fur or faux fur.
1) Check The Base
Separate the hair so you can see the backiing behind it. If it looks like the fur has been sewn on then it is likely faux. If it looks like hide (this looks like a leathery backing) then it is probably animal fur.
If you’re struggling to see the base, you can try to push a pin through it. If the pin goes through easily it is more likely to be fake as the pin will be hard to push through the hide backing of real fur.
2) Look Closely At The Hairs
Closely look at the individual hairs. Are they blunt? If so, this indicates the fur is faux. If the hairs are tapered then it is more likely to be animal hair. This isn’t a 100% fool-proof method so use the other checks to help confirm your theory.
3) Try The Burn Test
Only do this test if it is safe to do so (not in a shop!). Pluck a few hairs and light the end of it with a lighter. If the smell is similar to melting plastic then the fur is probably faux. Faux fur will melt or curl into little balls too. If the hair burns and smells similar to burning human hair then it is probably from an animal.
Still Not Sure?
You can sometimes feel the difference too. Real animal fur tends to be very soft to touch while faux fur has a more plastic-like feel. However, it is getting harder and harder to distinguish between them so the other methods can really help.
If you’re still not sure, or you are buying the item online, it may be best to reconsider the purchase. It’s better to walk away without the clothing than to inadvertantly support the cruel practices of fur farming.