Types of Fur for Coats

Written by derek king
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Types of Fur for Coats
Mink is a popular animal source for fur coats. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Natural fur coats use the hair of animals for its exterior. In addition to appearance, the fur provides heat, durability and insulation during the cool climates. The fur coat industry specialises in creating coats from animal hair. Some animals are used for fur coats more commonly than others due to their fur's texture, colour and feel.

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Mink Fur

Mink coats use fur extracted from two different species of mink: the European mink and the American mink. The mink is a small, dark coloured animal closely related to weasels, otters and ferrets. The American mink's name is misleading, because in addition to the United States, the animal can be found in Europe and South America. Mink fur is categorised by having short hair that is both thick and soft. A mink coat will vary in colour from light brown to jet black.

Chinchilla

A chinchilla is a small rodent indigenous to the Andes mountains of South America. These wild animals are larger and wider than a ground squirrel, and are mostly active during the night. There are two living species of chinchilla that bare only a few distinguishable physical differences. The fur of chinchilla is soft due to each follicle sprouting 60 hairs on average. Because chinchillas are small animals (smaller than mink), it may take dozens of them to create one full size coat.

Rabbit

A rabbit is a small mammal commonly found in several parts of the world. In additional to being domesticated as pets or eaten as food, a rabbit's fur is often used for coats. Rabbit fur has three components. The guide hairs are long, tough visible strands. Four strands of hair called guard hairs surround each guide hair. A guide hair also has around 60 smaller hairs surrounding them. Called down hairs, they provide insulation and heat to the rest of the fur. Rabbit fur is available in a variety of natural colours including white, tan, brown, blond and black.

Red Fox

Red fox is one of the largest species of fox, and is found in several continents including Africa, Central America, Australia and Europe. The fox flourishes due to its adaptability to a variety of environments. Its fur usually features a mix of predominately red colour, with blond and white highlights throughout. Its guard hairs have a silky texture, making most red fox furs smooth to the touch.

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