It takes one full year to create a fur coat. After the trapper sells the pelts, a number of stages are involved in the design and manufacture of these luxurious and fashionable garments. The savvy consumer must consider a number of factors before making a final selection, among them the origin and characteristics of the different types of fur.
Mink is a high-quality fur that provides a classic look appealing to all age groups. Female pelts are softer and more delicate and produce better quality garments. On the other hand, coats made with male mink are heavier and can be easily dyed or woven with leather and other fabrics.
Fox fur coats are among the warmest; they consist of a thick undercoat topped by a longer overcoat made of guard hairs. Native to Russia, Australia, Scandinavia, and North and South America, fox fur is available in a variety of colours. Red fox from Canada is deeply furred and the best choice for full-length coats. White and arctic fox furs have a soft and silky feel and look good on hats, gloves and collars.
Beaver fur hats and coats were status symbols for men and women during the 19th century. Much of the early exploration of North America was influenced by the quest for this animal's fur. As a result, the beaver became an endangered species. Mostly brown with longhair fur, these coats are warm and water repellent.
This rare Russian fur is renowned for its silky quality. Lightweight and warm, Russian sable fur coats are status symbols associated with luxury, fashion and investment. Out of reach for most consumers, this fur is valued for its lush dark colour and rarity. Less expensive North American versions of these coats are also available.
Lighter than other furs and warmer than down coats, shearling is soft and supple. Made from sheep, these coats are trendy and can be worn in every season. Both men and women will buy these warm coats, which are often priced lower than other furs.