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Is That Fur Real or Fake?

Published 10/20/05

Here's a quick "cheat sheet" to help you become an expert "fur or faux" detective:

The Feel Test:

Feel the difference by rolling the hairs between the finger and thumb.

Genuine Fur: Feels smooth and soft, easily rolls between the fingers.

Fake Fur: Feels coarse.

The Look Test:

Blow on the hairs so that they divide, and look at the base.

Genuine Fur: Often made up of several layers of thin, almost curly hairs that form a dense under-wool through which the longer hairs stick out. The hairs remain attached to the leather (skin).

Fake Fur: Simpler in structure, individual hairs are often the same length and are even in color.

The Pin Test:

Drive a pin through the base where the fur is attached.

Genuine Fur: The leather resists; pin is hard to push through.

Fake Fur: Pin goes easily through the base.

The Burn Test:

Carefully pull a few hairs from the fur and hold them to a flame.

Genuine Fur: Singes and smells like human hair.

Fake Fur: Melts and smells like burnt plastic and forms small plastic balls at the ends that feel hard between the finger and thumb.

Adapted from the Fur Free Alliance. (Note: API does not recommend conducting the pin or burn test in stores!)

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