Fake fur, also called fun fur or faux fur, is any material made of synthetic fibers designed to resemble fur, normally as part of a piece of clothing. It has been available since the 1950s, but its increasing popularity has been credited to its promotion by animal rights and animal welfare organizations which claim that it is an animal-friendly alternative to traditional fur clothing.
Faux fur is not only used in clothing, but also for stuffed animals, fashion accessory and home decorations like pillows. It is also sometimes used for craft projects because it can be sewn on a sewing machine. Real fur is generally thicker and requires a special machine, hand sewing or an awl to sew it. Lately, fake fur has been increasingly used in the main stream teen fashion, for example the stores Abercrombie and Fitch and American Eagle use it for trapper hats and sweaters. In the Russian Army, fish fur is used as a slang term for the fake fur used on winter clothing and the ubiquitous ushanka hats. Similarly, fashion design labels such as Ralph Lauren have promoted the use of fake fur in their collections.
Advantages and disadvantages
- The energy consumption for the production of one coat made out of fake fur was given with 120 MBtu in a study of the scientific research laboratory of the automobile manufacturer Ford in 1979, compared to 433 MBtu for trapped animals and 7,965 MBtu for animals raised in fur farms.
- Because it is manufactured, fake fur can be made softer than real fur or be created with rough, bumpy, soft or thick surfaces.
- The production of fake fur is cheaper than that of real fur of high quality.
- Fake fur and real fur may be equivalent in providing protection from cold, but since fake fur can be made in any thickness, fake fur garments can be constucted to be warmer than real fur..
- Fake fur may shed..
- Currently, there are no faux furs that have been able to keep snow from melting and re-freezing on the fur's fiber filaments. This might be of concern if one chooses to wear a fur material rather than warmer totally synthetic garments while hiking, mountain climbing, skiing and other activities which are done in extreme conditions.