Checking of the construction of the coat you wish to purchase is another important aspect to consider when buying fur coats. You want to be sure that the coat is well made. To do this, examine the seams. They should be straight, not jagged or rough. There should be a nice, even transition at the seams where two pelts are joined. Also, look for seams (or “cuts”) through the middle of a pelt; if they are prominent you may want to choose a different coat.
In addition, depending on the fur type you may be able to see a natural striping down the center of the pelts. From pelt to pelt, these should be consistent in both color and width. If they are not, the quality of construction could probably be better. Paying close attention to the coat’s construction will help ensure that you purchase a better quality fur garment. Do NOT be afraid to throw a fur coat on the floor of the store and spread it out. This is a very good examination method when purchasing fur coats.
After you’ve checked the construction of the coat, try it on. If the coat fits properly, it should feel balanced on your shoulders. If the coat feels lopsided or unbalanced, it may need an alteration to fit your body. It should also look like it hangs straight, on your body.
One of the most important things to consider when buying fur coats is whether or not the fur is real or faux (i.e. fake). Faux fur is a petroleum product that is very similar to floor carpet. It is not an eco-friendly product, whereas real fur is one on the greenest products in existence. There are numerous tests you can perform to determine if a coat is made from real animal fur or fake synthetics:
- Feel the fur: Before buying fur coats, roll the fur between your fingers. Real animal fur will feel soft and smooth to the touch, while faux fur will feel bristly and coarse. Faux fur will actually feel very similar to carpet fiber.
- Examine the fur closely: A real fur coat will usually consist of two lengths of hair, the under-fur and the guard hairs, while the hair on faux fur coats tend to be one uniform length.
- Check the leather: When buying fur coats, it is best to try to see if you can examine the backing of the fur. If it is leather, then it is real fur. If it is synthetic, or cloth (similar to a burlap material, it is faux. If you cannot see the backing, then try sticking a pin through the coat. If the pin goes through easily, chances are it’s a fake.
- Burn the hair: This is one of the most important tests to perform when buying fur coats. If your fur purveyor allows it, pluck a few hairs from the fur and light the ends with a match or lighter. Real animal hair will singe and emit a burning hair smell. Faux fur is usually made from synthetic plastic products that will melt and roll up into tiny balls and will smell like burning plastic.