Can you tell the difference between a real handgun and a fake?
How to Tell the Difference Between Real Fur and Faux Fur
If you're trying to figure out whether you're holding a piece of real fur or faux (fake) fur, there are some key indicators to help you reach your decision.
Look for labels.If the item is a garment, it will often carry a label. The label will tell you the constitution of the item (providing that the label is genuine). However, when a garment is a mix of materials and fur is not the majority of the material used, fur isn't always mentioned on the label. Also, real fur is sometimes sold as fake fur.
Look for brand names.If you know that some brands are associated with fur or faux fur, this might be helpful in deciding which sort of fur you are dealing with. However, be aware that some brands carry both fur and faux fur lines. For example, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aéropostale, American Apparel, Billabong, The Gap, H&M, etc. all claim to use only synthetic furs, and a number of companies are currently shifting from fur to faux fur lines. See the Sources below for a complete list.
Look for price.Real fur usually costs a great deal more than faux fur. Hence the association of fur with very rich, older people! However, smaller bits of fur and fur trims can be quite cheap, so don't let the relatively low price of a garment fool you.
Feel the fur.Not all pieces of fur are conveniently labeled or priced. Another method for testing the item is that of feeling, however good faux fur can feel like it is real. Some indicators are:
- Fur: feels very soft to the touch, falls in a smooth and sleek line, passes through your fingers as if you're petting a cat.
- Faux fur: feels coarse and rough to touch, feels synthetic; can be sticky to touch in humid weather, and it might have the same feel as a stuffed toy animal. It might stick to your hands if it's made out of a plastic-y material (this only works if your hands are sweaty).
Try the burn test.This requires the loss of few pieces of fur or faux fur. Pull out 2 – 3 strands. On a flame-proof item (such as a ceramic plate), hold a match to the strands. If it is real fur, it will singe and there will be an odor similar to that of burnt hair. If it is faux fur, it will smell like melted plastic, melt like plastic, and curl into hard plastic-like balls. It could also be faux fur if it smells like burnt paper, burns like paper and become a light, fluffy gray ash.
This would mean the fur is cotton, linen or rayon based.
Stick a pin into the item (through the fur and its lining).If it goes through easily, this suggests it is faux fur because the pin is sliding through a synthetic base. If it is hard to push through, or resists completely, it is likely to be real fur, as you're trying to push through the leather lining to which the fur remains attached.
Check the backing.If you're able to see the backing of the item, or can make a small incision to check by feel or sight, look for leather to indicate real fur or stretch weave/fabric backing for faux fur. You may also be able to see the backing if you part the fur and separate the hairs.
Be aware that guessing is not necessarily easy unless you have all the facts to hand.As the anti-fur advocate Kate Winslet found out to her great chagrin, simply being told that something is not fur is not necessarily a complete answer.
QuestionI have purchased what I think is real fur. I need to have it professionally proven that it is real fur so that I can file a civil case against the seller, who sold it as "fake fur." What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst, find an expert on fur, who can determine whether it is real or fake. If it turns out to be the real deal, contact your lawyer. Make sure you have all the proof you need in writing.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell if fur is real or faux?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFollow the instructions listed in the article above.Thanks!
QuestionIs there a difference in weight between real and fake fur?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, usually there is. Real fur is typically heavier than man-made material.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell if a coat is real with letter identifications?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you see the letters A, K, F, and E in any order on the fur, then it's probably not real.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I know if stuffed fluffy toys have real or faux fur?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUnless you are buying toys for the rich and famous, they won't have real fur.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell if my fur is real?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFollow the instructions listed in the article above.Thanks!
QuestionHolding it up to the light I can see the pattern of fur. Can that indicate fake or real?Emilee Feather WaiteCommunity AnswerNot really. Are you trying to look through it? Real fur has a leather backing. With fakes, you might be able to see through it, depending on how dense the fur is.Thanks!
- Note that fur trim on heavy winter coats, gloves, boots, sweaters is oftenrealfur.
- Good faux fur is very hard to tell apart. Many designers prefer faux fur now, due to increasing consumer concerns over the treatment of animals turned into fur products.
- It's really hard to distinguish real fur from (good) faux fur nowadays. Just looking at it or feeling it usually won't be enough. Good faux fur looks and feels like real fur and real fur can easily be painted another (unnatural) color. Sadly, real fur is being sold/mislabelled as faux fur, because of the growing costumer concerns about fur.
- Faux fur is much easier to care for than real fur.
- Most faux fur doesn't have underfluff (a thin layer of a cotton-like substance near the roots), although this might not always be the case.
- If you're selling/auctioning what you think might be furs but you're not sure, be honest or seek a professional appraisal. People who purchase one product thinking it is what you say it is but who receive something else willnotbe happy customers.
Sources and Citations
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