The History of Fur
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, Neanderthals wore fur clothing to shield themselves from cold weather. These ancient humans would kill furry animals and make coats for themselves. Wearing fur coats and clothing later became a trademark of dignified or high-ranking men and a symbol of royalty. Desire for wolf, beaver, mink, lynx and fox was one of the first reasons Europeans penetrated the North American rough country. The French traveled the Great Lakes into the Canadian plains and north into the Yukon to find fur. Early American colonials did the same, traveling the Great Lakes on into the Rocky Mountains for the sake of fur. In Europe, demand for fur was high. The material was used in both men and women's clothing and accessories such as coats and hats. In those days, fur was also used to trim coats for the working man and his family. Mufflers for children and even babies' blankets used fur. Many in the fur industry prospered.
Manufacturing Fur Coats
Fur coats are generally made from animal coats. Animals recognized for having good, warm fur were wolves, foxes, rabbits, otters, dogs, mink, sables, seals, coyotes, chinchillas, cats and other like furry animals. Fur coat manufacturing entails obtaining an animal pelt from the processed skin of animals. The animals are killed and skinned. The fur is then treated carefully with anti-bacterial chemicals. The chemical handling of fur to boost its felting quality is recognized as carroting. This process tends to cause the tips of the fur to take on carrot-like yellowish-red coloring.
The Big Fur Controversy
In the past and even still today, there has been a great deal of controversy over animal killings and the use of animals to make fur. Those who are opposed can now purchase fake furs instead. However, the use of fur for clothing has a long history. It is one of the first and oldest types of clothing worn by mankind. It was believed to be extensively used by hominids as they initially journeyed outside of Africa. The wholesale fur dealer Leipzig dates as far back as 1862. Many today still view fur as a luxurious and warm clothing piece, though others reject it as unethical. Today, fur or skin clothing of some kind is worn in nearly every country around the world. Fur clothing and coats are in higher demand in colder countries because of their superior insulation characteristics. The Arctic Inuit people wear fur all the time, depending on it for warmth in their exceptionally cold environment. Wearing fur is also a tradition of Japanese, Scandinavian and Russian people.