Faux Fur, Real Fashion
Once limited to trim and jacket linings, faux fur is enjoying a renaissance. It reappears every Fall with a new look. Last year faux fur came in bright, luxurious solids, this year wildly creative patterns in statement colours or mixed animal designs. What is it about this whimsical material that has such broad appeal?
Without modern textile technology, faux fur would never be as popular as it is now. Early versions called “pile fabric” were manufactured from alpaca fur in the early 1900s. Pile fabric was heavy, rough, wore out easily, and didn’t take well to dye. That meant it came mostly in gray and tan. The material remained unpopular until the US government began taxing genuine fur as part of their wartime measures. Those who couldn’t import furs turned to pile fabric, which was warm and inexpensive enough to wear every day.
The next major advance came in the 1950s with the development of acrylic polymers. Their light weight meant they could provide thick fluffy “coats” without becoming unbearably heavy. The fibres were much easier to dye. Once scientists discovered how to mix the acrylic with other polymers to make modacrylics, which were soft and fire-resistant, modern faux fur was born.
Early faux fur was meant to look as much like real fur as possible. As time grew on and fur became one of the most divisive topics in the fashion industry, designers began rejecting such strict imitation. They created new textures, new patterns, with the only limit being that of their imagination.
Modern production methods have eliminated the roughness and snarls common in early blends for a soft, sleek texture unlike anything in nature. The faux fur coats walking this season’s runways are chic, inventive, and most of all luxurious. Stop by Anne’s on the Avenue to feel the quality for yourself!
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