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Fur clothing is clothing made entirely of, or partially of, the fur of animals. Fur is one of the oldest forms of clothing, thought widely used as hominids first expanded outside of Africa. Some people within contemporary Western societies still wear fur and fur trim, according to fashion dictates. Some view fur as luxurious, although others, including some citizens of Western Europe and the United States, reject it due to welfare and ethical concerns. The term 'a fur' is often used to refer to a coat, wrap, or shawl made from the fur of animals.
History and use
Fur is generally thought to have been among the first materials used for clothing and bodily decoration. The exact date when fur was first used in clothing is debated (see Clothes). Several species of hominoids including Homo-sapiens and Homo-neanderthalensis used fur clothing.
Fur or skin clothing of some form is worn in virtually every country. Furs are especially popular in colder countries due to their excellent properties of insulation. The Inuit peoples of the Arctic relied on fur for most of their clothing, and it also forms a part of traditional Russian, Scandinavian and Japanese clothing. Today, winter clothes such as scarves and coats or coat trimmings are the garments most commonly made from fur. Animal furs used in garments and trim may be dyed bright colors or with patterns, often to mimic exotic animal pelts: alternatively they may be left their original pattern and colour. Fur may be shorn down to imitate the feel of a soft velvet fabric, creating a fabric called shearling.
Processing of fur
The manufacturing of fur clothing involves obtaining animal pelts where the hair is left on the animal's processed skin. In contrast, leather made from any animal hide involves removing the fur from the skin and using only the tanned skin. The use of wool involves shearing the animal's hair from the living animal, so that the wool can be regrown. Fake fur or "faux fur" designates any synthetic material, produced from oil, that attempts to mimic the appearance and feel of real fur.
The chemical treatment of fur to increase its felting quality is known as carroting, as the process tends to turn the tips of the fur a yellowish-red "carrot like" colour.
A furrier is a person who makes, repairs, alters, cleans, or otherwise deals in furs of animals. Fur clothing is clothing made entirely of, or partially of, the fur of animals.
Anti-fur campaigns reached a peak in the 1980s and 1990s, with the participation of numerous celebrities.
Animal rights advocates object to the trapping and killing of wildlife, and to the confinement and killing of animals on fur farms due to concerns about the animals' welfare, possible suffering, or death in general.
Some animal welfare groups have disrupted fur fashion shows with protests while others sponsor anti-fur poster contests and fashion shows featuring faux furs or other alternatives to fur clothing. These groups sponsor "Compassionate Fashion Day" on the third Saturday of August to promote their anti-fur message. Other groups participate in "Fur Free Friday", an event held annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving that occurs globally with the intent to bring the issue of fur to light through educational displays, protests and other methods of campaigning.