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.
2. 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.
3. Look for price. Real fur costs a great deal more than faux fur. Hence the association of fur with very rich, older people!
4. Feel the fur. Not all pieces of fur are conveniently labeled or priced. Another method for testing the item is that of feeling:
- 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
5. 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.
6. 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.
7.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.
8. 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.