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fox fur

jscraphappy | Posted in General Sewing Info on

A ??? a few years ago I found in my late m-il wardrobe a beautiful (I think ) fox fur stole fully lined & totally complete.I just wished I was 10ft tall & elgant.On receiving my lastest copy of “threads” there was a fox fur draped around a model in those beautiful clothes.Anyway my point is. that I contacted a local museum that deals witth vintage clothes. but, they had to refuse it because over in this country (UK) wearing fox or anything fur is really frowned upon.The curator said that when she had last put a beautiful fox fur on display someone destroyed it.Which I think is horrible.Fox wearing was part of our past.My ?? is what can I do with it.As it will get thrown away if anything happens to me.Along with all my “rubbish”I have collected over the years.Any suggestions please.


  1. kai230 | | #1

    Is it illegal to sell it? If not, perhaps a museum or second-hand/resale shop in a nearby country or ebay? Or, you could <ouch> cut it up and make things (ideas here are unlimited, from a cover for a tiny blank book, to a small pouch, to neck decor, etc.) to pass along to friends and family, but I would expect someone would like to purchase it in tact. Perhaps a movie studio would be interested.

    Actually, I have cut up a fur to use for cuffs on a coat w/arm length too short, etc. But it was ratty in places so I was recycling what was usable.

    Edited 8/8/2003 7:04:07 AM ET by kai

    1. jscraphappy | | #2

      thanks for ideas.its to lovely to cut up & in to good a condition (I just wish I was 10ft tall & willowly then I would wear it) I used to have it draped around my dummy(short &fat)but it used to upset a couple of the gd's.so I put it away.I also have a mink collar.My MIL must have been a real dresser in the 1920s.(:

    2. GhillieC | | #4

      I don't think there is anything illegal about wearing or selling furs here in the UK, but the museum curator is correct. It is REALLY VERY unpopular to be seen in furs and you are liable to be the victim of insults and harrassment if you wear one. Shops selling furs have been firebombed and hardly exist any more. A quick look on Ebay.co.uk revealed a few vintage fox fur stoles but nobody seemed to be bidding much for them and frankly I found them repulsive. If you do decide to sell on EBay disguise yourself carefully and do not disclose your address to anyone.

      I recall hearing of a charity which was collecting up unwearable fur coats here and sending them to Eastern Europe where folk are poorer and less fussy and the winters are colder. I can't remember the name but maybe Google could find it.



      P.S. I just read an article about a charity which was giving unwanted fur coats to down-and-outs. It was criticised because the furs could be sold for drugs. However the charity pointed out that the coats actually have no financial value in this country.

      Edited 8/14/2003 11:50:35 AM ET by Ghillie

      1. kai230 | | #5

        It is REALLY VERY unpopular to be seen in furs and you are liable to be the victim of insults and harrassment if you wear one

        You know, for that reason I haven't worn mine. I am tempted to carve F A U X in the back.

        I think donating to poor folks in cold climates is a good idea.

        1. rjf | | #6

          It's too bad there isn't a compromise available.  If your fur was gathered "pre-animal rights", shouldn't you be allowed to wear it in peace?  I suppose the activists would think wearing it is tantamount to advocating more killing.  I'm not in favor of killing animals for their coats but if the animal died for his/her coat, I'd rather someone use it than just throw it away.  That seems doubly disrespectful .         rjf                                                  

          1. kai230 | | #7

            I bought these in a thrift shop for abt $15-20 each when I was freezing cold on a visit to Cincinnati. It was just when the anti fur movement was beginning (70's). I'd probably feel more adamant about trying to wear it if it wasn't so darn heavy, and for all that weight, it isn't nearly as warm as synthetic stuff.

            I agree it would be doubly disrespectful to throw it away. There's a fabulous arts and crafts studio nearby that has frequent shows, and I can picture small bits of fur being incorporated into fetish necklaces, or a waist pouch, etc. Not that I will be doing that anytime soon.

          2. GhillieC | | #8

            I have a little antique silver pendant which contains a glistening bright blue substance. It is butterfly wing. For many years I did not wear it but now I do. We also have solid teak worktops in our kitchen. This is also frowned upon now, but ours were brought from our previous house and are quite old. We cannot put the wood back on the tree, so why not use it?



          3. rjf | | #9

            Your countertops sound wonderful.  And I'm thinking that the butterfly hadn't already flown off to that great garden in the sky.  I told my husband about the fox fur and he asked what eskimos are wearing these days.    rjf

          4. FitnessNut | | #10

            Eskimos are called Inuit these days, and yes, they still wear fur. But they also wear wool and denim :-) And many of us in the great white North (Canada) also wear fur in deepest, darkest January when it dips below -30°C with a windchill. But not in some of the cities as the people there just don't understand (I guess it doesn't get cold enough!!)

          5. rjf | | #11

            I had a feeling I was being politically incorrect but it occurred to me just as I pushed the "Post" button.  Maybe people feel differently when it's a case of staying warm rather than simply for adornment.  One little fox fur isn't going to keep anyone warm.  rjf    And "Inuit" is a nice name.

          6. Tish | | #12

            One little fur can keep you warm.  Fur traps air and so it insulates.  Fur collars and cuffs help keep cold air from getting into a garment.  I believe that traditional Inuit clothing is made with the leather out to break the wind and ice, and the fur in to hold warmth next to the skin. 

          7. User avater
            ehBeth | | #13

            I can't begin to imagine giving up my furs. My life has literally been saved at least once by having them (stranded on a highway in a blizzard in northern ontario, after the highway was closed).  None of them are new, and I don't hesitate to wear them in the city.  The anti-fur movement seems to be very 'over it' here.  The reality is that in some weather conditions, there is simply nothing better.  There are still a number of custom fur shops in town, and the prices are still high.

            hmmmm, where did the fur come from? one is a 50 yr+ persian lamb, that someone donated to an environmental group, and they 'sold' it to me in exchange for a small charitable donation (and i got the tax credit) - it's extremely heavy, it's not really wearable, unless the S.O. wants to carry me around by its collar. It goes in the back of the car in the winter - it was the life-saver.  The second is a waist-length vest i had made out of a 1940's mink coat a friend gave me, when I gave her my big t.v. - it probably gets the most wear.  The third is an ankle length sable vest - that i inadvertently bought at Goodwill. I was looking for a long raincoat to wear while walking the dogs - i thought it had a fake fur button-out lining - when my mother saw it in the closet she took it to the guy in my hometown who sells/stores fur to check out - he told her I'd bought a sable vest that would cost me $15,000 to have made!  I wear it over jeans and a sweater to walk the dogs on cold, non-snowy evenings - it's wonderfully light and warm.  It's also great for outdoor estate auctions when it's cold. Better than any wool coat.  The only coat that comes close is a double-layered Linda Lundstrom LaParka.

            It's 20 years since I got the persian lamb. I've never had a negative reaction from anyone while wearing them.  Perhaps it's because it's clear that they're keeping me warm?

          8. Antoinette | | #20

            So how does one sew fur? I mean to reduce the bulk when you are sewing 5/8 seams do you trim down or shave down the fur?

          9. ShannonG4d | | #21

            You do not use 5/8" seams.  You do a small zigzag, not quite 3/8" wide,  catching the fabric with the "zig" of the stitch, and just going over the cut edge with the "zag".  This makes a surprisingly strong, invisible seam, particularly if you are certain to tuck the fur inside the seam before stitching.  This way, there is no need to brush the pile from the right side after stitching.  I have taken small cut pieces of fur and old collars and re-shaped them to make larger pieces, and there is no visible seam from the right side. 

            You also want to be sure to use paper clips or clothespins instead of pins to hold the seams together before sewing.  Use a sharp needle, not ballpoint, and regular sewing thread.  It's very, very easy.  Oh, and keep a vacuum cleaner handy, because the fur will shed no matter how careful you are!:)


          10. Antoinette | | #22

            Hi Shannon! Thanks so much for your amazing tips! I greatly appreciate them. Just to confirm, are you saing to use a 3/8" wide zig zag or make the seam 3/8" wide? Just wanted to be clear.

            Thanks so much again!


          11. ShannonG4d | | #23

            Sorry for the confusion......it's actually about a 3/8" seam allowance, though not precisely so.  You want a narrow zigzag, which may or may not measure to that amount.  Why not practice on a scrap of fake fur first?  You can pick up a small piece rather inexpensively at the local Wallie World, and the technique for both fake and real furs is identical.  Be sure to pay attention to the nap of the fur when sewing, too; you want the fur hairs to all brush in the same direction.  That's how you get the most invisible seam.

            Let me know if I can help further, and let us all know how this project turns out!


          12. Antoinette | | #24

            Thanks, and yes I'll be sure to show you how it goes! I have some scraps that I'll practice on. Thanks again for all your help!

          13. carolfresia | | #25

            Shannon, thanks for filling us in on sewing with fur (real or fake). I've never done it, mostly because my sewing time is limited and fur garments aren't as useful as, say, a dozen size 3T tops and pants, so fur drops way down in the priority echelon!

            However, I think there may be a couple of fluffy Halloween costumes in my future (the very near future, at that), so I appreciate the expert advice.

            Oh--I should mention to the rest of you that Shannon is a new(ish) Threads author who will have an article coming out a couple of issues from now. No details here, except that the technique she shares is very clever, very easy, and VERY useful! How's that for a teaser. Meanwhile, let's all go forth and whip up some furry garments!


          14. jscraphappy | | #26

            nearly found a home for my m-i-l's fox fur.An 11thC Inn  has lots of interesting items decorating the dining areas.There was a beautiful fringed stole draped around a Victorian mirror.The Landlady was interested in the fox so hopefully instead of it being hidden away,at last the fox stole may have found a home(: Look forward to learning more tips from a new author.good luck.

          15. nettie | | #27

            My cousin has a beautiful fur and if someone has the gall to say anything, she says, "Relax! It's Road Kill!!"  I love it!

          16. belz | | #28

            Carol i've never done this before, new to the computer and i don't know what i'm doing

            Trying to find information on how to sew mink real mink.  I'm remodeling a mink coat... putting the mink on the inside of a wool coat that i'm making to fit the mink.  i've also altered the mink by putting gussets in it, cutting off the bottom to use as cuffs to lengthed the arms and slitting the whole length of the sleeve and putting a gusset in that for more width.  I've used cotton lycra with a one way stretch.  just going along but now terrified i've done something awful that i don't realize.

            The wool is thick and supple with a one way nap.  i 'm wondering if i have to hand under stitch all seams so they'll lay flat

            I want the fur to just peak out down the two front edges.  Wish i could draw a picture.


            s there something i should be doing special about working in FUR?

            how do i hem it?  Should i be underlining?innerFacing? ? where the fur and the wool meet?

            I know im crazy so don't go there.  AND i'm charging my client a lot to do this, eventhough i 'm clueless.HELP PLEASE ANYONE?

            My name is debra but i don't know where to put that   

          17. Lizothelake | | #29


            I'd certainly tape the seam between the Mink and the Wool; you can buy the sort of tape; 1/4" wide cotton/linen at a Tailors Supply shop. Pre-shrink it cos the wool will be pressed. I'd also put interfacing on the wool; even if it is a fairly light weight one;

            As for sewing seams in the fur; Furriers use a special machine that butt joins the two pieces, rather than the usual "seam/seam allowance/press out" we use on fabric. You do not want to be catching the hairs of the fur into the seam; or you'll spend ages pulling the strays through to the right side. One way might be to use a zig zag stitch and sew right along the edge then allow the seam to spread out, invisible under the hairs.

            Down the wool to fur seams, how about sewing the fur to tape then stitch the tape to the wool. You'd be able to sew the tape to the fur without a lot of pinning, and the pinning/tacking of the  taped fur to the wool would be done on the tape as close as possible to the fur/tape sewing, but be far easier as you'd have tape and wool to work on not fur and wool.

            Your Wool to wool seams can be pressed out flat quite easily by using a soft towel on your pressing surface, and a wet ( rather than damp) pressing cloth. Have the iron HOT and hold it above the seam so it barely touches rather than pressingg it down flat. Then take a wooden block; the back of a clothes brush or an old wool backed hair brush, and bang the sseams flat. This pushes the steam into the wool. Let the seam cool and dry before you move it; so try and get long seams onto the board rather than tackling them as short bits. If there is any curve; concave or convex then clip and snip to let the seam allowances lie flat. Remember that Wool fabric is very forgiving and steaming/pressing will cover a multitude of things; you can ease up an area, steam it and get it to 'shrink' to fit, or steam it and stretch it to fit.

            As for the hems; look at the original Fur Coat; usually they have a piece of 'lining' fabric sewn onto the inside edge of the hem and the hem is sewn up to that; The wool side is best hand hemmed in place; tack the hem then turn back the hem allowance and slip stitch it in place invisibly about 1/4" down from the raw edge; use your pinking shears or a wavy edged 'Olfa' to make it nicer if you want; remember the lining will cover it anyway. AND do put little thread chained loops at every seam to hold the lining and coat together; place them high enough that they can be 1 1/2" to 2" long; really helps keep the layers together.


            How does it fasten?????  If the coat is edge to edge you'll need something to hold it in place, cos a fur lined wool coat is not a warm waether wrap! Look for BIG Furriers Hooks and Eyes, or else use loops set into the cf wool/fur seam/ handworked in place, and discreet buttons. You can also put a tie across from side seam to side seam inside to fasten at one side rather than at CF.





  2. anneelsberry | | #3

    I saw some wonderful teddy bears in Alaska made of fur. My aunt, who lives up there, bought an old coat to do the same, but hasn't finished it yet. But wearing/using fur is not so taboo in the frozen north.

    Wish I had my grandmother's little fox neckpiece, but it was just too ratty. I love the pictures of her dressed to the nines with that little critter around her neck. And this was just to take the ferry over to the del Coronado in San Diego.

  3. User avater
    ehBeth | | #14

    back to your question!

    I'd probably have it put into something I wear when it's extremely cold.  Or re-built into a small throw to use when t.v.-watching in the winter.  My mother kept the left-overs when I had the mink coat re-cut into the short vest.  She had them trimmed and hemmed, and uses them to keep her feet warm in winter.

    1. jscraphappy | | #15

      I think the last idea was the best. I will sit indoors watching the tv in my lovely fox fur,smoking a ciggy (do-not smoke)with a long cigerette(cannot even spell the word)in a long -c- holder & pretend that I am a old black & white movie star.Thanks for all the suggestions.But if anyone does come up with a good home for the fox fur then let me know thank you.

  4. User avater
    paddyscar | | #16

    Try a local theatre group, or if you are in a larger city, you may be able to sell it to a theatrical costumers.

    1. jscraphappy | | #17

      I am afraid I tried  the nearest drama group who said that although they would love it,they are frightened about these animal welfare people.In the Sunday paper this weekend(UK) there was a dreadful picture of 3 puppies (little scottish highland terriers I think) a fox had jumped into the breeders pen of puppies & ripped the throats out of these pups.If the fox had wanted to eat them for survival,fair enough,it had left the chickens alone & gone for the puppies.Foxes now a spokeman said that urban foxes are no-longer afraid of humans. We live in a fairly rural part of the country & a fox walked by our lounge patio doors the other evening.It was a beautiful thing & it just looked at us & we looked at it.Then it just walked on bye.Many thanks for that suggestion.Hope I have not offended anyone by the above description.

      1. SewTruTerry | | #18

        The irony of this whole PC thing is that what people once did without thinking or intention of hurting now takes 18 people several days or weeks of discussion to come up with no conclusion.

        I'm so broke I can't even pay attention.

        1. jscraphappy | | #19

          Terry how much I agree with your irony of the p.c. world we now live in.In the UK to-day the issue of fox hunting is once again being debated.All I know is that my m-i-l's beautiful fox fur will be thrown away with the rest of my rubbish,when & when.Until then I shall just keep it stored away.

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