Fur


Fur

Fur is a body hair of any non-human mammal, also known as the "pelage". It may consist of short ground hair, long guard hair, and, in some cases, medium awn hair.

Mammals with reduced amounts of fur are often called "naked", as in "The Naked Ape", naked mole rat, and naked dogs. An animal with commercially valuable fur is known within the fur industry as a furbearer. (See fur clothing).

The acquisition and use of fur is controversial. Animal welfare advocates object to the trapping and killing of wildlife, and the confinement and killing of animals on fur farms. More than 40 million animals are killed worldwide each year for their fur, 30 million of them on fur farms.

Nature of fur

Fur usually consists of two main layers:
*Ground hair or underfur or down hair — the bottom layer consisting of wool hairs which tend to be shorter, flattened, curly, and denser than the top layer. Its principal function is thermal insulation and thus thermoregulation.
*Guard hair — the top layer consisting of longer, often coarser, straight shafts of hair that stick out through the underfur. This is usually the visible layer for most mammals and contains most of the pigmentation. It protects the underfur from outside factors, such as rain, and is thus often water-repellent.

A third layer, the awn hair, may also exist. It is intermediate between the two others.

Use in clothing

In clothing, fur is leather with the hair retained for its insulating properties. Fur has long served as a source of clothing for humans, especially in colder climates. Modern cultures continue to wear natural fiber fur and fur trim and for many, such natural fibers are preferred alternatives to synthetic clothing from petrochemicals.

Animal furs used in garments and trim may be dyed bright colors or to mimic exotic animal patterns, or shorn down to imitate the feel of a soft velvet fabric. The term "a fur" is often used to refer to a fur coat, wrap, or shawl.

Common animal sources for fur clothing and fur trimmed accessories include fox, rabbit, mink, beavers, ermine, otters, sable, seals, cats, dogs, coyotes, and chinchilla. The import and sale of seal products was banned in the U.S. in 1972 over conservation concerns about Canadian seals. The import, export and sales of domesticated cat and dog fur was also banned in the U.S. under the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000. [ [http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/textile/fedreg/001228-fur.htm dog and cat protection act of 2000] ]

The manufacturing of fur clothing involves obtaining animal pelts where the hair is left on the animal's processed skin. In contrast, making leather involves removing the hair from the hide or pelt and using only the skin. The use of wool involves shearing the animal's fleece from the living animal, so that the wool [Australian Wool Corporation, Australian Wool Classing, Raw Wool Services, 1990] can be regrown but sheepskin shearling is made by retaining the fleece to the leather and shearing it. Shearling is used for boots, jackets and coats and is probably the most common type of skin worn.

Fur is also used to make felt. A common felt is made from beaver hair and is used in high-end cowboy hats.

Fake fur or "faux fur" designates any synthetic material that mimics the appearance and feel of real fur, without the use of animal products. It is not renewable or biodegradable, and there are mounting concerns about its ecological footprint. [http://www.furcommission.com/resource/perspect999ce.htm Plastic Bags on Our Backs]

Controversy

Animal welfare advocates object to the trapping and killing of wildlife, and the confinement and killing of animals on fur farms. More than 40 million animals are killed worldwide each year for their fur.

Fur fetishes

The soft, warm texture of fur appeals to many people; for some, the attraction becomes a fur fetishism, a fetishistic attraction to people wearing fur, or in certain cases, to the fur garments themselves.

ee also

*Wool
*Coat (animal)
*Pelage
*Fur farming
*Animal coloration
*Cat coat genetics

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fur — Fur, a. Of or pertaining to furs; bearing or made of fur; as, a fur cap; the fur trade. [1913 Webster] {Fur seal} (Zo[ o]l.) one of several species of seals of the genera {Callorhinus} and {Arclocephalus}, inhabiting the North Pacific and the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fur — (f[^u]r), n. [OE. furre, OF. forre, fuerre, sheath, case, of German origin; cf. OHG. fuotar lining, case, G. futter; akin to Icel. f[=o][eth]r lining, Goth. f[=o]dr, scabbard; cf. Skr. p[=a]tra vessel, dish. The German and Icel. words also have… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fur — Fur, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Furred}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Furring}.] 1. To line, face, or cover with fur; as, furred robes. You fur your gloves with reason. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To cover with morbid matter, as the tongue. [1913 Webster] 3. (Arch.)… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fur — Das Wort Fur bezeichnet eine Sprache in Afrika, siehe Fur (Sprache), eine afrikanische Volksgruppe, siehe Fur (Volk), eine dänische Insel, siehe Fur (Insel), ein Sultanat, siehe Fur Sultanat, einen Film von Steven Shainberg aus dem Jahr 2006,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fur TV — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Fur TV Produktionsland GB …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • FUR — s. m. Il n est usité que dans la locution Au fur et à mesure, ou À fur et mesure, qui s emploie en termes de Pratique et d Administration, comme conjonction, comme préposition et comme adverbe, et qui signifie, À mesure que, à mesure de, à mesure …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • fur — I. verb (furred; furring) Etymology: Middle English furren, from Anglo French furrer to stuff, fill, line, from fuerre sheath, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German fuotar sheath; akin to Greek pōma lid, cover, Sanskrit pāti he protects… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • FUR — n. m. Vieux mot qui signifiait Taux et qui est resté dans la locution adverbiale Au fur et à mesure, à proportion. Nous vous paierons au fur et à mesure; et dans la locution conjonctive Au fur et à mesure que. Nous vous ferons passer les… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • Fur TV — Infobox Television show name = Fur TV genre = Comedy runtime = 22 minutes creator = Chris Waitt Henry Trotter developer = voices = Henry Trotter Phil Nichol Simon Greenall starring = Mak Wilson Don Austen John Eccleston country = United Kingdom… …   Wikipedia

  • fur — See: MAKE THE FUR FLY …   Dictionary of American idioms


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