The Difference Between Faux Fur and Real Fur

The Difference Between Faux Fur and Real Fur

Fashion has been long engrained as an important part of expressing oneself. For some, a T-shirt and jeans works well. Others want a more elegant style that’s filled with pearls, fancy shoes, and animal fur. Luckily, times are changing. More people around the world are realizing the importance of environmental sustainability and are thus, fighting animal cruelty with a vengeance.

To continue giving elegance and grace to these people, faux fur was created. At first, faux fur was lacking in quality and came off as cheap. Now, as technology has advanced and designers have perfected the manufacture of synthetic materials, it’s hard to tell the difference between faux fur and real fur.

In this article, we’ll explore what faux fur is and the primary differences between faux fur and real fur. 

What is Faux Fur?
Faux fur is a term used to describe synthetic fabric that’s been created to mimic the aesthetics of animal fur. It’s often used interchangeably with fake fur. To create this manmade fabric, many manufacturers use blends of acrylic and other synthetic materials sewn together to look like real fur accessories. Since the materials used are more durable than real fur, they’re able to be dyed any color and created in different thicknesses. Faux fur is more durable, accessible, and ethical than real fur and doesn’t require expensive care and storage. Because of this, more and more people are making the switch to faux fur and the animal fur industry is slowly fading.

What is Real Fur?
Real fur is exactly as it sounds. It’s made from the real fur of living animals to produce accessories, coats, blankets, and more. To get one piece of real fur attire, it usually requires hundreds of animals to be killed. Real fur can come from a number of different animals, but is most commonly from chinchillas, foxes, wolves, rabbits, lynxes, and more. Since production requires hundreds of animals, and caring for these animals are expensive, the animals are often held in unethical ways until their death. They’re crammed into small cages where disease runs rampant and the animals are extremely stressed. The actual slaughter of the animals is also very inhumane and one of the reasons why so many people have made the switch to faux fur. 

The Main Differences Between Faux Fur and Real Fur
The main differences between faux fur and real fur are the source. Faux fur is made out of synthetic materials in an attempt to mimic the appearance of animal fur. Real fur comes straight from an animal and is used to create accessories, outerwear, and blankets. Faux fur does not harm any animals in the process, while real fur takes up to hundreds of animals for a single coat. Roughly 50 million animals are killed each year just for the production of real fur products—faux fur requires killing 0 animals.

Faux fur has more durability and is able to withstand the test of time without expensive cleaning and caring procedures. Many high-quality faux fur products can be washed in the comfort of your own home while real fur requires dry cleaners who specialize in animal fur. Faux fur can be stored easily year-round while real fur requires precise conditions that are only achieved in climate-controlled units.

How to Tell if Your Fur is Faux or Real
If you’re looking to add something to your wardrobe, but don’t necessarily want to support animal fur corporations, it’s important to understand how to tell the two apart.

  1. Check Labels – the easiest way to tell if something is faux fur or real animal fur is to check the labels. If there is a label, it will tell you what is used to create the clothing or accessory. However, there have been accounts of mislabeling or false labels when people try to sell faux fur as real fur. Some labels can also be complicated and difficult to decipher if you’re not familiar with certain industry-specific aspects.
  2. Check Brands – some brands are strictly faux fur (like Pretty Rugged!) while others use only animal fur. If the brand is reputable, you should be able to determine whether or not your item is made with faux fur or not based on the name.
  3. Consider the Price – real fur tends to be far more expensive than faux fur due to the lengthy process it requires to make the garment and the number of animals needed. That’s not to say that faux fur is “cheap,” but it’s usually far less expensive.
  4. Feel the Fur – the feel of animal fur is usually extremely soft to the touch. A lot of faux fur feels coarser, but with recent developments in technology, faux fur has begun to take on a more “real” feel.
  5. Look at the Base of the Hairs – faux fur tends to have a backing made of fabric while real fur is attached at the base of the garment by leather or animal skin. You should be able to tell just by looking at the base, but sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between a high-quality faux garment and real fur.
  6. Check Hair Tips – you can also examine the tips of the hairs for help in differentiating the two. Real fur is like hair—it tapers to a point. Faux fur has a tip that’s blunter and ends abruptly. Again, if you’re buying high-quality faux products, this could be harder to tell.
  7. Try the Burn Test – if possible, try pulling out a few of the furs in your garment. Real fur will singe up and smell like burnt hair. Faux fur tends to burn like melted plastic.
  8. Perform a Pin Test – if you stick a pin in your garment and it goes through without any trouble, it’s faux fur. Real fur is much harder to push through with a pin due to the thick, leather lining that’s used.

As the faux fur industry continues to grow, it’s getting more and more difficult to tell the difference between the two. This is great for those who want to avoid animal cruelty issues and support animal-friendly corporations while still getting the style and elegance of a “fur” accessory. There are many benefits of choosing faux fur over animal fur and doing so is much more sustainable for our planet.

At Pretty Rugged, we only use 100% faux fur in our blankets, scarves, hats, and products. We’re committed to providing you with high-quality products that look and feel like real fur and will last you for years to come.

We truly believe that faux fur has made advancements over time and is now far superior to real animal fur. If you’re ready to make the switch to faux fur, head to our product selection at Pretty Rugged today. At Pretty Rugged, we’re proud of our faux fur products that were born out of a simple idea in a very special place.

Our products are beautiful, functional, and provide you with all of the benefits we’ve discussed above. We carry a wide variety, including our luxurious original faux fur blankets, vests, capelets, scarves, totes, and more. If you're interested in exploring personalized gift ideas, we also offer a range of customizable options to make your gift truly unique. If you’re interested in learning more about Pretty Rugged, you can read our story here.

If you have any questions, give us a call at (833) 778-4433 or email us at