How can I distinguish between shearling and faux fur?

How can I distinguish between shearling and faux fur?

Distinguishing between shearling and faux fur can be challenging, as both materials can resemble each other at first glance. However, several key factors can help you differentiate between shearling and faux fur. In this article, we will explore these factors to assist you in distinguishing between the two materials.

Texture and Feel:

Shearling: Shearling has a distinctive texture characterized by dense, plush wool. When you touch shearling, it feels soft, supple, and often has a slight sheen. The texture is similar to that of natural animal hair, providing a luxurious and warm feel.

Faux Fur: Faux fur, which is synthetic and not derived from animals, is typically made from polyester or acrylic fibers. It may feel soft but often lacks the same suppleness and natural sheen as shearling. Faux fur fibers tend to be more uniform in length and texture.

Hair Length and Appearance:

Shearling: Shearling often has a varying pile length, with shorter wool around the leather side and longer strands on the wool side. The wool can be uneven and irregular in length, resembling the natural growth pattern of an animal's coat.

Faux Fur: Faux fur usually has a consistent and uniform pile length. The hair fibers are often evenly distributed and cut to the same length, providing a more uniform appearance. Faux fur may also have a synthetic sheen or glossiness.

Backing Material:

Shearling: Shearling typically consists of a suede or leather backing, as it is a natural material derived from sheepskin. When you look closely, you can see the leather side of shearling, which is often treated for durability.

Faux Fur: Faux fur is attached to a fabric backing, which is commonly made of polyester or other synthetic materials. The backing may have a woven or knitted appearance and lacks the natural leather texture found in shearling.

Animal Origin:

Shearling: Shearling comes from sheepskin, which is obtained from sheep that have been raised for their meat, milk, or wool. It is a natural material sourced from animals.

Faux Fur: Faux fur is entirely synthetic and not derived from animals. It is manufactured using synthetic fibers to mimic the appearance and texture of real fur without using animal products.

Price and Labeling:

Shearling: Shearling is generally more expensive than faux fur due to its natural origin and the labor-intensive process involved in obtaining and processing sheepskin. Genuine shearling products often carry labels or tags indicating their authenticity and may be accompanied by information about the source of the shearling.

Faux Fur: Faux fur is usually more affordable than shearling. It is often labeled as "faux fur," "imitation fur," or "synthetic fur" to differentiate it from genuine animal fur. The labeling and price can provide clues about the material's authenticity.

By considering the texture, feel, hair length, backing material, animal origin, and price, you can distinguish between shearling and faux fur. Keep in mind that it may be helpful to examine the material up close, touch it, and pay attention to any labeling or product information provided.

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