Fur comes from animal pelts that are chemically treated to make the leather supple and retain the hairs, which consist of guard hairs and underwool. Although furs come from many different animals, the most common in the twenty-first century are mink and fox. Fur has been appreciated for two outstanding qualities: warmth, essential in cold climates, and appearance, which accounts for its association with ostentation and prestige dressing. Comfort and durability have also made fur garments and accessories favorites of many men and women, but since the late twentieth century, the use of fur for clothing has been controversial.
This is an abstract of an article from the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The full article is available in the Berg Fashion Library.
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