Fur terminology

Fur Terminology

When you’re shopping for a new fur garment or doing your research online you may run into some terminology that you’re unfamiliar with. Here is a list of terms we’ve compiled that may help when it comes to researching and purchasing the perfect piece of fur:

Brightener added

  • Fur luster and color can be enhanced using customized treatments


  • There are endless possibilities when it comes to fur color
  • Furs come in a wide range of natural colors but can also be dyed in many vibrant and beautiful hues
  • Dyeing can be used to fix any imperfections within the furs natural tones and can help improve uniformity
  • Sometimes the pelt is bleached white before it is dyed

Fur Layers: Underfur and Guard hairs

  • Guard hair is the long, shiny hairs that are there to protect the underfur
  • The underfur is extremely soft and what provides warmth and insulation
  • Underfur is located beneath the guard hairs, close to the hide

Knitted Fur

  • Knitted fur is a specific design method used for garments and decor
  • It is created by using narrow strips of fur combined with silk or cotton yarn
  • Knitted fur garments are often lighter


  • Strips of fur are alternated with leather, ribbon or cloth for a unique effect and lighter piece

Letting Out

  • Cutting the pelt into diagonal strips and then re-sewing it, which allows for one to make the pelt longer and narrower
  • The outcome is a supple and smooth flowing pelt
  • Also referred to as “dropping out”


  • Natural furs of unique colors that are produced due to selective breeding


  • Guard hair is selectively plucked to emphasize the velvet underhair of the fur


  • This technique is comprised of many small detailed pieces of sheared mink to give a garment the beautiful and ever-popular sculptured look


  • This technique is used to trim fur to a short pile, sometimes as low as 5 mm
  • Used to reduce bulkiness and weight or to create intricate patterns in the fur.


  • Natural lamb pelts tanned with the wool in tact
  • The leather side can be tanned a suede or napa finish


  • Rectangular pelts that are sewn together to create a box effect
  • This is an alternative to the letting out process.

Special Effects

  • Fur has become increasingly popular and designers are exploring the infinite possibilities when it comes producing garments
  • Fur can be treated with the same creativity as fabric
  • Fur can be draped, beaded, embroidered, laser cut, stenciled, embroidered and fringed


  • Dye is applied only to the tip of the guard hairs to produce a two-tone look
  • Also known as “blending”


  • This is the layer of the fur that acts as insulation and provides warmth
  • The underhair is located beneath the guard hairs.