Friday, February 1, 2013

The Skinny -- Fur Facts: Mouton


Marlene Dietrich in her mouton ensemble
OK, so everyone might not agree with us about this new series of The Skinny posts -- information about different types of fur. We've wanted to know more about fur for a while now, and we thought we could all learn together. We know people tend to have strong opinions on the subject.  And while furry love may not be politically correct, we can't help it -- the glamor, the feel, the old-Hollywood-ness of it all just gets us every time.  If we see fur, we have to touch it...But we do restrict ourselves to vintage fur!

Today is all about mouton (pronounced MOO-tawn) furs.  The word ‘mouton’ comes from the French word for mutton.  They are made from lamb/sheep pelts.  Mouton coats reached the peak of popularity in the 1950s.  They are made from a high-grade lambskin that is manufactured to capture the look, feel, density, and luster of sheared mink or beaver fur.  The fibers of a mouton are thick and straight, not curly, like Persian lamb (what we Blackbird girls call curly lamb).  It is sheared to an even ½ inch depth, and it is super plush, with a shimmer and luster to the finish.  The fur has a sheen with natural highlights and lowlights to the color that changes in different lights.  High quality mouton pelts can quite easily be mistaken for more expensive types of fur.  The pelts are most commonly found in deep, chocolate brown, but can be dyed in many shades.

When we're out and about looking for inventory, we most commonly find short, cropped mouton coats. But as you can see in some of the vintage advertisements included in today's post, long and mid-length styles were popular, too.  And as Marlene shows in the photo above, hats and other accessories were made from the fur as well.  Yet another common use for the mouton fur was as collars on men's coats. 

If you are someone who doesn't condone or like fur, you can always get a faux mouton coat.  They can be really well made, with a very similar sheen to the finish and a similar density to the fibers.  And you get the added benefit of a cheaper price!

Now, enjoy these images of luscious mouton fur...

Our newest addition -- available in our mini-boutique in Brightside Gallery in Asheboro!

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