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Mink Fur Buying Guide

A mink coat is the go to coat for many women and a growing number of men.  Although mink can be found in the wild all over North America and other parts of the world, most mink used for garment production is ranched. Ranched mink is superior in both quality and color and American mink is the finest in the world due to scientific breeding and rearing.

Female mink are smaller, softer and have ligher pelts than their male counterparts.  More female pelts are needed to produce a garment due to the difference in pelt size. Mink can be worked in a variety of ways and every part of the skin is used. 

It is a very durable fur and a good quality piece can last twenty years or more with the proper care.  Prime quality skins are used natural and will wear the best.  Dyed mink represents a lesser quality skin which means it won’t wear as well. Here are some terms that you may find helpful when shopping for a mink coat or other mink pieces;

Natural ranch mink

  • The guard hairs should be silky and even in length
  • The underfur should be dense and compact and paler in color
  • The mink should have a naturally lustrous sheen.

Mutation mink

  • The guard hairs should be silky and even in length
  • Color should be clear and uniform
  •  Price depends on the availability and popularity of colors
  • At times, natural ranch mink may be more expensive.

Pieced mink

  • A coat may be made, wholly or partially, of paws, gills and tails.  It may also contain other pieces of mink
  • If the coat is patterned, such as to give a chevron (v-shaped pattern) effect, look for evenness of pattern and texture throughout the coat
  • Pieced coats may not wear as well as whole skin coats due to the many seams
  • A good pieced mink coat should be reinforced on the leather side with nylon or ribbon at points of wear
  • Pieced mink coats can be very attractive and they are less expensive than natural mink coats that are let out or skin-on-skin

Sculptured Mink

  • This technique is comprised of many small exquisitely detailed pieces of sheared mink to give a garment the popular sculptured detail to make your garment unique 

Knitted Mink

  • Knittable mink fur yarn is produced by combining narrow strips of mink fur with silk or cotton yarn
  • Fur yarn is now used in myriad techniques including crocheting, weaving and knitting to produce soft, cozy apparel
  • Knitted mink fur garments are quite popular because they cost less than traditional, full-skin mink
  • In order to determine whether you are purchasing a genuine fur garment look for overall consistent hair height and luster, density and plush under wool, blow on the fur and look at the cotton-knit base to see if the knitting is consistent and even 
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