The Differences Between Real and Faux Fur: What You Need to Know

Pologeorgis Furs

Posted on December 06 2023

The Differences Between Real and Faux Fur: What You Need to Know


Fur has long been a luxurious and sought-after material in the fashion industry. However, with growing concerns about ethical and environmental issues, there are now more and more faux alternatives on the market. So, how can you tell if a fur item is made from real or faux fur?

In this article, we will explore a few tips on testing your fur to determine if it’s real, how to decide between real and faux fur, and how to care for your fur to expand its lifespan. However, before delving into the details, let’s explore the key differences between real and faux fur.

Real vs. Faux Fur: Examining The Main Differences

When it comes to real vs. faux fur, there are quite a few differences to note. So let’s explore the characteristics that come with both real and faux fur to determine which one may best suit your needs: 

Type of Fur



  • It’s derived from animal pelts, predominantly from animals like minks, foxes, rabbits, and chinchillas.
  • It tends to be softer to the touch than faux fur, given that the individual hairs are typically longer, providing a rich yet lightweight feel.
  • In terms of appearance, it appears more vibrant due to its unique luster given that the hair follicles of real fur can reflect the light.
  • The color patterns and tones on real fur tend to be more nuanced and realistic which can range from matted blacks to fiery reds.
  • It provides exceptional warmth and insulation, given that the dense fur traps air, creating an extra layer of protection against the cold weather.
  • Each fur piece is carefully handcrafted with attention to detail and precision, making them a labor of love.
  • It has been used for centuries to provide warmth and protection against the elements, becoming a symbol of luxury and elegance.


  • It’s a man-made alternative designed to mimic the appearance and texture of real fur, which is created from polyester or modacrylic. 
  • It has a slightly coarser texture, making it feel less silky and creating a slightly stiffer drape. 
  • The individual fibers in faux fur tend to be more uniform in length and thickness, resulting in a more consistent texture throughout the fabric.
  • It may not possess the same level of natural luster and vibrance, given the sheen can be hard to replicate. 
  • Unlike real fur, it can be dyed and printed in any color or pattern imaginable, creating unique and eye-catching pieces that cater to individual preferences.
  • You can find blankets, pillows, and rugs made from faux to add a touch of luxury and coziness to interior spaces. 
  • It can provide warmth and style without the ethical concerns associated with real fur.

However, whether you decide to go the authentic route or select an alternative option, you will need to identify the real thing from the replica, so let’s take a closer look at how to identify real fur.

How to Test Your Fur for Authenticity

Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between real and faux fur, you may wonder how to verify the authenticity of a fur item. Here are two commonly used testing methods:

1. The Burn Test

The burn test involves carefully burning a small portion of the fur. Real fur will burn similarly to human hair, producing the distinctive smell of burned hair. The ash left behind is crumbly and will not melt.

On the other hand, faux fur often melts when burned and emits an unpleasant smell similar to plastic, resulting in ash that may form a ball or clump together. So let’s take a look at how to do the burn test now that you know what should happen:

  1. Find a well-ventilated area and keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby in case of any accidents.
  2. Begin by selecting a small, inconspicuous area of the fur item, such as the edge or an interior section.
  3. Using a pair of tweezers or a similar tool, carefully hold the fur strand over a heat-resistant surface, like a metal tray or ceramic plate.
  4. Then, using a lighter or a match, ignite the fur strand and observe the burning process.

Once you have singed the hair and smelled it, you will be able to tell if the hair is real or fake. However, this method can be quite dangerous, so let’s take a closer look at another suggestion.

2. The Pin Test

To achieve the pin test successfully, just take a pin and gently insert it into the fur's backing material. If the pin goes through easily, it’s likely faux, given that real fur has a denser backing due to the animal's skin, making it more challenging for the pin to penetrate.

However, it is important to note that the pin test may not work for all fur items, given that some furs are thinner or have shorter fur strands. Therefore, it is always recommended to use multiple testing methods to verify the authenticity of the fur.

How to Decide Between Real and Faux Fur

Deciding between real and faux fur is a personal choice that involves weighing various factors. So let’s take a closer look at some of the factors you may want to keep in mind when selecting a fur garment:

  1. Consider the level of warmth and luxury that you want your garment to have, as some furs have greater insulation properties than others and a more unique pelt.
  2. Consider the texture and sheen that real fur offers, given that it cannot be replicated by synthetic materials. 
  3. Consider the occasion and versatility of the garment you select, given that it is quite an investment to ensure it matches with what is already in your closet.
  4. Consider the durability of the garment you select, given that real fur tends to last longer than faux.

Ultimately, making an informed decision about fur requires weighing these pros and cons and aligning one's values with their fashion choices. Once you know what you want, let’s take a look at a few tips to keep your new coat in top shape for decades to come.

How to Care for Real and Faux Fur

Whether it's a real fur coat passed down through generations or a trendy faux fur jacket, taking care of your fur is crucial to ensuring its beauty and durability. So let’s get into a few tips on how to achieve a longer lifespan for your new investment: 

  1. Send your garment to a professional furrier to clean, given that they have the expertise to ensure that its delicate fibers remain intact and undamaged. 
  2. If you selected a faux fur, check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure you're following the correct cleaning method. 
  3. Regularly brush your fur gently with a soft-bristle brush to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated to keep your fur looking fresh.
  4. Store your garment in a cool, dry place that is away from direct sunlight to prevent deterioration. 
  5. Store your fur in a breathable garment bag or in a cool closet ensures that it remains protected and maintains its natural luster.

Keep in mind that real fur has the potential to last for many years with proper care and maintenance given that their natural oils help keep it soft and supple, making it more resistant to wear and tear. Pologeorgis has cleaning and storage options available to ensure your fur coat lasts a lifetime.

Faux fur, on the other hand, may not withstand the test of time as well as real fur. However, advancements in faux fur technology have resulted in more resilient and long-lasting options. So be sure to look for high quality alternatives when choosing this route to ensure that your garment lasts for years to come.

Making Your Decision: Real vs. Faux

Whether you opt for real or faux fur, being informed about their differences and how to identify the real thing from the imitation, empowers you to shop for your fur without hesitation. Pologeorgis has a wide selection of authentic fur pieces sourced from sustainable and ethical manufacturers that would be a beautiful addition to any wardrobe. Remember to consider your personal style and the durability of the piece you select. By doing so, you can confidently navigate the world of fur and enjoy your chosen option with peace of mind.

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