What is Faux Fur Fabric? Is Faux Fur Eco Friendly?

Today’s fashion industry is gravitating toward more environmentally friendly and sustainable fabrics. Many renowned fashion brands now support faux fur as a cruelty-free alternative to genuine fur. Faux fur, a new form of luxury and responsibility, accounts for less than 0.1% of billions of clothes. However, this has not prevented the faux fur fabric from quickly becoming a multi-million-dollar product.

The artificial fur sector is expected to develop at a rate of more than 19% by 2024, according to reports. The faux fur industry is here to stay because to its durability, adaptability, and luxury feel.

However, the issue remains: Is faux fur sustainable? Teeanime will go over everything you need to know about faux fur and its sustainability in this article.

What is Faux Fur Fabric?

Faux fur, artificial fur, or fake fur, is a pile fabric made to simulate real animal fur. The fibers of polyester, modacrylic, and acrylic are usually mixed together to make faux fur.

The people who make it cut, shape, and process it to make it look and feel like real fur. Some popular kinds of faux fur are faux rabbit, faux fox, shearling, sheepskin, and sherpa. Chinchilla, sable, beaver, ermine, marten, lynx, and leopard are some other high-end faux fur fabrics.

The pile on each fabric comes in different lengths and feels. There are long pile faux furs, medium pile faux furs, and short pile faux furs on the market.

With how far technology has come, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between faux fur and real animal fur.

This fabric is warm, durable, and can be used for many different things. It is used to make a wide range of fashion accessories, like faux fur jackets, faux fur coats, faux fur vests, faux fur shawls, and faux fur shoes and purses.

We also use it to make stuffed animals, home decorations like pillows and beddings, and other faux fur products. Faux furs feel like silk and keep their color no matter how often you wash them. With the right care, you can reuse the faux fur. You can also reshape fabric scraps into unique items.

Let’s look at how faux fur fabric is made so that we can understand it better.

How is Faux Fur Fabric Made?

Faux fur fabric is made using a range of basic materials and techniques. This section contains information ranging from raw materials to the final phases of fabric manufacture.

Gathering Raw Materials

To manufacture faux fur fabric, fibers composed of polymers (acrylics, modacrylics, or a combination of both) are compressed.

Acrylic polymers are the result of a chemical reaction between an acrylonitrile monomer and high pressure and heat. The chemicals utilized are made from natural elements such as coal, petroleum, limestone, and water. Secondary monomers are also added by manufacturers to promote color absorption.

Modacrylic polymers are copolymers formed by the interaction of the monomers acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride. These fibers are easily dyed in animal-like colors.

The springy and lightweight acrylic and modacrylic fibers give the fabric a fluffy appearance and feel. They are also resistant to heat and insect attack. Other textiles used by manufacturers to attach the fibers include silk, cotton, and wool. The ability to tint faux fur into multiple colors distinguishes it from animal fur.

Conversion of Fibres to Faux Fur Fabrics

Manufacturers utilize a variety of processes to transform fibers into fabrics. Among them are:

Weaving Procedure

This is the most fundamental approach for creating faux fur. Fibers are looped through and interwoven with the backing fabric during the weaving process. This technique can create a large variety of textile shapes but is quite slow.


Tufting is a type of weaving method in which the thread is linked to a base and the tufting process is controlled by a tufting gun. This technology creates clothing significantly faster than weaving.

Knitting with silver

This technique makes use of the same tools that are used to knit jerseys. It is the quickest and most cost-effective of all faux fur production procedures, and it is also the most popular among faux fur manufacturers.

Treatment of Faux Fur Fabrics 

Heating is used to ensure that the fabric retains its stability and size. Then it goes through a process known as Tigering, which removes loose fibers.

After that, the fabric is combed using a heated, grooved cylinder. This is referred to as electrofying.

Then, to improve the feel of the fabric, manufacturers add chemicals such as resins and silicones. Coloring can be added at this point. The fabric is then electrofused again to eliminate any loose threads.

Labeling of Faux Fur Fabrics 

After making the fabric, manufacturers label it as “fake fur.” Most governments make this a rule to stop fraud and keep people safe. The labels are then sewn into the fabric, where they must stay legible for the life of the product. The faux fur fabric is then wrapped up and sent to distributors.

Quality Control 

Fake fur makers keep an eye on every step of the process to make sure the quality stays high. The process starts with inspecting all of the raw materials that come in and goes on until the finished fibers are made. Then they put these fibers through tests that are both physical and chemical.

As the fabrics are being made, line inspectors take samples at regular intervals to make sure that each fabric meets the requirements for things like appearance, size, sewing quality, strength, and shape. The government also tells them what they have to do. This tells you what the rules are for things like shrinkage, pilling, and snagging.

History of Faux Fur Fabric

Fur has been around for ages, dating back to the time when cave people used animal fur to keep warm. Nobles and kings wore fur as a symbol of nobility, power, and riches in several parts of the world.

Surprisingly, faux fur was not initially offered as a more environmentally friendly fashion option. Manufacturers, on the other hand, saw it as an easy way to generate money. This is because faux fur was a less expensive way for ordinary people to resemble the upper elite.

From 1919 to 19287, the American government imposed a 10% tax on animal fur items. This also aided in the promotion of the faux fur industry.

Faux fur first appeared on the market in 1929. Earlier attempts at faux fur were manufactured from hair from Alpacas, a South American mammal. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1950s that modern faux fur began to replace alpaca hair with acrylic polymers, with developments in textile technology enhancing the quality of fake fur. Synthetic substitutes to alpaca fur eventually displaced the real thing.

By the mid-twentieth century, faux fur had effectively replicated a wide range of animal furs. Unlike real animal fur, which came in only three hues: black, brown, and white (animal shades), faux fur dominated the market with an unprecedented range of colors.

Faux Fur and Animal Rights Groups

Animal lovers and activists have criticized and put pressure on the more than $40 billion global fur industry for its cruel factory farming practices. Animal rights activists spoke out against the use of animals to make fur products like mink fur, rabbit fur, beaver fur, and coyote fur.

With the “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaign in 1994, women got people talking about animal welfare. The animal rights movement was used by companies that make faux fur to say that faux fur is better than real animal fur.

Top fashion brands are now against hurting animals and use faux fur in their collections. Luxury fashion brands that used to support the fur trade, like Burberry, Gucci, Michael Kors, Versace, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and others, have banned animal fur from fashion shows and gone fur-free in recent years.

In 2018, London Fashion Week, one of the four biggest fashion weeks, banned fur. Other fashion weeks, like Helsinki Fashion Week and Stockholm Fashion Week, followed suit.

Also, groups like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) stress the need for production methods that are kind to animals, like replacing animal fur with vegan clothing.

European Union (EU) countries have put fur restrictions in place at the national level. Since 2000, fur farming has been illegal in places like England. The Netherlands, which is the second-largest producer of mink fur, banned breeding minks for fur in 2012 and said that all mink farms must be shut down by 2024.

Is Faux Fur Toxic? 

People say that the synthetic materials used to make faux fur are worse for the environment than animal fur. Eugene Lapointe, who is one of the world’s top experts on natural resources, says,

Microfibers may also get into the water system when faux fur is washed. Reports say that synthetic textile is one of the main sources of microplastic pollution. The study found that when synthetic jackets were washed, they released an average of 1,174 milligrams of microfibres1. If sea animals mistake microplastic pollution for food, it can hurt them.

But because technology has gotten better, ethical fashion brands like Ecopel now make faux fur products from eco-friendly fibers. The company has made bio-based fibers that look like real fur and are made from plants and break down over time.

Ecologists at the CE Delft have released reports that show that five faux fur coats have less of an effect on climate change than one mink fur coat. Also, making a mink fur coat gives off seven times more carbon dioxide than making a faux fur coat.

Also, the HIGG material sustainability index, which rates fabrics based on how bad they are for the environment, says that synthetics are better than other types of fabric. We can make other things out of faux fur coats and turn synthetic waste into things like fuel and industrial gas.

Is Faux Fur Sustainable?  

The lengthy argument continues. Which is more environmentally friendly? Faux fur or real fur?

Some argue that actual fur is a renewable resource because it is biodegradable. Acrylics and polymers are used to make faux fur, and they can take up to 1000 years to degrade. As a result, it has the potential to be exceedingly destructive to our ecosystem.

However, with the issue of animal cruelty in mind, faux fur is becoming a more environmentally friendly option.

Faux fur is less expensive to produce and comes in a variety of hues. Because of technological advancements, many fashion designers and businesses now employ high-quality materials that are less harmful to the environment. Eco-friendly faux fur alternatives, such as bio-based fur, recycled faux fur, and recycled denim fur, are now being used.

Today, the topic of sustainability is becoming increasingly significant in the fashion industry, particularly among young millennials who will not buy from firms or brands that harm the environment.

Faux Fur Fabrics Pros and Cons 


  • Cruelty-free: One significant advantage of using faux fur is that it puts an end to the bloody fur trade industry. Using faux fur eliminates all forms of animal cruelty and protects animal welfare.
  • Low Cost of Production: Typically, animal furs (like rabbit fur, fox fur, sable fur, mink fur) are more expensive to produce. Faux fur makes use of synthetic fibers in its production, making it a cheaper alternative.
  • A More Versatile Fabric: We know faux fur fabric for its versatility. We can create it in unique designs, patterns, and colors, unlike animal fur.
  • Easy Maintenance: The plastic fur maintains its soft and shiny look for a long time. It is easy to wash and is resistant to insect attacks.


  • Not Environmentally Friendly: Faux fur is made with acrylic and modacrylic polymers fibers which do not break down easily, unlike real fur, which is biodegradable. Chemicals produced from plastics can also be highly toxic to human health.
  • Not Resistant to Extreme Weather: Another disadvantage of faux fur is that it is not resistant to frost, unlike real fur, which can withstand extreme weather.
  • Has a Coarse Texture: Although faux fur is made to simulate real fur, there is still a marked difference. Its texture is more coarse, unlike the real fur, which is much smoother.

Brands that Use Faux Fur Fabric

This section highlights fashion designers and brands that use faux fur. Their decision to uphold the fur-free policy shows their commitment to sustainable fashion.

Stella McCartney 

Stella McCartney hasn’t used real fur or leather since she started her brand in 2001. The brand puts a label that says “Fur-free-fur” on its faux fur fabrics to show that it is making a conscious choice. Stella McCartney uses faux fur made from organic cotton and other materials that are good for the environment and can be recycled.

Shop Stella McCartney 

Calvin Klein 

Calvin Klein was one of the first designers to go fur-free. In 1994, he stopped making designs with fur. The fashion brand cares about animal welfare and looks for alternatives that don’t hurt animals.

Shop Calvin Klein

Michael Kors 

Calvin Klein was one of the first designers to go fur-free. In 1994, he stopped making designs with fur. The fashion brand cares about animal welfare and looks for alternatives that don’t hurt animals.

Shop Michael Kors

Giorgio Armani 

In 2016, Giorgio Armani stopped making clothes with fur. Giorgio Armani, an Italian fashion designer, said that cruel treatments of animals are no longer necessary because technology has gotten better. The brand keeps looking for more environmentally friendly options.

Shop Giorgio Armani 


Since it started in 2013, the Shrimps brand has become known for its creative designs and patterns made with faux fur. The company keeps looking for ways to use technology to make its products last longer.

Shop Shrimps 

House of Fluff 

The materials used by House of Fluff are good for the environment, but they still look and feel expensive. They use dyes that come from bark, flowers, and berries of plants.

Shop House of Fluff 

Faux Fur vs. Real Fur

Animals are not hurt in any way to make faux furs, so there is no cruelty. It can be used for a lot of different things and can be dyed different colors, unlike real furs, which limit designers’ creativity.

How to distinguish between faux fur and real fur 

To know if you are holding real fur or fake fur, you can try out these few tests:

  • Check the base of the fabric: Real fur will have fur hairs attached to its natural leather base4. Faux fur, on the other hand, comes with a knitted base.
  • Try to stick a pin through the fabric: If you try sticking a pin and it goes through easily, it is most likely faux fur because of its knitted base. Real fur will be difficult because of its leather base.
  • Try the hair/fiber burn test: Pluck out a strand of fur and hold it to a lit match or lighter. When burned, real fur will smell of burnt hair while faux fur, (made of acrylics and modacrylic polymers) will smell of plastic.
  • Try touching the fabric: Real fur has a much smoother and dense feel than faux fur. Faux fur is more coarse and can sometimes stick to your hands if wet.
  • Try to check for labels: Check if the labels have a mark as genuine or fake furs.

How to care for the faux fur fabric 

Looking after your faux fur will help retain its fluffy and colorful feel. However, improper care of your faux fur can damage the fur fibers. Here are ways to care for your faux fur:

  • Store your faux fur fabric in a dry place: Faux furs are not suitable for rainy days. They can stick to each other when wet since they are made of synthetic materials.
  • Store your faux fur in a breathable bag: Avoid placing your faux fur garment between other garments tightly, as this can flatten the fabric.
  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight: This can cause discoloration and ruin the fibers of the fabric.
  • Use a soft brush to smoothen the fabric: Avoid using brushes with stiff bristles as this can ruin the furs. Do this weekly to get rid of debris and maintain its shine.

Faux Fur vs. Sherpa Lining 

The faux fur is smoother in texture than the Sherpa lining. Some blankets have a Sherpa lining made of microfibers that is utilized at the back. Both fabrics are made from a similar underlying component, polyester, but they are processed differently. Both are cozy and simple to keep warm.

The Future of the Faux Fur Industry 

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Thousands of animals are taken from their natural habitats and confined in small places to be utilized as “fabric makers” in the practice of factory farming.

Our understanding of nature and animals has evolved dramatically through the years. We recognize that nature has its boundaries, and that animals are more than just fabric manufacturers.

Consumer awareness is growing, and fashion brands are making less destructive decisions for animals and the environment.

Natural fabrics, such as cotton jerseys, are used to line coats by brands such as House of Fluff. Similarly, Stella McCartney, a vocal supporter of fur-free policies, tries to develop more ethical and environmental production methods.

Ecopel makes fur from recovered ocean plastics, whereas Vitro Labs develops biological protein fiber technology through bio-fabrication and cellular agriculture. We can confidently predict that future research will focus on generating novel fibers and continuing to improve toward innovative and sustainable production methods.

New faux fur styles may look the part while having far less environmental repercussions than oil-derived synthetic fabric equivalents.


It is easy to see why faux fur is still a popular choice in the fashion industry. It is made without hurting any animals, it lasts a long time, and it is warm. Even though there are worries about how bad plastics are, this is still good news in the world of sustainability.