Animal Charity

real fur or fake?

How do you tell the difference?


Today's faux fur is usually excellent quality. Moreover, real fur is so often shorn or coloured for use in the fashion industry, which makes the differentiation between real and fake difficult. The origin of fur trimming is seldom declared at all. While price used to clearly indicate the difference between real and faux fur, it is no longer decisive by itself. Items decorated with real fur and other fur accessories can be purchased from 10 euros upwards. But here are a few tips that can help you to reliably identify real fur. 

  • The underwool test: 
    Pull the upper hair of the fur slightly apart and see if you can detect the underwool. It is made up of fine, dense and fluffy hairs that keep the animals warm in freezing temperatures.    
  • The leather test:
    Real fur is processed together with leather. Pull the hairs carefully apart. You should be able to tell whether the material underneath is woven fabric or real leather.  
  • The wind test:
    Real fur moves in the slightest breeze. If you blow very gently over the fur and the hairs move, you are probably dealing with real fur. 
  • The scent test:
    Real and faux fur can be clearly told apart if you burn a few hairs with a lighter. If the hairs crumble and you detect a smell of burnt hair or skin, this is definitely real fur. Imitation fur gives off an artificial smell when burning. The hairs melt too small, hard lumps, instead of deteriorating into ash like real fur.  

The Fur Free Retailer program

If you want to be sure that you are not buying real fur inadvertently, check the list of fashion labels with a fur-free policy published by the Fur Free Retailer initiative.

Donate FOR a fur-free future!

Support our fight against the outrageous misleading of customers and complete disregard for animal welfare.