Dressing & processing
The pelt of the fur-bearing animal comes a considerable way before reaching the shop window of a fashionable shop in the form of the fur-coat or other garments. The final look of the fur-make depends in many respects on such processes as dressing and processing.
If we talk about the most expensive and highly desirable furs that are prized on their own as, for example, the sable and the mink, then the natural colour and quality are their important properties.
That is why during the dressing of fur it is very important to maintain its original beauty, fineness, softness and elasticity.
Fineness is achieved by cutting - fleshing that maintains and improves the original shine of the hair cover. Pelts of fur-bearing animals should be soft and flexible. Manufacturers achieve this with specialized machines and chemicals.
In the beginning, the pelt goes through preliminary refinement and softening, then there is removal of the rest of the fat. After that there is tanning of the skin with various tanning substances, and then there is further refinement.
Depletion, a separate technical operation, is the removal of the defensive hair cover and refinement of the surface of the processed pelt for the reduction of its weight and for giving it elasticity, and in some cases, to take for example the fur of the seal, musk-rat, raccoon and the beaver, the hair cover of the pelt is cut.
An important part of the process of dressing is also toning and discoloration that is done, for the most part, for removing colour defects. During this, chemicals-dye-stuffs such as blue and dark are also used. Discoloration is otherwise called plating and is applied either for the finished brightening of furs, or before dyeing.
The methods of fur processing
The modern fashion industry, aimed at the satisfaction of very different tastes, offers a large number of methods of fur processing that are used by manufacturers separately as well as in combination.
All methods of fur processing can be symbolically united in two groups: dyeing and clipping.
In recent years the dyed fur has already conquered half of the world's market and this trend doesn't seem to be stopping. Acid dyeing with the aid of which new fine colour schemes are made now supersedes the urzol acid that was applied in the past. And the combination of discoloration with dyeing allows the wider use of furs with colour defect and the creation of new colour effects.
Homogeneous dyeing is applied, as a rule, to the repainting of cheap kinds of fur-bearing animals into expensive ones, or for the creation of colour that has not yet been derived by breeders.
Fantastic - imaginative dyeing with chaotic mixing along the surface of the pelt from 3 to 20 colours.
Brush stripe - applying a stripe along the back to create the spine. The application of the spine to a dark pelt with whitening radically differs from making a darker stripe along the back of the light pelt. During this process, the width of the stripe and the fluency of the change of colour from center to edges can be modified.
Degradation - dyeing with the fluent change of the intensity of dyeing from top to bottom. Such dyeing technology is applied to bright fur.
Snow top - The various dyeing of the tips and the base of the hair. The application of this technology allows the achievement of the so-called “frost-effect”, hoar-frost, or “breeze-effect” if there is a large difference between the base and the tips of the hair.
Printing - stencilled dyeing applying various patterns to the surface of the hair or skin. Using a paper stencil, one-, two-, and rarely three-colour patterns are applied to the fur.
Trends in current global fashion, such as the popularity of narrow silhouettes and lightness in dressing, dictate the variety of technologies and especially in the field of fur structure change.
At present, there are a few variants of fur clipping that changes the fur's natural structure. These are figure clipping, homogeneous clipping and plucking.
Homogeneous clipping is the most widespread - when the top hair is clipped to the lenght of the down, and plucking - when the total removal of the top hair is achieved.
The cutting off of the top hair or the down to dissimilar lengths is called figure clipping. Usually, narrow parallel stripes are cut off in 1-2 directions. The imitation of velveteen is possible using this technology.
All kinds of combinations of various fur-dyeing and clipping technologies allow the fur manufacturer's imagination to run wild. This creates far-reaching opportunities in fur-manufacture making it a very interesting and perspective material. The range of fur-goods is also increasing.