Last year there was a scandal about real fur being labelled as synthetic/fake/faux fur, which of course would be unacceptable for vegans who are seeking to avoid supporting the exploitation of animals.

How can we tell the difference between faux fur and fur that used to be on an animal?

  • 4
    One solution, borrowed from kosher thinking (in which "don't cook a kid in its mother's milk" evolved into never combining any dairy with any meat), is to avoid even appearing to wear/use fur. However, that does not answer your question, and I therefore comment instead :)
    – Erica
    May 8, 2018 at 16:40
  • 1
    @Erica yeah, that's what I do. Pretending convincingly to do something has the same social effect as actually doing it
    – Zanna
    May 10, 2018 at 7:08
  • Have you tried google searching? It's beneficial. Here is one link I found which could answer your question (I'm not posting this as an answer because I didn't really answer the question, I'm no pro): theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2018/jan/24/… Sep 17, 2018 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


I'm basing my answer from this WikiHow article as well as those two french article consoglobr and sanscroquettesfixes.

Here is what you should remember about them:

By the aspect

Real fur has a leather base. Generally, the real fur is thick, with a part of fine hairs more curly, and longs hairs that divide when you blow on it.

Most faux fur products have the same length and color of hair, although some imitate the real fur. The real fur, however, may have been cut to the same length for a uniform look, so you need other tests.

By the touch

For faux fur, the hairs are often rough.

Real fur is soft and supple and it's easy to wrap the hair around your fingers.

And also

  • Fur: feels very soft to the touch, falls in a smooth and sleek line, passes through your fingers as if you're petting a cat.

  • Faux fur: feels coarse and rough to touch, feels synthetic; can be sticky to touch in humid weather, and it might have the same feel as a stuffed toy animal. It might stick to your hands if it's made out of a plastic-y material (this only works if your hands are sweaty).

With the burn test

You can pull a few hairs from the item and put them on top of a flame.

The real fur will burn in the same way as your hair and the smell will be relatively the same.

For faux fur, we will observe a melting and smell similar to that of plastic.

With the needle test

Stick a pin into the item (through the fur and its lining).

If it is hard to push through, or resists completely, it is likely to be real fur, as you're trying to push through the leather lining to which the fur remains attached.

If it goes through easily, this suggests it is faux fur because the pin is sliding through a synthetic base.

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