At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
A mink coat is a fur jacket made from the hide of an animal called a mink. Though many people are opposed to the wearing of animal skins, others prize the coat for its warm, luxurious feel and, in many societies, wearing a mink stole represents wealth. Not all fur coats are created equal, however, and there are many things to look for when buying a mink fur coat.
When buying a mink, many experts recommend that shoppers purchase one from a furrier who is a member of the Fur Council of Canada. Furriers are more knowledgeable than a regular department store when it comes to the fur coat making process. The coats are also higher quality, as Canadian minks have denser pelts due to the colder climate.
Consumers should also avoid purchasing a mink coat that has been dyed. Dyed animal furs oxidize, causing them to change color over time, and often, the color is much less attractive than the original. In order to improve the appearance of furs from warmer climates, some fur coat makers will bleach the furs, which weakens the animal skin, causing the coats to tear easily and the fur to turn red.
During the spring, fur coats should be stored with a professional furrier. They must be kept at temperatures of 50°F (10°C) with a humidity level of 50% to prevent the skin from drying out and becoming brittle. During the spring and summer months, home closets tend to become much warmer and drier. Fur owners should have the furrier clean, condition, and glaze the coat while it is stored.
When storing the coat at home, owners should give it plenty of space when hanging it in the closet. Mink coats should not be stored in a plastic bag, as they need fresh air. When traveling, a coat can be kept in a cloth bag, but it should be removed immediately when the destination has been reached.
It's best that people who wear a fur coat not sit for long periods of time, as the fur may become crushed. Women should carry a handbag instead of a purse with shoulder straps to prevent the straps from wearing out the fur on the shoulders. They also should not wear a fur when it is raining, as it may require professional treatment from a fur specialist.
When wearing a mink coat, individuals should expect that it will not be appreciated by everyone. Furriers kill 60 female minks, or 35 male minks, to make one coat, so people who want to wear one should take other people's feelings into consideration and not flaunt it.