It’s almost winter, which means it’s hat-making time of year! I’m well on my way with my Handmade Christmas, and I’ve finally learnt how to size my hats properly. But every well crafted hat, needs a beautiful finishing touch- and most of us love the elegant adornment that fur pom poms provide… but at what cost?
Not all fur pom poms are created equal, and not all pom poms are evil either. But it’s a fact that’s more often than not forgotten about, and the low cost allure can sometimes mean unsustainable and unpleasant sources.
Fur pom poms can range between £3-£12 online. The cheapest are usually sourced from suppliers in China through websites like Wish or AliExpress. These are both websites that I enjoy using and use regularly, but with extreme caution.
It’s a well-known fact that animal cruelty is still rife in Asia, and as such, the fur trade hasn’t come to the same near-demise there as it has in most Western countries. Angora purchasing has almost died off as we consumers opt for more rabbit-friendly fibres, and fox-hunting is always a controversial topic, especially in the UK.
This means that sometimes, particularly when sourced from Asia, the fur pom poms you are buying are real animal fur, and that £3 you just paid for a pom pom unfortunately led to the death of an innocent animal in the name of fashion.
This is not an attack on meat-eaters or any kind of diet. This is about educating people who may want to purchase faux fur pom pom’s and unsuspectingly end up with the real variety and are then faced with their own morality.
How to Spot Real Fur vs. Faux Fur
- Faux fur is blunt at the tips, real fur tapers into a point.
- Separate the fur at the base. If it’s fake, you will see the fabric webbing. If it’s real, it will be attached to skin.
- The burn test: Clip off the tip of the fibres and set light to them. If they melt like plastic, it’s fake. If they singe and smell of burning hair, it’s real.
It is so cheap to produce real fur in China, for example, that it can be cheaper than the fake stuff and because the faux variety can be of such good quality- it can be difficult to tell real and fake apart.
In the UK the label on hats, scarves, etc. only have to reflect 80% of the item’s composition so a fur trim or pom pom may be omitted. Labelling laws do not apply to accessories such as shoes and handbags
If in doubt, leave it behind.
No animal should die for fashion.
Here are some suppliers of great faux fur pom poms that I hope you look to instead of the $0.01 Wish-wonders that could potentially be ending the life of our furry friends prematurely.
Two Little Rainbows (UK)
Artisan Alley (UK)
Gypsy Dreamer Crochet (USA)
Lovely Loops Designs (Australia)