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#1
Old 03-25-2011, 09:18 AM
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Why are there no squirrel fur coats?

Lots of squirrels, everywhere I go in the US.

Yet I never saw a mink.

So why no squirrel fur coats?

Economize people, economize.
#2
Old 03-25-2011, 09:29 AM
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Squirrels don't really have that much fur. Sure, they have a big fluffy tail, but not a lot of fur on their body. I'm guessing that making a coat out of a tail would be harder than taking the fur off of the animals body.
#3
Old 03-25-2011, 09:33 AM
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I have read that with some animals, the fur tends to fall off of the hide, which is another reason for not making fur clothing from certain animals. (Don't have a cite.)
#4
Old 03-25-2011, 09:33 AM
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Also, I suspect that if you're going to make fur coats out of small critters, it's easier to farm them instead of going and hunting them, in which case you might as well farm chinchillas instead of squirrels.
#5
Old 03-25-2011, 09:43 AM
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They exist. They're just not that popular and therefore aren't very common.

Also, the heraldic fur called vair is a representation of squirrel fur linings, used in mantles in the medieval period.
#6
Old 03-25-2011, 10:24 AM
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Squirrel fur is shorter and small shafted, where as mink fur is much longer and thicker shafted. A Squirrel fur coat is not going to keep you as warm or shed water as well as a mink coat.
#7
Old 03-25-2011, 12:49 PM
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Heh. Three Google ads are showing for this thread:
  • Squirrel removal service
  • Home trapping service
  • Szechuan restaurant

*doubletake*
#8
Old 03-25-2011, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
Heh. Three Google ads are showing for this thread:
  • Squirrel removal service
  • Home trapping service
  • Szechuan restaurant

*doubletake*
Maybe they eat squirrels in Szechuan cuisine. I know they're not unheard of in English cuisine—there's a restaurant near my office in London that often has squirrel on the menu.
#9
Old 03-25-2011, 01:08 PM
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Heh, heh. Why go to a restaurant for squirrel when you can just scrape the durn things offa the road and fry 'em up yerself?
#10
Old 03-25-2011, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfras View Post
Lots of squirrels, everywhere I go in the US.

Yet I never saw a mink.

So why no squirrel fur coats?

Economize people, economize.
When is the last time you saw someone wearing an actual mink coat? And what are the odds that if you did, it was an older coat, not something the person just bought?

People don't wear much fur nowadays. And the fur they do wear mostly comes from farmed animals, not wild caught animals. And so the most common fur you're likely to see is rabbit, since rabbits are already raised for meat, the pelts are already there. You could farm squirrels for meat and fur in the same way, but you'd have to create your own market.

Also note that minks have incredibly soft, luxurious fur, while squirrels have short average fur. That's the reason mink coats were a sign of luxury, while squirrel fur was a sign of nothing in particular.

If you really want to economize you'd be better off making fur coats out of euthanized dogs and cats. Lots of valuable furs going straight into the landfill. Good luck creating a market.
#11
Old 03-25-2011, 01:19 PM
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Apart from their small size, another reason may be that it's a real bitch to skin a squirrel. Rabbits on the other hand, are a piece of cake.
#12
Old 03-25-2011, 01:23 PM
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Faux squirrel has gotten better and better.
#13
Old 03-25-2011, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfras View Post
Lots of squirrels, everywhere I go in the US.

Yet I never saw a mink.

So why no squirrel fur coats?

Economize people, economize.

Lots of mink, everywhere I go

Yet I never see a squirrel

Good thing we trap mink every winter

And have three furriers in town

It's good for the economy

Last edited by sitchensis; 03-25-2011 at 02:57 PM.
#14
Old 03-25-2011, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Apart from their small size, another reason may be that it's a real bitch to skin a squirrel. Rabbits on the other hand, are a piece of cake.
Once you master the technique squirrels skin out pretty easily and quickly. It involves a couple cuts, standing on the head and a good hard pull on the tail. All this is necessary to cooking and eating these fluffy tailed rats.
#15
Old 03-25-2011, 03:43 PM
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During roughly the first half of the 20th century, squirrel collars on ladies' coats were quite popular. I collect and read vintage popular novels and have seen many references to them. They didn't have quite the glamor of mink collars but were a lot more affordable, from what I gather.
#16
Old 03-25-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Apart from their small size, another reason may be that it's a real bitch to skin a squirrel...
OHHHH! You make them out of DEAD squirrels!

Why did NO one in this discussion even mention that?

THAT"S why I was having all those problems.
#17
Old 03-25-2011, 03:48 PM
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Would they hold up? I am told that is one of the reasons rabbit never became more popular as it looks nice, but doesn't hold up well for long
#18
Old 03-25-2011, 08:20 PM
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I once had a floor-length rabbit ("coney") coat. It kept me very warm, but the damn thing never stopped shedding. I had rabbit hair in everything I owned.

And digs, yes, it's hard to get the squirrels to lie still and not fight. And all that chattering . . . .
#19
Old 03-25-2011, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Heh, heh. Why go to a restaurant for squirrel when you can just scrape the durn things offa the road and fry 'em up yerself?
And Cousin Eddie read that they're high in cholesterol.
#20
Old 03-26-2011, 07:24 AM
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Squirrel skin coats were once very popular, at least in Northern Europe, being lightweight, warm and pretty. Millions and millions of red squirrels were killed every winter in Northern Russia, Finland and Sweden and the skins sold at a high price to keep the fur market happy. After WW II, squirrel skins gradually lost their charm.

Bear in mind that the Northern red squirrel winter skins are in a class of their own. They have a thick, incredibly soft fur colored in the shades of silver. They do shed tiny hair all the time, which I presume is a big reason in their downfall.
#21
Old 03-26-2011, 07:38 AM
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Squirrels are pretty hairy. No need to make coats for them.
#22
Old 03-26-2011, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
If you really want to economize you'd be better off making fur coats out of euthanized dogs and cats. Lots of valuable furs going straight into the landfill. Good luck creating a market.
There is a market, but it involves someone with a rather cruel reputation whose name is similar to a mythological monster.
#23
Old 03-26-2011, 08:23 AM
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China uses dog fur for clothing so there is a market for dog fur. You can read many incidents about a retailer pulling their coats from sale in the USA after it becomes public knowledge that they have some coats with dog fur on them.
#24
Old 03-26-2011, 08:40 AM
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Dog fur has a reputation of having strong hair that doesn't shed (in the finished product, as opposed to a living animal). Good quality stuff.
#25
Old 03-26-2011, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
Maybe they eat squirrels in Szechuan cuisine. I know they're not unheard of in English cuisine—there's a restaurant near my office in London that often has squirrel on the menu.
Why do you think people have squirrel rifles? To harvest food. I always stuck to rabbit, pheasant, and deer, but I know plenty of people that hunted and ate squirrel. I once worked with a guy that talked about the importance of shooting them between the eyes to avoid ruining any meat. I think he was from Kentucky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
If you really want to economize you'd be better off making fur coats out of euthanized dogs and cats. Lots of valuable furs going straight into the landfill. Good luck creating a market.
Even the coyote is marketed as prairie wolf.

I think most euthanized dogs and cats are incinerated or go to the rendering plant.

Of the people I have known that trapped, they mostly caught muskrats. I seldom see muskrat coats advertised. Another name?
#26
Old 03-26-2011, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelabdude View Post
Of the people I have known that trapped, they mostly caught muskrats. I seldom see muskrat coats advertised. Another name?
They used to be sold (dyed) as "Hudson seal".
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