Imitation Fur

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fur, Imitation


a textile product that simulates natural fur. Because of its high heat-insulating qualities and its relatively low cost when mass-produced, imitation fur is widely used in making clothing, headgear, trimming, lining, and padding material. The popular imitation furs are woven and knitted high-pile copies of expensive natural furs (mink, marten, raccoon, muskrat, monkey, and fox) and furs with a smooth nap (pony, calf, nerpa).

Imitation furs consist of a foundation and a cover of pile. They are woven, knitted, sewn, glued, or made by gluing on hairs in an electrostatic field. Woven imitation fur is made with three systems of threads—pile, warp, and weft. Two foundation cloths are connected by the pile threads, which are then cut. In the knitted method, the pile is knitted in on special circular knitting machines. In the sewn and glued methods, the foundation and the pile are prepared separately, and the pile is then attached to the foundation by sewing or gluing. Imitation karakul is made by the gluing method. In making imitation fur by the electrostatic method, the fibers are charged in an electrostatic field, oriented, and distributed evenly over the fabric’s surface, which has been treated with glue. After drying, the fibers adhere to the surface, forming the pile.

Imitation furs can be made with any pile thickness. The pile thickness and distribution are more uniform in imitation fur than in natural fur. In external appearance, imitation fur almost completely reproduces the color, pattern, and arrangement of the hairs of the fur imitated.

The pile in imitation furs can be made from various monofilaments or from complex polyamide and polyester viscose and acetate fibers. High-pile furs are most often made from yarn of polyacrylonitrile fibers, which are especially suitable because of their woolliness, low density, high resilience, low thermal conductivity, and extremely low absorbency. Cotton yarn and synthetic threads (for strength) are used for the foundation.

Imitation furs come in various colors and patterns. The finishing of the product ensures the pile’s resistance to crushing and the fur’s fluffiness and water repellent properties. Patterned or embossed designs can be added by mechanical, thermal, or chemical treatment. Depending on the texture of the fur being imitated, the finishing may involve repeated combing, shearing (evening the pile), coloring, heat treating, glazing, or reproducing a color pattern on the pile. A coating of latexes, finishes, and porolon tanning are used to simulate leather lining and to attach the pile more securely to the foundation. About 60 million m of imitation fur were produced in the USSR in 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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