Does a fur garment biodegrade after it has been processed to make it more durable?


Fur is a natural, organic material, and like all such materials will quickly disintegrate and biodegrade unless preventive measures are taken. To avoid this, pelts are first “dressed”, a process that preserves the leather without harming the hair follicles, making the finished garment last longer.

However, even this cannot prevent deterioration entirely, and in time – decades, if the garment is properly cared for – the leather will dry out and become brittle. And when a fur garment reaches the end of its long life, it will biodegrade just like any other organic material.

Some people are confused, though, believing that the same processes used to make fur garments durable must also make them resistant to biodegradation. What they overlook is that people who own furs also take great care of them, and that means reducing their exposure to conditions that are conducive to biodegradation. If they failed to do this, their fur garment would not last nearly as long.

To demonstrate this, and also to compare the rate of degradation of real fur with that of fake fur made from petroleum, Truth About Fur conducted the Great Fur Burial experiment:

The results were clear. After just one year, the real fur had almost entirely biodegraded, while the fake fur remained intact.

SEE ALSO: New study compares natural and fake fur biodegradability
International Fur Federation.

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