The skill to tell fake fur apart from real fur is crucial for our movement. Confrontation can only happen effectively, if the activist can convince the confronted person in case of doubt. There are several ways to identify real fur:


Real furs move differently than fake furs. Each hair can move freely if the person is moving or a through a gentle breeze. If there is no wind, blowing into the fur has the same effect. The hairs of fake fur are stiff and cannot move independently as real hairs would do.

A real fur has different layers consisting of different kinds of hair. There is the shorter, finer undercoat and the longer top coat with, thicker, stiffer hair. In the case of racoon dog fur, which is by far the most common used animal, the top coat hair is arranged in hair bundles. (Knowing the species of origin is can be used as an advantage in discussions so we recommend to practise this skill as well.)

Top coat hair often change color at the tips. This trait can be seen especially in silver fox furs. The coat hair have white tips, while the rest of the coat is black.


If the fake fur is of lower quality, its shape deviates from the real fur. Real fur is usually round and full and the hair is equally distributed. Fake furs on the other hand sometimes point weirdly in a direction.

Like every hair that has never been trimmed, fur hairs are pointed at their ends. But to see this, you have to be really close.



If you can touch the fur you can do the leather test. If you spread the hair of a fur appart you should see the skin of the animal in the form of leather. Fake fur hair an the other hand is attached to some kind of textile mesh.



Hair has a distinct smell when it’s burned. To prove the authenticity of a fur a single hair can be burnt and the smell can be compared to the smell of a burnt human hair. Inflamed fake furs smell like burnt plastic.


You can also watch this video from Peta if you want.