Minks are very similar to the weasel and otter and have long been prized for their fur. There are two species of Mink alive today; both are hunted for their fur. These are the American Mink and the European Mink. Another species, the Sea mink is now extinct due to over harvesting.
Like many furs, Mink was traded between the Americans and the Europeans throughout the 1600’s. By the 1870’s most fur manufactured had declined rapidly, however Mink was still very much in demand. During this time a Mink fur coat was a treasured possession and anyone with an interest in fashion desired one. During the 1960’s and 70’s there were a lot of anti-fur protests and demonstrations. This meant that the popularity of Mink decreased for a short while. Even today Mink is still popular with some people, and although many of the Mink fur coats around today are vintage pieces rather than new, Mink fur is still one of the most controversial furs around.
Today however Mink is no longer harvested in the wild, it is farmed instead in several countries. Mink farms first appeared in the 1860’s as a solution to the problem of the dwindling populations. Mink is the most commonly farmed fur animal, and the majority of the fur produced today is from China. Mink farming is legal in both the US and China but was illegalised in England in 2000.
Properties of Mink
- Symbol of Luxury and Opulence
- Now very rare
- Usually Brown in colour
- Only owned by the high society
- Lasts well
- Small Pelts
Uses of Mink in Fashion Past and Present
- Womens coats
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