Sea Otter

Sea Otter Manufacture

Sea otters produce a fur fabric when they are hunted. In the 1700’s Sea Otters were abundant, however by the mid-1700’s plummeted and continued hunting by the English, French, Japanese and American hunters ,meant that by 1900 the Sea otter was almost extinct. By this time there were only about 1000 Sea Otters left. The International Fur Seal Treaty banned the hunting of Sea Otters in 1911. Sea Otters were originally hunted for both their mean and their fur; the meat was the primary objective of killing the animals. It was only later that hunters realised just how valuable the pelts could be.

Sea Otters were very popular during the 18th Century because there was a rise in the demand for exotic furs. Sable was very popular and sought after at this time, yet Sea Otters sold for twenty times the price of a Sable pelt. Sea otters have no fat, just a thick, dense layer of fur, meaning that the pelt is fur, rather than having to get rid of the layer of fat first.

Even today, Sea Otters are still an endangered species, which means that although some people will still hunt them illegally, it will be very rare to find anything made from Sea Otter pelts, unless it is vintage piece from before the hunting restrictions.

Properties of Sea Otter

  • Dense
  • Provides excellent insulation
  • Finest fur in the world
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Lustrous
  • Expensive
  • Rare
  • Long-haired
  • Soft
  • Natural colours are usually brown or black

Uses of Sea Otter in Fashion Past and Present

  • Coats and Jackets
  • Hats
  • Trims
  • Collars
  • Gloves
  • Stoles and Scarves

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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