The stoat animal is very similar to the weasel. It is hunted for its fur and it is very prized within the Fur trade. In the early 19th and 20th Centuries, Stoat was a huge part of the Fur trade in Russia. It was also hunted frequently for its white winter fur in Europe right up until the 1930’s. Hunting is the main reason that the stoat population fluctuates. It is now thought to be at a stable level.
Stoat pelts are available in many shades of brown. Stoat fur changes to pure white in the winter to help them blend in. This white fur is more valuable to the Fur trader as it is rarer. Since the early Middle Ages, fur was an important part of the Fur trade between the Native Americans and the Europeans, but it has been hunted since prehistoric times.
Stoat fur was particularly useful in the times before the introduction of synthetic materials for making warm, weather resistant clothing. It was also easily available and usually a by-product when the animal was hunted for its meat. Realising that the skin of the animal could be used as a material was very useful, both in reducing waste and making a viable fabric.
Nowadays Stoat hunting is restricted so that the species doesn’t become endangered. This also means that the animals are treated humanely. Stoats are usually farmed nowadays rather than hunted in the wild.
Properties of Stoat
- Very Dense and Silky
- Usually Sandy brown in colour, but this changes to white in the winter.
- Valuable Furs
- Very luxurious
- Smaller pelts so less versatile than other pelts
- Can be dyed
Uses of Stoat in Fashion Past and Present
- Trims and Decorations
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