Fur Coat Stories: “I Wear Mine Everywhere!”

fur coat stories
Every fur coat has a tale to tell. Photo: Gillian Lochhead.

Chances are, if you have a fur coat, it’s got a story. Certain items of clothing are more than just coverage against the elements, they can have great significance, whether it be sentimental value, an interesting history, or some other meaning. Because of the cost and the long life of a fur garment, they are rarely a casual piece of clothing. When you ask people about their furs, most will have special stories about their pieces.

Today we are going to share a few of these fur coat stories, not only to highlight the importance of these valuable garments, but also to trace their history and their role in people’s lives. A long-lasting, good-quality fur coat is so much more than just an item of clothing. It can be a piece of family history, a symbol of an achievement, or a sentimental object.

Fur Is In Her Blood

remodeled fur coat
Christy A Allen Mullen proudly sports her remodeled vintage blue iris mink jacket and a Blackglama coat made from pelts from her own farm.

“I would never have imagined that I would marry into a mink ranching family (in fact my sister and I married brothers!),” says Christy A Allen Mullen, from Weymouth, Nova Scotia. “Nor did I know, leading up to my marriage, that I would find out that my great-grandfather Kenny was a mink rancher in the 40’s.

“I begged for a mink coat for several years; my dream came true in 2010. I am now the proud owner of a 7/8 length Blackglama coat made from female skins from our farm. In the spring of 2017, I purchased a vintage Blue Iris coat in New Brunswick. My furrier in Montreal remodeled this into a beautiful new jacket that I could never have imagined owning! I wear my coats EVERYWHERE!! I have had many repairs done from being worn, and even had trim replaced because it was worn out. I am a proud ambassador of fur and our farm, everywhere I go!”

SEE ALSO: 5 great ways to recycle old fur clothing

A Family Living Off the Land

fox coat made from 27 pelts
Katie Ball’s magnificent fox coat was made using pelts harvested by her father.

“I was gifted my mother’s fur coat, as so many have, when she was no longer wearing it,” recalls Katie Ball, from Thunder Bay, Ontario. “This coat has much meaning to me. For one, my father trapped each red fox to make it. All 27 came from his trap line, and I remember being there while he collected some of these specific pelts.

“I am now the second trapper of this line, and I spend even more time with him on this land.

“But this isn’t the only reason why this coat is special; I was able to watch the skillful hands of Pirie create this coat from the ground up, for my mother. This is where the love of fur fashion spawned from for me at such a young age.

“I modeled for over 10 years but wanted to get into fashion and create my own items. Fur became that medium. I now own and run Silver Cedar Studio, creating items with furs from our trapline as well as others.

“This coat is a part of who I am. And continues to influence me daily in my passions and trade. Proud to be a trapper.”

Winnipeg Winters

fur coats made from buffalo
It gets so cold in Winnipeg, police officers used to wear buffalo fur coats. Image via CBC.

“When I earned my professional designation 18 years ago, my folks helped me buy a full length silver tipped raccoon coat with notched collar, puffed sleeves, and a detachable hood trimmed in silver fox,” says Patricia Prohaska from Winnipeg.

“I take the bus to work and sometimes the bus does break down from the cold. Eighteen years of Winnipeg winters and bus rides to and from work and the coat still looks new. That coat means more to me than my car. I consider it the best investment I ever made – after my education.

“I have worn fur all my life – three of my aunts worked in the business as finishers. Mother nature by far provides the best insulation.”

***

Do you have a fur coat, jacket, or hat that has a special place in your heart? A treasured hand-me-down or an item of fur clothing that kept you warm through cold times? Maybe it is a coat that you wore for 20 years, a scarf that you bought with your first paycheck, or a pair of fur gloves that kept your hands warm when you got lost in the snow? Have you remodelled a special old coat and turned it into a trendy jacket or a warm pillow for your home?

Please send your fur coat stories (max 300 words) to [email protected], with an image. If you’ve got a good story but you don’t want to write it then send us an email and we can call you and get your story over the phone.

 

1 Comment

  • One of the BEST things I ever purchased was a full length shearling coat. I once spent 45 minutes on an elevated train platform with NO shield from the blizzard wind chill of -30 while about 100 people were jammed inside the tiny enclosed area around the stairs and I was not cold! When the train came and I got on a woman remarked that my back (which was to the wind) was covered in snow!

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