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So, ... what is a "Furrier"


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I think an important issue for members is the issue of a very broad term called a "furrier"


First, the person that most of you know as "the furrier" is many times the salesman. Sometimes this person will also be the owner of the store, and the designer of a custom piece. Ever so often he is the fur mechanic as well, which I will explain further down in this post.


This person's credibility and experience will be of more value to our members than any other person in this process. They know, or should know, what they are selling you. They can either look out for you or cheat you. Many experienced members have spoken of the importance of knowing this type of person. Unfortunately, they are turning into a dying breed.


The men who design furs and create a label or concept and are the front people, are the designers. Many fur houses, who are manufacturers will hire a designer to have a label. This allows them to sell at high-end stores like Neimans.


The person that sews the pelts and takes the idea into a garment is called the "fur mechanic." The Greeks are the best-of-the-best in this category. The Russians have a great history in this category as well. In North American I believe almost all are men.


The person that does the "finishing" is usually an excellent seamstress and usually a lady. They tend to be Greek and Russian women.


There is one other "expert in this field. That is the person who is the cleaning expert. They also will have finishers to do light repairs and lining re-attachment. This level of expertise is a great way to start a new person and in no way requires the same level of expertise.


I hope some of our "Fur Experts" will expand upon this basic outline. And, if I made a mistake, or left something out, please let me know!



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Linda: Great post, its good information for members to have.


Its might important to point out that in the last 10 years China has emerged as a powerhouse in the fur industry. Paula Lishmann was one of the first fur designers to use China for her manufacturing needs and now a huge chunk of furs are made in that country.


A good point to remember is that most fur salespeople work on commission and so their pay is directly related to what they can sell to you. Most likely in department store salons or big commercial houses, the person you encounter selling furs will be a salesman pure and simple. He or she may be selling cars in a week or two if they are unsuccessful at selling furs.


Smaller fur salons are oftentimes family businesses and so the people you encounter there have grown up with furs and will most likely know about what they sell.


I worked both types of salons 20 years ago and only considered myself a salesperson, not a furrier. I had to apprentice to a master furrier for four years to finally consider myself a true furrier.

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Let me get into this with my 2 cents.


"My furrier" is a small local indepentantly owned furrier. He sells furs, but I think his main source of income is fur storage, cleaning and repairs. I have gotten to know him and he has provided another service. That is providing us, mother and myself, the assistance needed when we look to purchase a new fur.


He offers this service to us because he knows he will get the after market business we, among others, generate. That is storage, repairs and cleaning. I have also used him to do remodeling. He made my fur lined raincoat several years ago. I provided the raincoat. Mother relunctantly provided her outdated mink coat and the result is my raincoat.


He knows that he is not in a position to try and sell sell us a new fur, but he will do his best to help us get the best deal possible.


In conclusion, my furrier is an excellent "fur mechanic" who takes care of the family furs. When we ask him, he offers his advice about any new furs we are looking to buy.


So when we go shopping, we are armed with the information necessay to buying a fur.

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