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An interesting fur observation. Maybe even a question.

White Fox

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As you know we have been doing a lot of work on our Links pages. For your information, as soon as we have rated the ones we have there now we already have something like 120 more to come, gathered from some magazines, etc.


***One thing comes very, very obvious, very, very quickly. That is, some countries are "hot spots" for fur. The three most obvious are I think, Germany, Italy, and Greece. I think that probably Russia would be another, but due to language problems, searches are not that easy there.


I just find it really interesting to speculate on how this has came about. Why is it that Germany for instance seems to have way more furriers per square mile than so many other countries. Is it climate for instance? Is it economic well being of the country and thus it's people? Is it culture? Is it maybe just that people in these countries make more use of the internet and thus their furriers post web sites where furriers in other parts of the world do not?


Possibly Mailon will have some ideas on this as he is involved in the business in Greece. I would just really love to hear ideas from folks from these countries, or indeed others on why this might have came to be.



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Interesting observation, White Fox.


As a teenager (YEARS ago), I spent a year in Germany. My dad had a guest arrangement for work there and brought most of the family along including (reluctantly at first) me. It was heaven and hell for me because I was at the time very much taken up with the idea of strangling my attraction to fur, not yet having admitted how dishonest and impossible and indeed suicidal that obsession was.


I believe it was late June or early July when we landed in Düsseldorf. From there we took the train up the Rhine valley--my first ride on a train for the sake of actually getting some where, not just a Disneyland kind of loop--to Mainz. I must've slept a fortnight or at least it seemed so. Among the first things I remember on wakening in such an earlier time zone was this freebie advertising paper that'd made it into our host family's basement. Its headlines and grabber photos were about a recent beauty contest whose winner was awarded a full length fox coat. I scowled. I worshipped the low quality photos on pink-tinged newsprint.


In the following weeks, I learned well the basic street grid of the city, discovering time and again a new Pelzhaus when I was sure I'd seen them all. This was 1980 and 1981. The newspaper that fall was full of advertisements from the department stores with extensive fur collections. I was amazed. I was horrified.


I haven't been back since. I've wondered if that network had shriveled the way fur mostly disappeared in the United States. With your observation, White Fox, maybe it didn't.


Here are some things I've picked up that might contribute to fur's prevalence at least in Germany. Germans aren't squeamish about certain bodily details. I have a children's book from Germany about two naughty boys and their pranks. Among their exploits was to tie a widow's hens and rooster together such that as a tied-together flock they snagged in a tree. "Jedes legt noch schnell ein Ei, / Und dann kommt der Todt herbei." Each promtly laid an egg and then died. Of course the poet was playing here. Since one of the hanging fowl was a rooster, they didn't really each lay an egg. This becomes plain in the illustration of these lines. The rooster's laying something. Something soft like the inside of an egg but without the shell--also much smaller than the hens'.


And in the set of illustrations leading to the egg laying in death one, every time the backside of a chicken appears, there's a very prominent note made of its a**. I don't know that this attention to body parts would be tolerated in children's books in Anglo-Saxon dominated cultures.


This frankness about bodily functions seems consistent with something else I observed of German culture. In the late 70's early 80's, certain trade groups (I remember most prominently wool but maybe there was another for cotton) attempted with more or less success to promote icons for products made with their type of fiber. The woolen one was triangular with strokes suggesting a woolen fabric's texture. Fur industry groups tried to follow suit. In the United States, they adopted a triangular icon similar to the woolen one with the emphasis on the material's texture. In Germany, however, the icon was a generic fur bearer's face. I couldn't be sure if it was intended to be fox or maybe one of the mustelids (mink, otter, sable, marten, skunk, weasel, and wolverine are all examples of this family). The German trade group's icon frankly acknowledged furs' source while the United States' one euphemized it.


I wonder what role a Puritan heritage plays in these differences. It seems to me part of the Anglo Saxon heritage is a loathing of certain animal realities, such as that we (and our animal kin) sh*t, suffer and die. These characteristics are each vividly depicted in the children's rhymes I've mentioned above. My vaguely recalled Puritan conscience insists that as humans we are born to be angelic--above and dissociated from the wretched beasts. Enjoying furs is dangerous to such notions, as it requires posthumously embracing animals that have done all three of the forbidden body functions. Furthermore, sexuality is yet another part of the beastly nature Puritanism doesn't much like--except that it brings people into being. Otherwise, if one derives a sexual thrill from touching fur, it must be the work of Satan--such a stain on the angelic nature. Well, I'm trying to explore some of the cultural roots of the loathing I had for so long of what I love. I don't mean this as a moralizing condemnation by any means.


So there's some of my insight about what might strengthen furs' acceptance in the German culture. I was in Italy maybe a week of that year we were in Europe, and that was in the spring. I wasn't nearly so aware of furs being popular there. Maybe I wasn't looking for them, since after all this was on the warm side of the Alps. So I don't have much comment about Italians' acceptance of furs. I've never been to Greece. There, as with Italy, it seems somewhat surprising since they're Mediterranean countries where I'd expect winter to be milder than northern Europe and Russia.


Good Question, White Fox!

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Some interesting thoughts. I gotta re read that one again when I have more time to digest it fully.


But here is another question to inject into this. If Germany for instance, has maybe three times the number of furs stores per person that US does for instance. Will there be more fur lovers in Germany? Maybe three times more people with a Fur Fetish in Germany, for instance?



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  • 2 weeks later...

hi, i am a german native, grown up in the late eighties. a time that shows political correctness in abolishing fur. today i think there are more and more furs, little furshops begin to open. in the past they only had to close. today fur is in. possibly because there was a grat migration from the east after the eastern block becomes weak.

just one idea.

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Very interesting thread.


Italy is into Fur cause Italy is into fashion in general. You'd be surprised if you knew how many of the "Italian" furs were made in Greece though.


Germany was also always into furs. Something about the weather, something about the class of the furs, and something about their rising economy. There was a huge immigration movement to Germany a few decades ago, people looking for a better future. Most Kastorians went to the US, Canada and Germany. Many greek immigrants still live and work at furriers there.


About Greece I can tell you that it has been manufacturing furs for hundreds of years. Surely they were doing this job during the Byzantium era (definately between 1200-1453).


The name Kastoria they say comes from two different words. Knoone knows for sure. One is "kastro" which is castle and probably they had a few forts around. The other one is "kastoras" which is actually beaver! If that version is true, lots of beavers lived here and gave the name to the city and its very first fur occupation!


You probably heard the story of the silk-worms in China, and how chinese produced silk as a worldwide monopoly. Well,the fur making art was also protected here in Greece and by our countries laws furs were only allowed to be made here and a near village calle Siatista. Noone else could start a fur manufacturing business anywhere inside Greece!! Only selling was allowed (which was bought from Kastoria ofcourse hehe)


Please excume me if I got carried away and out of focus here. I love this thread, I'll be back again with more focused thinking

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Very interesting history.


Furs certainly do go back to the time of our earliest existence .. everywhere!!!


There is evidence of very serious fur production in Siberia from over 30,000 years ago.







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