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  #1  
Old 10-19-2005, 01:31 PM
pocelene pocelene is offline
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How do fur coats compare to cloth and fake fur for warmth?

How do fur coats compare to cloth and fake fur for warmth?

I guess the critial number would be like an R-index of insulation value per some unit. What units they might use I don't know. Square foot? Weight of material?
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2005, 01:51 PM
rabbit rabbit is offline
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Im having trouble finding a cite for it, but a couple years back I saw a (I think) discovery channel program where they were talking about a test the Canadian military was running on the various insulative properties of different materials.

If I remember right the clear winner was caribou for max. warmth compared to all others, including man made.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2005, 04:00 PM
pocelene pocelene is offline
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Carabou coat? Those are like elks. Wouldn't that be as thick as horsehide? More leather than fur.
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2005, 06:45 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Be advised--wool is the only natural fibre that stays warm when wet.
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2005, 06:50 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Be advised--wool is the only natural fibre that stays warm when wet.
I believe that beaver does as well. And if I had my choice on a cold winter night I 'd rather cozy up to a nice wet beaver than to soggy lamb. But that's just me.
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2005, 12:35 AM
Rico Rico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Amigo
And if I had my choice on a cold winter night I 'd rather cozy up to a nice wet beaver than to soggy lamb. But that's just me.
First Hal Briston joke made risks the wrath of the mods...

just kidding - go ahead, make all the jokes you want, but when that starts, this goes to MPSIMS
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2005, 12:57 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Be advised--wool is the only natural fibre that stays warm when wet.
I think you'll find that some furs have hairs that repel moisture so well that they work as well as or better than wool. I'm sure I've read of some -- perhaps caribou -- where some of the hairs are hollow, trapping air that realistically won't be displaced by moisture.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2005, 07:12 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T
I think you'll find that some furs have hairs that repel moisture so well that they work as well as or better than wool. I'm sure I've read of some -- perhaps caribou -- where some of the hairs are hollow, trapping air that realistically won't be displaced by moisture.
cite?
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2005, 08:27 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
cite?
From here: "The caribou has a very warm very soft fur that is hollow, insulated, and sheds water and snow."

From here: "Caribou fur has hollow strands to help insulate them from the cold and keep them boyant while swimming across rivers."
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2005, 08:48 AM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is offline
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And as for the mighty beaver, the secert of its wet warmth is desribed here:

http://www.worldbook.com/wc/popup?pa...tml&direct=yes

Unfortunitly, when you shave a beaver of its outer course hair, it loses this property. But it does become quite smooth. I will attempt to do further research on shaved beavers this weekend.
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2005, 08:51 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T
From here: "The caribou has a very warm very soft fur that is hollow, insulated, and sheds water and snow."

From here: "Caribou fur has hollow strands to help insulate them from the cold and keep them boyant while swimming across rivers."
How about a cite showing that-
A)The fur stays warm when wet, and
B)The fur retains these properties when removed from the caribou?

After all, if the caribou secretes a chemical that renders the fur waterproof, & ceases to do so when it dies, then the fur will not retainthese prpoerties when used as clothing.
But wool's insulation properties are retained. That's why peajackets & fo'castle coats are made of wool.
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2005, 10:20 AM
slaphead slaphead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
How about a cite showing that-
A)The fur stays warm when wet, and
B)The fur retains these properties when removed from the caribou?

After all, if the caribou secretes a chemical that renders the fur waterproof, & ceases to do so when it dies, then the fur will not retainthese prpoerties when used as clothing.
But wool's insulation properties are retained. That's why peajackets & fo'castle coats are made of wool.
Umm, at the risk of getting off-topic, does this only apply to sheep wool, or also to that from goats, yak and so on? Or do these even count as wools? It would appear that Musk-Ox is used as a source of wool superior to sheep, according to this, but I'm not sure if they are being sloppy in their terminology.

In response to the OP, I believe fur can quite easily outperform fabric and synthetics, but it varies enormously depending on the type of pelt and whether the pelt has a winter or summer coat on it. Summer rabbit fur is much less warm than winter sheepskin, for instance.
For pure warmth my money would be on an arctic or mountain pelt with a winter coat. Something like Yak or Musk-Ox, or perhaps polar bear.
It wouldn't surprise me if even furs were outperformed by a genuine eiderdown jacket though. That stuff is amazing.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2005, 10:33 AM
astro astro is online now
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Some real Inuit clothing

I really have to wonder about the long term durability of hollow haired fur used in clothing. If the hairs are hollow they might become quite fragile or brittle over time.
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2005, 12:08 PM
pocelene pocelene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico
First Hal Briston joke made risks the wrath of the mods...

just kidding - go ahead, make all the jokes you want, but when that starts, this goes to MPSIMS
If you don't mind a suggestion: Moving a thread with a serious question hurts the serious people. If you don't want a joke, you have an erase key. That's what they do with jokes on tech help sites. Just a suggestion.


As to all the eskimo and carabou data: Who cares? That's NOT the question here today.
The question is NOT what's the warmest fur, no matter how obscure.

The TRUE questio is really simple: Some people, like slaphead, simply say, outright "I believe fur can quite easily outperform fabric and synthetics".
And I ask: "Are there any numbers to back that up? Or is it just an excuse to buy fur coats?"
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2005, 01:01 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocelene
The TRUE questio is really simple: Some people, like slaphead, simply say, outright "I believe fur can quite easily outperform fabric and synthetics".
And I ask: "Are there any numbers to back that up? Or is it just an excuse to buy fur coats?"
There's this: "Of course caribou skin was the only source of clothing that we could get when I was young. The textiles that were available to us were not good for winter wear."

And this: "Possum fur is 7 percent warmer than wool."

And (yikes!) this: "Dog fur is as nice as angora, and warmer than wool."

And this: "Why do you think those Russian women wear those big fur hats when it's 20 below zero? Because fur is incredibly warm, that's why."

And this: "The fur coat is warmer than any other coat I've ever owned--and believe me, I've owned many types of heavy winter coats."

Google on "warmer than" fur wool and "fur is the warmest" for an interesting collection of sites. Fashion- and fur-related sites tout fur, but so do quite a few apparently unbiased sources. The sites that tout synthetics all seem to have an overt or covert animal-rights agenda.
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  #16  
Old 10-20-2005, 01:43 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocelene
If you don't mind a suggestion: Moving a thread with a serious question hurts the serious people. If you don't want a joke, you have an erase key. That's what they do with jokes on tech help sites. Just a suggestion.
What you didn't get was that Rico himself was making a joke.

But yeah, you would think that some members would be coming up with data on high tech fabrics. Myself, I'm just a lover of Beaver and don't care if anyone else likes it or not. That just means more Beaver for me! ;j
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2005, 02:47 PM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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Down (goose down in particular IIRC) is often mentioned as the best warmth / weight ratio, at least when it is dry.

Actually the best may be a vacuum bottle, but mobility may suffer.

Brian
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2005, 10:11 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is offline
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Well Thinsulate, the big 3M mega product, seems to promote that it is basicaly more durable and washable than wool, but not better. Cite:

http://www.flyawayagri.com/calf_jackets_why.htm

Not better, but more durable. Any other man-made takers?

I'd still pick Beaver over it myself , but perhaps I'm just a short term thinker.
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  #19  
Old 10-20-2005, 10:55 PM
justwannano justwannano is offline
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In the" Sorry I don't have a site" catagory

Two notes
Wolverine fur is used for parka trim because it does not allow ice crystals to form on the fur.

The American Indians used rabbit fur as a winter blanket.
They used it leather side out.
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  #20  
Old 10-21-2005, 01:06 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Well, I have a mink. And I'm very cold-blooded, in the sense that I put on my sweater when the temp drops below 75F. I will put on this mink when the temp drops below 0F, or if it's 10F and windy, and I will be just toasty warm. Otherwise I will not wear it--it's too hot!

From 50 to 20 degrees (F) I wear my leather coat, of course with more layers on the colder it gets. Somewhere around 20 I will put the zip-in down lining into my leather coat and that takes me down to zero F (except if I'm wearing some party thing and then, having not a lot of insulation, I need the fur). Below zero it has to be the fur. Although I need long gloves, because either my mother's arms were shorter than mine, or else the style is supposed to be 3/4 sleeves.

As to the wearability. My father bought this coat for my mother in the '30s, long before I was born, when they lived in Chicago. At the time I was born they were living in southern California so I'm not really claiming the coat got a lot of wear, and when we moved to colder places, which we did, my mother still did not wear it very often. I spent 20 years living in Denver and nagging her that I needed a fur coat way more than she did, but I didn't get it until she died in 2000.

I'll say this, in California she kept it in some cold-storage fur place (why they would even need such a place in southern Calif. is beyond me) but once we moved it hung in the closet, behind the vacuum cleaner and the golf clubs, and not only did I used to get in there and nuzzle up to it as a kid, but so did my cat, in fact the cat would drag it off its hanger and sleep on it. For all that it's in pretty good shape, a little wear on the sleeves, and I've had to sew parts of the lining in virtually every time I've worn it (which has been about four times). But what the heck, it's 70 years old! Take that, Thinsulate!
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  #21  
Old 10-21-2005, 08:18 AM
slaphead slaphead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocelene
The TRUE questio is really simple: Some people, like slaphead, simply say, outright "I believe fur can quite easily outperform fabric and synthetics".
And I ask: "Are there any numbers to back that up? Or is it just an excuse to buy fur coats?"
I've never seen numbers on real furs - the only people who do numbers seem to be manufacturers of fabrics or garments promoting how wonderful their products are compared to other fabrics/garments and for some reason they don't compare against furs - possibly because they would look bad? Fur sellers don't do numbers presumably because they don't need to. Also, numbers are not necessarily an indication of performance, and it's easy to check whether a given garment is ACTUALLY warm. What do people exposed to extreme cold prefer to wear? Given that cold is life-threatening as well as uncomfortable, I'm happy to believe that fashion does not figure in their decision-making process.

The fur discussion seems to be debated by shrilling that it can never be justified because it's so evil, etc. However anecdotal evidence from really cold places indicates furs are toasty warm, hence their popularity. My experiences match Hilarity's - fur is REALLY warm. Others agree - from the Dutch National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden "The Inuit also buy modern polar clothing of this kind. Only in extremely cold areas, such as North Greenland, are fur garments still preferred, since they still appear to provide the greatest degree of insulation."
Similarly, to quote from some random muntaineering page "By its very nature, a down-filled sleeping bag is as much as 35% lighter than its synthetic counterpart and is infinitely more compressible, providing the most warmth with the least bulk. Down is also known to have the greatest longevity and it will outlast any other insulation by three to five times, making it the most economical choice after its initial investment."
Animal insulation is the result of millions of years of trial and error with nanoscale production we still can't match - no surprise that it will outgun synthetics. Hence my assumption that any animal living in a really cold place will have the best insulation going. In fact penguins, leopard seals and whales are probably the best-insulated things on the planet, but blubber never really caught on as a clothing choice.

Hope this helps.
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  #22  
Old 10-21-2005, 08:22 AM
slaphead slaphead is offline
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eh - muntaineering is not the sport of climbing large wooden figures of Nelson Muntz, in case you were wondering. It is the kind of typo made by chumps who can't use preview effectively.
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  #23  
Old 10-21-2005, 12:48 PM
Improvisor Improvisor is offline
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A little highjack...

May I point all of you that are into researching beavers to a very applicable company and hat. Quite stylish. (And it's safe for work, honest to god.)
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  #24  
Old 10-21-2005, 04:02 PM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico
First Hal Briston joke made risks the wrath of the mods...
Hey, I think I'm gonna like having you as a mod...




Now if we just get sheep-joke-making listed as a banable offense...
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  #25  
Old 10-21-2005, 04:32 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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Quote:
Be advised--wool is the only natural fibre that stays warm when wet.
Asbestos?
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  #26  
Old 10-21-2005, 07:13 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda
The fur retains these properties when removed from the caribou?
AFAIK, all animal furs used in clothing are skinned off the critter hide and all. The hairs of the fur are not removed from the skin, so unless the hairs get damaged in tanning or filled with dye or something, their insulation properties will work in your fur coat too.

Usually the skins in a fur coat wear out (dry out and crack) before the hairs get brittle or fall out. I'm pretty impressed that Hilarity's mother's mink is still wearable after 70 years!
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