The 10 Best Faux Fur Throws
9. Boon Animal
8. Pinzon by Amazon
7. Tache Brown Russian Lynx
6. Home Soft Things Boon Herringbone
5. Chanasya Shaggy
4. Ikea Tejn Sheepskin
3. Chanasya Super Soft Fuzzy
2. DaDa Bedding Collection Sherpa
1. Best Home Fashion
Why Faux Is The Way To Go
There’s an evasive little line in Herman Melville’s much-lauded short story Bartleby, the Scrivener in which the narrator recalls a time that the fur baron and real estate mogul John Jacob Astor paid him a compliment. The fact that Astor rose to prominence as a trapper and seller of furs is pertinent to our examination of the fur trade, and his real estate practices serve to underscore the point about fur's inherent evils.
In Bartleby, the mention of Astor has less to do with his history in furs, and is more a clue to the scrivener’s protest. All day long, Bartleby stands at work, staring out the window at a brick wall, refusing to move or do his job. By positioning the narrator as an ally of Astor and a minor antagonist to Bartleby, it becomes apparent that the scrivener’s actions are a metaphorical protest against Astor’s cutthroat real estate practices. Astor was responsible for what would today be considered illegal foreclosures on family properties, as well as tenement housing that crammed immigrants together like sardines. By many accounts, Astor was not a good man, and it’s here we recall where he got his auspicious start: the fur trade.
If most people were given the opportunity to meet an animal, then kill, disembowel, skin, and clean said animal for its meat, furs, and other products, they would probably pass up the opportunity. That’s because we connect with animals. When we keep them as pets, they become just as much a part of the family as our children. Yet many of us will readily buy prepared meats, leather goods, and furs without thinking twice about it.
This behavior is largely a matter of social conditioning reinforced by big agricultural business. The only counter to this kind of conditioning is information, and those same corporations are doing all they can to keep it from consumers, including the creation and passage of ag-gag laws designed to punish whistle blowers who reveal inhumane practices on farms.
From what we do know, the story is a savage one. Take wild mink as one example. These cute little creatures naturally range across an average territory of 741 acres, but when held captive for their fur, they see a 12x18-inch cage, and not a millimeter more. The extreme confinement often results in incidences of self-mutilation and cannibalism, as well as severe immune system depression.
Animals in the wild may not suffer for quite as long, but the processes by which they’re captured are equally abhorrent. Trappers will use leg holds, similar to bear traps, to ensnare animals with valuable pelts. If they don’t die in the traps from starvation, dehydration, or attack from another animal, trappers will often find them and suffocate them by standing on their necks or chests to protect the quality of the fur.
Other traps are designed to drown animals, some of whom can struggle underwater for up to 15 minutes before succumbing. There are slightly more humane traps out there that have the ability to break an animal’s neck instantly, but if the wrong-sized animal enters the trap, it can merely crush them, leaving them alive to slowly suffer and die.
So, when you elect to purchase a faux fur instead of the real thing, you’re doing your part to keep an animal free from a harrowing life and a gruesome death. There is no other way to ethically sport these comfortable goods. And if a salesperson or peer ever tries to pressure you into buying a product sourced from the pain of an innocent creature, simply make like Bartleby and say, “I’d prefer not to.”
What If Faux Fur Made Of?
The big argument in favor of real fur is that nothing feels quite as luxurious. Yet I’d be willing to bet that if presented with two throws, one real and the other fake, most people would prefer the imitation — if they could even tell the difference. Should they be able to tell the difference, it would most likely be thanks to imperfections in the real fur, as animal hair doesn’t always grow evenly enough to provide consistent furs.
Faux fur is simply a well-fashioned assembly of polymeric fibers like polyester or acrylic. Manufacturers treat and dye these to make them as soft and attractive as possible. The material is generally less expensive than real fur, which means you can get superior materials for a lower cost on both the ecosystem and your wallet.
Maintenance of faux furs is also easier than the real thing. The artificial fibers that comprise most fake pelts and throws are designed to last much longer, and will naturally repel odors in ways that natural fur cannot.
How To Choose The Perfect Faux Fur Throw
Narrowing down your list of options among the faux fur throws on our list is actually a pretty simple process. For starters, you’ll want to ask yourself whether you’re looking for something that can serve as a rug or a blanket. Options tailored for use on the floor will often have thick, slip-resistant backings on them that don’t make for cozy naps on the sofa. Throws designed as blankets, however, will be exceptionally soft on both sides.
The tightness of the faux hairs is the next thing to look at. This you can easily discern from the photos, and it gives you information about the throw’s texture you’d otherwise have to touch to discover. The more tightly packed the individual faux hairs, the softer a throw will be, the better it will retain heat, and the less you’ll have to worry about shedding. Shaggier throws tend to shed more, and their comfort level can be hit-or-miss. The increased spacing of all those fake hairs also allows too much surface area for heat to escape.
Color and style will be your final considerations when choosing an appropriate throw. Fortunately, the field is full of options that should match any decor or personal sense of fashion. Take a good look around the room in which the throw will spend the bulk of its time and decide whether you want a piece to blend in or stand out.