Sable fur coats are a display of fine taste . Silky , lightweight and with unique sheen are some of the traits that set them apart from the rest. Once reserved for the royalty , sable fur coats are not for everyone but for a few selected individuals.
Sable fur is the most expensive fur in the market. A luxurious natural material that once was allowed by law to be worn by royalty, rumored to be what the ancient Greeks called the "golden fleece" only surpassed in value by the sea otter which is considered as a threatened species and is no longer available in the market.
Characteristics Of Sable Fur
Sable fur combines mink's sheen with chinchilla's suppleness. The keratin-rich guard hair spectacularly reflects light and provides a "jewel'' like effect, so that a sable can stand on its own as a luxury piece. The underfur is dense and supple. A trademark of sable is the free motion of hair in any direction after being stroke, even against its grain. This trait provides a silky smooth motion of hair when the person that is wearing it is moving. The length of the hair is 3-4 cm. Compared to mink, sable has more substance and volume but in no way does it make a bulky garment. The density of hair is 15.000 per square centimeter. Sable is one of the warmest furs around and can be worn in extremely low temperatures. At the same time, it is breathable and in terms of weight, it is comparable to mink. A 40-inch coat (100cm) weighs 7-8 lbs on average. It has a supple and pleasing to the touch texture.
Colors of Sable Fur
Sable fur comes naturally in a palette of earthy colors, although artificial, striking neon colors are becoming more common today.
- Golden (light cinnamon brown, sandy yellow or straw yellow).Guardhair is cinnamon-brown, undercoat is light gray with fox-red or pale-yellow hair tips)
- Light Brown
- Dark brown (black guardhair with slight brownish hue, underfur dark blue gray with gray-silver tips)
The latter is Barguzinsky Sable and comes from a specific Russian area by the lake Baical, Barguzin. It is the most valued of all sables.
As an honorable mention, white sable which is a natural mutation is the rarest and most expensive sable and every hunter's dream. However, it is highly unlikely that you will ever see one in the streets or for sale.
Sable trade is documented since the middle ages in Russia. Ivan the Terrible would pay 3-15 silver rubles for one pelt ( 2 silver rubles could buy you a racing horse or a cow at the time). Henry I and Henry VI of England considered it as their favorite garment material. Marie-Antoinette is depicted in a painting wearing a dress with sable fur trim. Russian royalty wore them as a status simple.
Overhunting in the 19th and 20th centuries caused a decline in numbers, resulting in a 5-year ban in 1935. Today limitations and farming have restored the population numbers and its geographical distribution so that it is no longer considered a threatened species
How Much is a Sable Fur Coat Worth?
Sable fur pelts are a commodity that is auctioned in fur auction houses. Its price is determined by offer and demand. The offer is limited by factors such as breeding cycles, geographical limitations, and small size. The demand is high for the qualities mentioned. Barguzinsky sable is the most valued one and can reach up to 150.000 USD for a knee-length coat. The amount of silver-gray colored tips is proportional to the value of pelts. Canadian sable can start from 3000 USD for a knee-length coat. Other factors that may affect the price is gender. Female pelts are more expensive than males. Marketing and branding can raise the bar even higher.
Sable Fur Coat Stitching Techniques
The most common stitching techniques are skin to skin and horizontal. The skin to skin technique requires the pelts to be stitched together vertically with no gap between them. In the horizontal technique, the pelts are stitched across after they have been cut in the middle. Each "stripe" consists of the dorsal area on the top which is thicker and of the ventral area on the bottom which gradually becomes less dense. This way each row overlaps the lower row in a unanimous smooth flow. The skin to skin technique allows for gaps between rows to reduce volume. Between rows, other materials can be stitched, such as lamb leather or more exotic ones such as python leather. Another technique is diagonal stitching which provides a more pleasing look, but requires more pelts and thus a higher price. Finally, we have the let out technique which is reserved for the most experienced fur makers, since it requires advanced skills and precision .
Durability and Remodelling.
Sable is a most resilient fur and can be worn for up to 25 seasons. It is not susceptible to tears and sheds minimally. The first season it will shed the excess fur from the manufacturing process. Also, it will retain its original gloss during its lifespan. Minimal standard care is required (well-ventilated storage, avoidance of prolonged sun exposure and heat sources , steaming in a fur cleaning service once a year). In case you want to have your seasoned sable fur remodeled into a new style, its elastic and durable skin allows for radical interventions .
How to wear a Sable Fur Coat?
Such an expensive acquisition as a sable fur constitutes the main attraction on its own. It is important to create a solid image. Stylists advise against using too many accessories. Fur connaisseurs and no will turn heads on the sight of such a fine fur.
Color and length will define the rules on what to wear with a sable coat. A short coat is an excellent choice for young and active women. When it comes to shoes you should opt-in for platform boots or heels.
If you want to create a sophisticated look, you can wear a pencil skirt or tight pants. Jeans can also be worn with a sable coat, but you need to fit them correctly into the image. In this case, you'd better consult with a stylist. If you are wearing a short coat, make sure the clothing underneath does not protrude below the coat.
A hip or knee-length coat can be matched with almost anything-dresses, pants and skirts can work well. You do not have to wear clothes with striking colors, ostentatious jewelry or anything with a revolutionary design. You will be over the top and of poor taste.
The choice of a long sable requires extra attention on the shoes to match with. It is very hard to get away with flat shoes, even if you have a model's physique. High heels are a must.
The choice of a bag to wear can be challenging as well. You can never go wrong by matching the color of the shoes. It must be a well made, expensive bag or you are under the risk of ruining the luxurious image with a cheap bag made of inferior materials.
Several pitfalls can ruin your image when it comes to styling. However, if you follow the 11th commandment you will be always on the safe side:
"Thou shalt always be minimalistic in your styling when wearing sable fur"
However... rules are to be broken and my advice for the naughty girls who want to be edgy is to dare and use dark shades of lipstick!
Styling Proposals For Sable Fur
The most elegant and feminine combination is a mid-hip length coat with a light colored dress. A matching silk belt with a bow will enhance the look.
Another stylish way is to combine it with pants. A turtleneck woolen blouse and matching shoes complete the image. Three colors are involved in this proposal and yet it remains minimalistic.
Spice it up with leather pants and a matching blouse.
Match brown sable fur with a dark green dress and matching high heeled leather boots.
A choice that violates the styling rules but works well. Bright lipstick, fancy jewelry, sunglasses and jeans. If you know what you are doing anything can work!