One of the most common questions i get asked by buyers is how you distinguish between rex rabbit chinchilla colored fur and genuine chinchilla fur . This can be an easy task, especially if you are purchasing from a brick and mortar store. However in the online shopping world this can be tricky- the artificial coloring techniques have improved and one can see some very good rex chinchilla imitations out there.
But before i go to the tips that will help you distinguish between the two fur types, let me tell you a few things about each fur type.
Chinchilla fur comes from rodents whose natural habitat is the Andes in south america. The name comes from the Chinchas , native people that used the fur of the animal for clothing . The fur was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards and was highly apreciated by the royalty of the time for its softness and looks. Chinchilla is probably the softest of all furs and the second in hair density -sea otter comes first- with 20,000 hairs per square cm . One unique feature is that each follicle hosts 50-60 hairs . The fur is so soft that you can actually dip your finger 2-3 cm deep and still feel nothing. Chinchillas are quiet small and several skins are required to make a fur coat . A typical 23" long coat with a minimalistic stand up collar would take 30 skins in average whereas a mink fur coat of the same size would require 15 skins. Chinchilla fur skins are very thin and delicate and require a lot of care .
Rex fur comes from a rabbit breed that originated in France in the early 20s . They have short guardhair that do not protrude and very thick underfur. They have a velvety texture and even look . These two properties have made them very popular in the fur industry and fur garments made of them are considered high quality -unlike the common rabbit .Their average size 25-30% larger than the chinchillas. In the market they are most commonly found in chinchilla imitation color. A 23" long jacket would require 18-20 skins in average.
So after this dull , encyclopedic info here are a few tips that will help you distinguish the differences -especially when shopping online
- Curvy surface- A genuine chinchilla fur coat has always a wavy surface with the protruding part in the middle of each skin . Rex rabbit fur coats are always flat.
And here is why : Genuine chinchilla skins are really small and along with the dorsal area which is the thickest part , furriers used the flanks and the abdominal area which are thinner . This way you get the curvy look with protruding central skin parts and concave peripheral parts on each skin at the stitching lines . Rex rabbit fur skins are larger and less pricey and there is no need to use the flanks . Only the dorsal area is used and thus the flat even look . This difference is very characteristic and after reading the above you should be able to tell the difference very easily.
2. Count the number of skins
Count from collar seam to the point that the waist of the model ends and her ... butt begins . The length in almost all models will be 23"(60 cm). It is suggested to do this from a rear view photo. In a genuine chinchilla coat you should count 8-9 skins or 7-8 stitching lines at this length . A rex rabbit coat will have 5-6 skins or 4-6 stiching lines. This is not universal but it applies in most cases and of course the skins must be stitched in a horizontal pattern.
3. Coloring pattern
The genuine chinchilla have a dark central area , surrounded by a soft gray area and white lines on the sides. The rex chinchilla color imitation come in many types . If you do not see this pattern then it likely not real chinchilla . However there are some very good imitations. Yet in rex chinchilla fur the coloring pattern tends to be unnatural and very geometric whereas the natural genuine chinchilla does not have strict geometrical patterns. If you see continuous , straigth and rectangular patterns then it is most probably rex rabbit.
Now regarding price i find it needless to say that genuine chinchilla cosst a few thousands $ whereas rex rabbit costs a few hundred. As for texture , i will not elaborate on this because one has to touch both furs once and then be able to tell the difference.