Mink coats are a long-standing symbol of luxury and wealth. These attractive coats are made from the pelts of farm-raised minks and can last for decades with the correct care. High-quality skins and construction produce the best coats, but also cost more. The market includes a lot of cheaply made mink coats. Knowing about the different types of coats available can help you avoid getting a poor-quality mink.
Coats made from the skin of the female mink are lighter and softer than coats made from male pelts. The coats require many more mink skins, since females are smaller than the males. Female mink coats are just as warm as male mink coats, but may be much lighter. They are also more delicate and require more careful care.
The larger male mink is used to make coats that need fewer skins and have more durable fur, but the pelts are not as soft as those from female minks. Male mink coats look sharper and less silky than female coats, and drape less readily. This makes them better for firmer tailoring. Coats made from male mink furs are less shiny than coats made from female furs.
A pieced mink coat may include fur from both male and female minks and is built from small amounts of fur that are less desirable. Most are made primarily from tail, paw and neck fur, but may include small pieces from other parts of the body. Well-made pieced mink coats should be reinforced with ribbon or leather on the back side. A pieced mink coat may appear to have a chevron effect, and should have an even texture and pattern throughout. These coats are much less expensive than coats made from full pelts.
Some unusual mink coats are made from minks of a particular color mutation. These coats can be very striking, and may be very expensive, depending on the availability of the color. Regardless of the specific mutation, look for a clear, uniform color and an even length. The guard hairs should feel silky. Mutation mink coats can vary significantly in price depending how popular a given color is. Some examples include silver gray, mahogany and white.
References and ResourcesFur Commission USA: Fur Types In Brief
Passport Magazine: Feeling Furry
“New York Magazine: Luxury For All”; Ruth J. Katz; 1988