Text Box: Glamorous Furs 
Quality Mink Garment
 While it no longer is rare, mink still is the most versatile of furs. It can be worn around the calendar and around the clock with the style depending  on where you are going and what you are doing. (The exception being white mink, which is limited to gala, after-dark activities.) A top-quality mink garment given the proper care should remain beautiful for at least eight years. Additional years can be added to its life through restyling.
 Of course all furs will fade somewhat over a period of years, but, with better quality mink, the original shade remains for a longer time.
 Only inferior grades of mink and those pelted (skinned) at the wrong time will shed.
 Most coats and jackets contain both male and female skins. The male skins are larger, and are used in the longest sweeps of a full-length coat. The female skins are smaller and usually are placed in the sleeves of a coat or  jacket.
  If a woman is buying a ready-made mink coat or jacket, she should ask the furrier to show her the inside of the garment. On the leather side she is looking for uniformity of the pelts (in size, shape, color, and thickness) and the seams and the stitching. An irregular or patchy appearance on the leather side can indicate that the garment has been made of cheaper and inferior cuts of furs. On the other hand, a "good let-out" mink garment may have thousands of seams but generally they are uniform in pattern.
 The depth and density of the skins and the fineness of the top hairs are simple guides in choosing mink skins for warmth and long wear. The top hairs (also known as guard hairs) protect the underfur.
 The pelt (or back skin of mink) is not the only kind of mink fur used in a garment. A woman can identify her coat or jacket as a mink fur correctly, although it may not resemble mink as we are accustomed to seeing it because it is made from gills, sides, tails, paws, or chevrons. Of course, these furs are considerably less expensive.
 Also inexpensive is Japanese mink, which is inferior in size, color, and beauty to American or Canadian mink.
 The color of the mink does not affect the serviceability of the fur. White mink, quite naturally, will show soil more rapidly than any other shade of mink. Of course, it is worn less frequently, so, if you care for it as you would an investment in a precious jewel or fine china, it can remain lovely for years.
 Do you know the basic color characteristics of standard or ranch mink? Both of these names refer to dark brown ranched mink. Originally, these were called standard because it was the first major color developed when ranch minking began in the early 1920's. The colors are absolutely natural and spread in range from the blue-black and dark brown shades through the dozen or so color types found in EMBA mutation mink. These mink are bred and raised to produce extremely dark and silky, thick-furred pelts.
 Mink "farming" is big business. In the United States there are nearly six thousand mink ranches accounting for about 90 percent of all mink raised. Through the EMBA mink breeders' association, I learned that it takes more than ninety pounds of feed to produce one mink pelt! In fact, I gather that minks are fed better than many people, at least so far as nutritional needs are concerned. The minks are fed fifty-five different ingredients, among them, corn flakes and bran, fish and meat mixes, Vitamins A, B, C D, E, and K, and iron, calcium, and cod-liver oil!
Skins Are Taken At About Six Months
Although this information won't make you look lovelier in your mink, you may be interested to know what minks have kits (baby minks) only once a year. They are born in May from a March mating -- three to four kits to a mother. When they are born they are minkless (no hair) and about the size of one's little finger. They grow rapidly and are half the size of the mother within two months. The skins are taken in the early winter of their first year (at about six months).
 Minks go bald during September and October. They shed all their old fur and grow a brand-new luxurious coat which reaches its peak of perfection during a ten-day period during the end of November and early December. That, of course, is the period when the fur producer should pelt them. Pelts taken too early are said to be flat and lack fluffiness; taken to late, the definition and softness of color are lost.
 Wild mink is descriptive of a lighter brown or golden brown color. They are trapped in their natural habitat in northern America and particularly in Canada. Because of the vagaries of nature, it is difficult to match them in color, texture, and quality, one of the reasons the better quality wild mink are so costly.
 Ranch-raised or wild-caught mink pelts are not different in quality or serviceability. The better grades in either category are superior to the inferior grades of the other. Certainly, the breeding, feeding, and the all-important "pelting at prime-time" would seem to give an advantage to the ranch-raised minks.
 Mutation mink is a popular phrase and greatly misunderstood. A mutation  mink, biologically, is a mink offspring different from its parents in some  marked way. Basically, you can consider as mutations all the colors that have  been created since the first dark brown, ranched mink were produced.  There are roughly fifty distinctly different genetic factors know to affect the color ranging from pale brown to an almost black, and the same range in gray or blue-gray, as well as in pure white.
Even though nearly everyone can afford a piece of mink today, do you know why a mink coat is expensive?  Assuming we are talking about superior grade mink, there are hundreds of operations and processes involved in making a mink coat.  They are not mass-produced.  Nearly all of the steps require manual labor.
Eighty-five Skins for a Coat
Have you ever wondered how many skins are needed to make a full-length coat or a jacket or a stole?  For a coat, a bundle of sixty-five to eighty-five skins; for a jacket, thirty-five to forty-skins: for a stole, ten to twenty-five skins.
For the pleasure of a well-rounded wardrobe, every woman should own something in a goad-quality fur. If she can't have a shoulder-covering garment, at least it can be an accessory. For example: a handbag in any short-haired fur; an ascot in any short-haired fur; a collar and/or cuffs in either long- or short-haired fur; a hat in long- or short-haired fur; buttons in short-haired fur; a belt in short-haired fur; a muff in long- or short-haired fur; gloves in short- or long-haired fur; a bracelet (bangle-style) or pin or earrings covered with short-haired fur.
 Often, furs take contrast furs in trimming details. For instance, a Brazilian river coat will have a mink collar; a leopard coat will have a beaver or nutria or red fox collar; a nutria coat will have collars and cuffs of leopard, and so on. Fabric suits or coats can be made more important looking by the use of detail or trim with fur. An example could be a green linton wool suit with a tuxedo-front jacket covered with lynx, or an earth.brown fitted suit jacket with a Peter Pan collar and patch pockets of Somali leopard.
 One of the most dramatic evening cloaks I have ever seen was a purely cut cape of rich black Lyons velvet, completely bordered with white fox. I have seen this same style made in a luxurious pastel brocade bordered in Norwegian blue fox. Both were far more striking than the usual evening-style fur coat or wrap and at a fraction of the cost.
 Furs should be chosen to be in keeping with your figure, your activities,  your current wardrobe, and your complexion and hair coloring -- besides your purse.
Long-Haired Fur Is Glamorous
 In almost all instances, long-haired fur worn around the face requires a woman's hair to be dressed up, off her neckline. Long-haired fur is considered glamorous, and to wear it to advantage a woman must choose her other costume items and groom her appearance in as elegantly simple a  fashion as possible.
 With a short-haired fur, a woman can wear her hair in any style she chooses . . . up or down.
 Regardless of the fur type you choose, whether you wear it on your back or inside your garment, as a hat or an accessory, don't keep it in the closet and save it. Learn not to sit on the seat of your fur coat, in a theater, a car, or a taxi. Sitting on fur is not good for it. Don't panic if it gets rained upon . . . animals do go out in bad weather without umbrellas. If your fur gets wet, remove it as soon as possible and shake off the excess drops of wetness. Don't put it near a radiator or any heat to dry. Invest in specially designed hangers for your various pieces of fur. Don't crush furs together in a fur  bag. Give them plenty of "breathing" room. Avoid direct sunlight for long  periods of time on your furs. Specifically, I mean tropical or midsummer  sunlight. When their season is over, give them the rest and care they need  by storing them professionally with a furrier or in the fur storage department of a large store. If your furrier advises you to have your garment electrified  or glazed, do so. This treatment which consists of brushing or the application  of chemicals helps to make your fur look like new. And, as I said earlier, don't forget to insure all of your furs worth more than $300.