Member of the Association for Contract Textiles (ACT) the definitive resource for contract textile information and education
All material sold by 54" width in linear yards (36") unless otherwise noted.
Visit Sommers by appointment only
Save animals, the planet & yourself! Watch this
The process of manufacturing synthetic fur is a modern marvel. Known as a pile fabric, fake fur or Faux Fur quality has advanced from new polymer technology greatly improving the look and feel of many finished products from stuffed animals to footwear, apparel and home furnishings such as fur pillows, fur upholstery and bed throws. Designers understand the association of synthetic fur with the humane treatment of animals and lessening the negative impact on the environment caused by industrial tanning of genuine hides.
As technology producing luxurious fur has steadily increased, people have become more informed and sympathetic to the horrific conditions within the trapping and fur trade. Celebrity endorsements (or scandals) regarding fur aligns with public awareness thanks to organizations like The Humane Society, PETA, Friends of Animals, SPCA and others. Impressively, for the first time in history, a citywide law in West Hollywood, California was recently passed prohibiting the sale of any (real) fur items.
When Sommers develops new fur patterns numerous factors are taken into account. Often the goal is to as closely simulate the look and feel of actual animals as possible. Custom woven colors can create an infinite variety of faux fur patterns. Sommers' ability to create fake furs patterns range from the most elegant to the craziest. Ever see a Hot Pink Panther? Here's a look at our factory
Engineering new fur designs requires strict attention to multiple factors.
Unlike typical textiles based on warp and weft of weave, additional elements must be taken into account to maximize the complex construction of high pile fabrics. Sommers utilizes advanced computer-aided design and modern weaving equipment and looms to closely simulate the real animal; it can be hard to tell by mere look or touch. Achieving the desired beauty in the finished 62" wide fur is based on numerous elements from start to finish.
• Quality of raw material- monacrylic, acrylic and polyester • Ratio and blend of raw material components for both backing cloth and fibers (hairs)
• Hair length, thickness and weight
• Color of fiber and print effect of hairs- tip or gradient print
• Color, print or jacquard weave of base fabric
• Composition of base fabric-polyester knit, cotton or cotton-blend sheeting
• Cutting of "pelts" at varying depths and gaps
• Shaving, brushing, buffing and other chemical post-production treatments. Some processes are closely-held trade secrets
• Put up (yards per roll) and superior packaging in reinforced cardboard cartons
Fake fur begins with the production of raw materials, synthetic fibers from acrylic and modacrylic polymers. These fibers provide the primary texture and appearance for the imitation fur; backing fabric provides the structure and body. Different techniques are employed to incorporate fibers into backing fabric including weaving, tufting, circular looping or sliver knitting.
Although synthetic fur is not a "renewable" source compared to animals (wascally wabbits!) there are numerous environmental and ecological advantages that make faux fur a far greener choice than farmed or wild fur.
♥ Humane-No animals killed or tortured (warning- this video link is disturbing to watch)
♥ Fashionable-can be colored any shade or pattern
♥ Insulating and warm
♥ Easier to sew
♥ Naturally fire retardant and antimicrobial
♥ Does not require refrigeration to prevent decomposition and is impervious to moths
♥ Energy saving- consumption for the production of one coat made of fake fur is 12MBtu compared to 433MBtu for trapped wild animals and 7,965 MBtu for animals raised in fur farms (warning- this video link is disturbing to watch)
Here is a helpful YouTube primer for cutting and sewing fake fur (courtesy of Wendy Gratz).
Many clients ask if they can wash faux fur instead of dry cleaning with high pile method- -a recommended form of cleaning.
For upholstery or pillows, wipe lightly with a soapy cloth.
Before attempting to clean Fun Fur in a washing machine, read ahead:
Sommers Plastic Products’ Disclaimer: Use the following procedure at your own risk. (Long-haired furs such, as Flokati, Emu, Porcupine, are prone to knotting and matting) Always bear in mind that agitation and heat are your worst enemies.
Another word of caution, faux furs will nearly double its weight with moisture so take care when trying to pull it out of the machine.
Place over a strong clothesline or shower rod (preferred) to dry. The weight of it will crush the fur pile where it comes in contact with the line or shower rod. Move often and stroke the crushed area with your hand to restore the pile. The time to dry depends on how well you were able to spin the water out of the material and humidity index outdoors. It could take about 24 to 48 hours. We found that it helps to groom the fur pile with your hands periodically while it dries.
Copyright 2011 Sommers Plastic Products. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Sommers Plastic Products, All Rights Reserved
Shipping and Return Policy and Frequently Asked Questions