Faux fur is in at home

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS - By Jura Kon­cius

What’s that furry thing be­neath the din­ner plate in the Pot­tery Barn hol­i­day cat­a­logue?

It’s a faux-fur place mat, the lat­est home prod­uct to be made of that soft, lux­u­ri­ous fab­ric that makes you want to pet it.

Throws made of faux fur have been popular for years and are now a sta­ple for the win­ter months, along with fake fur coats.

“As the world gets cra­zier and cra­zier, our homes more than ever are places that we want to feel cod­dled,” says Newell Turner, ed­i­tor-in-chief of House Beau­ti­ful, who has faux wolf and fox throws at his place in the Catskills. “They feel fan­tas­tic. Since they are faux, I don’t feel guilty.”

At Restora­tion Hard­ware, faux fur is a sea­sonal star, and the re­tailer’s 2014 hol­i­day book notes that it’s been re­fin­ing faux fur for 30 years, call­ing it “ul­tra­soft, cozy and with all the weight and nu­anced shad­ing of the real thing.”

Ev­ery year there seems to be more and more faux mink, chin­chilla and fox to fling about: pillows, ot­tomans, wine bags and bean bags. It’s sold at Front­gate and Wal-Mart, and you’ll find faux-fur snow leopard throws at West Elm and blan­kets of fuzzy faux gi­raffe at Pier 1 Im­ports.

“Our cus­tomers can’t get enough. It just keeps grow­ing ev­ery year,” says Jenn Kline, Pot­tery Barn’s head de­signer, whose of­fice is piled with sam­ples of “fab­u­lous faux-fur throws.”

The store has faux-fur dog beds, duffel bags, hot wa­ter bot­tle cov­ers, tree skirts and Christ­mas stock­ings.

“Fur in Amer­ica used to be a very unattain­able thing. Fur was a lux­ury item you would have to invest a lot of money in,” Kline says. “Now ev­ery­one can have fur.”

Although some an­i­mal ac­tivists are against faux fur be­cause they say it draws at­ten­tion to real fur and makes it more fash­ion­able, it’s a rel­a­tively guilt-free and af­ford­able choice.

At Restora­tion Hard­ware, you can even buy your dog his own mini fur throw of faux wolf or mink. Or you can dress him in a faux-fur dog­gie vest, a dog dressed in wolf ’s cloth­ing.

New York de­signer Alexa Hamp­ton writes in an email, “I think faux fur is so popular be­cause it sat­is­fies an almost in­nate de­sire for a deep, com­fort­ing tex­ture that is sim­ply not pro­vided by any­thing but fur. Nat­u­rally, or un­nat­u­rally as the pun de­mands, faux fur is the car­ing al­ter­na­tive.” Hamp­ton says she uses faux fur in her in­te­ri­ors and in her own home. “They con­jure images of 007 loung­ing on one by the fire­place,” she added.

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