Creating a beautiful fur blanket or coat is not a process that can be rushed or mass produced. For the most refined effect, attention to detail in every step is of vital importance.
Producing the Palomino Silver Colour
The story of this silky soft throw starts in the colour. This Palomino Silver fox colour is a mutation of the well-known silver fox, and requires a mastery of genetic knowledge to produce. This colour, and many others, is sorted and graded under the Norwegian Type Fox banner at KopenhagenFur, Denmark. The majority of Palomino Silver skins are sourced from one particular expert farmer in Finland, with whom Emilou Fur has a close friendship.
Skins that are graded at KopenhagenFur auction are origin assured and can receive KopenhagenFur quality labels. The skins are sold raw, and they must be expertly dressed: these Palomino Silver skins travelled from Denmark to Poland, known for expert fur tannery, where they were processed by a small family firm in Lublin. Working with a small family company was ideal for this exclusive lot, and allowed detailed communication during the entire process.
When the skins arrive, the work really begins!
Choosing the skins that would make up the blanket is the first step. Although the lots are graded by size and shade of colour (eg, X Pale, Pale, Medium), there can still be variations in the lot. The skins for the blanket must match as well as possible in colour, hair length and, of course, KF quality (Ivory or Burgundy). A monumental task of comparison begins, as skins are swapped and swapped again to create the best selection.
When the skins have been selected, they are individually damped and stretched, stapled out onto a board and left to dry. Special attention is given to the shape of the skins. The flank areas were 'boated' to make the best use of the available high quality fur. When the skins are stretched, it is possible to start to work with them in cutting and sewing to achieve the final proportions necessary.
The pelts are naturally wider at the bottom than the top. A much simpler blanket can be made by 'tesselating' this shape - i.e. lining up the head of one skin next to the rump of another. However, this causes the fur to run in all different directions on the blanket. At Emilou Fur, a more refined effect is desirable! So, the proportions of the individual skins need to be altered to make them perfectly rectangular. This is done by special cut work, which allows sections of the skins to be moved around and sewn - it is completely invisible on the fur side, but the shape of the skin becomes even.
Layout of the Blanket
Although the skins are matched, at this point they need to be viewed in natural light to decide the best order and layout. Each is moved around until the most pleasing effect is created. The layout of this blanket will create a sensational, voluminous look by placing the skins 'rump to rump'. The next step, of course, is to sew all of the skins together.
It isn't enough to simply sew a lining onto the fur as soon as the skins are sewn together. The blanket needs to be damped again and stapled down, in order to ensure that the pelt lines are all perfectly straight and squared off. Emilou Fur teamed up with Robinson of England to borrow some studio space big enough for this large throw. Blocking out a fur this big is quite a task: Chris Courtenay Williams, a long-established furrier from Chester, was on hand to help!
The fur is left overnight to dry, then reinforced with tape and squared off the following day. The fur is wet-set and gently ironed against its natural direction to create a beautiful volume, and blown through with an air tool to remove the loose hair and create a lively look. Throwing it onto a sofa to see how it looks afterwards is irresistable!
Layers of Luxury
At this point in creating the blanket, although the fur is fully finished, there is still a lot to do!
A layer of American cotton batting is added next by hand-sewing, along with a sturdy edge tape, which must first be sewn on, then turned back in on itself. This layer is concealed by the lining, but is very important in creating a luxurious body and weight to the blanket.
Cashmere and the Final Touches
Silky, natural fur demands an equally plush lining fabric. Pure cashmere was the only choice, in a beautiful textured camel colour, also hand-sewn onto the throw. The only task remaining is to give the blanket its credentials: the Emilou Fur brand labels (in hand-embossed goat leather, finished with Carnauba Wax and buffed to a subtle gloss) and KopenhagenFur quality labels.
Finished at last
At this point, the blanket truly speaks for itself. Constructed with attention to detail and the most elegant natural materials, it is ready to become an intimate centrepiece of any living space, and a beloved heirloom.