New Zealand possum or brushtail possum hair use was actual introduced by European settlers. They wanted to establish here a new fur industry. Because possum has no native predator in New Zealand, their population have risen to the point that even natives noticed the serious pest. Because they damage ecosystem, trees and wildlife, locals began to think of their eradication. Also these animals are the carries of bovine tuberculosis. Nowadays the population of possums dropped half of 1980′s.
New Zealand fur characteristics
Fur industry in New Zealand have risen since 1996, because of 2 million wild-possums trapping per year. Possum fabric have been used for clothing. Manufacturers used fine merino wool and their fur pelts. In fur and clothing industries possum fur is called Eco, Possumdown, Merinomink, Merinosilk, Ecopossum. Why Eco? It is ecological type of fur, it reduces the damage to environment and it’s silky, soft and durable. It has no allergic affect to our bodies. Today we wear possum fur trim jackets, coats, leather gloves and we use their skin for our beds throws.
Just like the natives we are fascinated with New Zealand possum. This fabric feels like velvet or springy silk. Soft and silky material have always been at the top of fashion. Bushtail possum length is about 2- 3 inches (4-6 cm). It has plush type fur and high density undercoat. It is completely different from American Opossum, because New Zealander doesn’t shed and it is anti-static. Because possum hair is strong you will never have a problem with bare and shedding fur. There is even a trend to use possum fur for the interior, for blankets, sofa throws and cushions. If the care of possum fur is correct, this type of fabric will last for a decade or even longer.
Warm New Zealand possum fur is considerate to be the third of the warmest types. The first is Polar bear and second Arctic fox. Possum has hollow hair structure. It’s like a thermos, so they never freeze. Studies show that this type of fur is 14 % lighter and about 8% warmer.
Eco-friendly, biodegradable for responsible users and wearers
This type of fur can be put in the category of ecological and biodegradable fabrics. Even if in late 80′s there were some propaganda and controversies about fur trades, it’s irresponsibility and anti-ecological fabrics, today the situation changed. The fur industry is more eco-responsible, they use eco- technologies. Therefore animal welfare improved greatly. Even if fur is not the first need item, suppliers and manufacturers must be responsible. As you know there is always two side of story. Despite the harsh conflict with animal rights activists fur market keeps on growing, but they are trying to be more responsible and eco-friendly.
The old New Zealand possum skinning and crafting traditions
In new Zealand to skinning possums for fur was an old traditions. Any furrier and a craftsmen have to be a specialist and know this ancient craft. Those old traditions continues only with the help of qualified furriers. They know that possum fur will stand the test of time. Even in the old days they knew how to make decor fur and coats out of possum pelts. While the Mink fur is crowned as the king of fur coats fashion, possum is the Kings of decorative items of interior. Because of its durability and strength possum blankets, throws and cushions are a perfect detail of furry interior.