warmth and breathability; fur vs faux vs leather

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scarfell

Forager
Oct 4, 2016
224
1
south east
I need a new hat, after years of synthetic i'm contemplating rabbit fur; but i want something breathable, its rare for me to find a warm hat that doesnt leave me damp & itchy

Is real fur really warmer than faux? How well does it breath?


I'm also contemplating leather, as all my leather jackets breath beautifully, but i wonder if leather and faux fur will defeat the purpose?


Never worn real fur before, so no idea how well it works, instinct (or years of survival, bushcraft and indigenous ppl on TV lol) tells me leather and real fur is the best option for warmth and breathability?


(hopefully not an issue here, but if anyones concerned i will be doing what i can to source from high welfare fur bi-products rather than fashion mink type stuff)
 

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
919
17
Finland
Is real fur really warmer than faux? How well does it breath?

Thermal resistance in mainly dependent of the density and thickness of the material. Some furs are less dense than others and as such have larger thermal resistance per a unit of weight.
 

scarfell

Forager
Oct 4, 2016
224
1
south east
So rabbit fur being allot less dense than most faux stuff, should breath better, but may not be as warm? Seems logical, but if anyone has direct experience that'd be useful :)

I think i'm going to try fur, guess the question is whether i should go for leather or synthetic matirial, given the big price difference i dont want to waste 30-50 odd quid lol

Also wondering about the type of leather, cow leathers the cheapest, but maybe reindeer breathes even better, given that its used in subzero allot?
 

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
919
17
Finland
So rabbit fur being allot less dense than most faux stuff, should breath better, but may not be as warm? Seems logical, but if anyone has direct experience that'd be useful :)

Rabbit is perhaps the least durable leather in terms of tensile and abrasion strength.

Also wondering about the type of leather, cow leathers the cheapest, but maybe reindeer breathes even better, given that its used in subzero allot?

In what items are you planning to use fur and leather? What is the temperature range you're going to experience. Does it matter if the clothing items are light or heavy, more or less durable? You don't want to use too thin leather as a shell layer because it's not that windproof and can't stand too much abrasion.
 

scarfell

Forager
Oct 4, 2016
224
1
south east
Anything from -10~-5C to below 10C (average uk winter range), weight doesnt matter to much, as long as its warm and breathable, although i dont want half a bear on my head either :lmao:

Durability probably not a massive issue, it'll only be out when its very cold, or the 2-3 times i might spend a few days outdoors in winter

Thanks for tip on windproof leather thickness! None of my leather coats have that problem so i'll stick with something that thickness; i dont live in the arctic tho anyway, i'll go out into the country when its cold, but not when its rainy and blowing a gale, cant handle that lol
 
Last edited:

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
919
17
Finland
Anything from ~-5C to below 10C, weight doesnt matter to much, as long as its warm and breathable, although i dont want half a bear on my head either

In those temperatures, I would really recommend wool over fur. Wool is much easier to clean, more durable, cheaper and you won't face so many problems with condensation and decomposition connected to temperatures near or higher than zero.
 
Dec 6, 2013
417
0
N.E.Lincs.
Wool is made up of scales, it's the lifting scales (especially on lower quality wool) that causes the itch.....you could try pure Lanolin hair conditioner (available in a jar) rubbed into the wool or a wash in conditioner specifically for wool to help stop the itch.....I find the Lanolin (which is natural and in the wool anyway) helps a lot on hats and scarves etc.

D.B.
 

scarfell

Forager
Oct 4, 2016
224
1
south east
Wool is made up of scales, it's the lifting scales (especially on lower quality wool) that causes the itch.....you could try pure Lanolin hair conditioner (available in a jar) rubbed into the wool or a wash in conditioner specifically for wool to help stop the itch.....I find the Lanolin (which is natural and in the wool anyway) helps a lot on hats and scarves etc.

D.B.

I'm allergic to lanolin, which i believe is the cause of my rash with wool

I get the same problem with alpaca too, even tho thats very low lanolin, this is why i've been forced to endure synthetics :(
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,047
1,070
Bedfordshire
Very sorry to hear you have a problem with wool. I was going to suggest one of those Merrino/Possum beanie hats, I have one and find its almost never cold enough for me to wear it. Very warm. Real fur will be warmer than the fake stuff, and probably last longer with care. Not many options other than rabbit for cost though, unless you can find second hand.
 

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