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Mink is the most famous and popular fur. At the same time, there are many myths and legends about mink. What is the difference between Blackglama mink and Black NAFA, Chinese from Scandinavian, sheared from plucked? Let's find out everything about mink.

Mink types

About 50 million mink skins are produced annually in the world. The leading global suppliers of mink are farms in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Holland, the Baltic States, Russia, Canada, and the USA. For countries like Denmark and Finland, mink farming is an important economic sector.

On farms, the same biological species mainly bred is the American mink, but depending on the place of breeding, the mink fur has different properties. Therefore, mink is divided into several types. 

A high guard hair distinguishes the Russian mink, and thick high underfur, the product from the Russian mink turns out to be warm, but the fur looks shaggy. Some buyers specifically choose the Russian mink; they like the fur coat to look fluffy. Moreover, the Russian mink is somewhat cheaper than the Scandinavian and North American ones. The Russian mink is not necessarily inferior in quality compared to the same Scandinavian mink. Often the Russian mink quality depends on the animal husbandry, on how the mink are fed and looked after. There is also an outstanding quality Russian mink that meets the high western standards. However, the price of such a mink also does not differ much from the cost of imported high-quality mink.

In general, the Russian mink is popular due to its low price, but the reason for the low cost is its poor quality. The annual production of Russian mink is about 2 million skins. Of these, only about 10% of more or less acceptable quality, the rest of the mink is of low quality, for example, loose underfur. Therefore, comparatively few good quality Russian mink fur products are; and they can be purchased, as a rule, only in company stores belonging to animal farms.

Mink, similar in its properties to Russian, is also bred in the Baltics and the Kaliningrad region. It is a brown mink, the so-called STK (standard dark brown), and demi buff (the colour is also called "nut"). Mink is also bred in Belarus. It is similar to the Russian but differs in a thicker flesh and a coarse glassy spine.

The most common mink is Scandinavian. It accounts for about 80% of the global farm mink market. The Scandinavian mink is distinguished by an even, low awn and dense underfur. Among the Scandinavian mink, Finnish, with a higher nap, and Danish with a short down are distinguished. Most of the Scandinavian mink sold at the Copenhagen fur auction (Kopenhagen Fur). Finnish mink sold at a Finnish fur auction (Saga Furs).

The North American mink has a low pile and velvet-like fur. Another feature of the North American mink is a very thick and high underfur. North American mink sold at two auctions: the North American Fur Auction in Canada and the Seattle Fur Auction in the United States.

Despite the external differences between the Russian, Scandinavian, and North American mink, they are the same in wear and warmth.

Recently, the Chinese mink has become widespread. According to some estimates, the number of produced Chinese mink can be about 15 million skins (compare with 2 million Russian mink). The overwhelming majority of this mink is a cheap and easy-to-breed dark brown mink with a high coarse awn and a weak underfur. It is this mink, mainly dyed black, sheared, very rarely in its natural form, which is massively used for sewing cheap fur products.

Commercial wild mink is extremely rare, with less than 100 thousand skins harvested per year. The wild mink is much smaller than the farm mink, it has a very high pile, the color is only dark grey-brown with a dark ridge, and the underfur is always lighter than the awn. Also, wild mink skins almost always have defects from parasites and other damage. It is not profitable to sew products from wild mink. Although its skins are cheaper, due to their small size, fur consumption will be higher.

Black mink

Natural black mink is the most beautiful and most bought. It is produced in Denmark, Finland, Canada, and the USA. High quality natural black mink sold under the following brands:

Scan black - Scandinavian natural black mink is sold under this name. It is the brand under which black mink is sold only at the Finnish fur auction. But often this is also the name of the Danish mink, which sold at the Copenhagen fur auction (Kopenhagen Fur).

Blackglama - under this brand at the American Legend fur auction (Seattle, USA), natural black North American mink is sold, grown by both Canadian and American farmers. This brand is awarded only to natural, unpainted, and only black mink that meets the highest quality standards.

Black NAFA - under this brand at the NAFA fur auction (Toronto, Canada), the same natural black North American mink is sold, grown by both Canadian and American farmers. And also this brand is assigned only to natural, unpainted, and only black mink, which meets the highest quality standards.

Both Blackglama and Black NAFA are the same North American natural black mink. The only difference is that it sold at different auctions. Mink, sold under the Blackglama brand, is somewhat more expensive due to its more popular brand.

Blackglama is one of the fakest fur brands around. Since most buyers have never seen the real Blackglama, but often heard of it, sellers shamelessly call Blackglama any black mink, including dyed and tinted. The vast majority of black mink fur coats sold are heavily tinted or dyed cheap Chinese dark brown mink. There are several ways to verify the authenticity of the Blackglama mink.

There is also the so-called "black diamond", which is often incorrectly called the Blackglama mink. Dyed or tinted black mink, very rarely natural Scanblack, is usually sold under this name. Among furriers and specialists, the name "black diamond" mink does not exist.

Plucking a mink is an expensive operation. In a plucked mink, the guard hair is removed entirely. Sometimes, depending on the quality of skins, the underfur is trimmed to even out it. Another technology is to cut both the underfur and the guard hair immediately. If the mink is cut short, the skin will look like suede. In this case, the skins are usually dyed so that the skin is not visible.