Some Fur Collar Styles and Construction Tips

mounted 27 January 2024, last updated 28 January 2024 by Sheila Schmutz, Saskatoon. [email protected]

Some Fur Collar Styles and Construction Tips

Fur collars are a popular item. They can be detachable or permanently attached to coats, jackets, etc. They can be light weight or large and cuddly warm.

Deciding what style to make depends on your personal preference and the type and amount of fur you want to use. As an example, from one red fox, one can easily make an ample (5” deep) round or “Quaker” collar from the lower body and probably a solo standup collar/neckpiece from the shoulder region, with the soft underbelly fur remaining. This soft grey/white/reddish fur might work as trim on certain things such as cuffs on mittens or sweaters.

Most of the collars that I make for women's outerwear are long-haired furs. Coyote (left) and Raccoon (right) collars look full and quite beautiful, as do all the foxes.

Quaker Collar Construction

A minimum of 6 fox pieces is required to make a Quaker style fur collar.

the black lines are approximate cut lines for one Quaker Collar on this opened fox pelt. The underbelly fur is different so is probably not going to be used in this collar.

Depending on the shading of the particular fox, those 6 pieces may or may not have to be cut again to match the intersections well. Although piecing of the fur is required, dampening the leather side and shaping once the pieces are sewn together, is also very important. The dampened collar can then be dried on a professional drying table or allowed to air-dry overnight.

Typically collars are pieced so that the intersections of the pieces do not show much, if at all. Some pelts, such as this cross fox, make that a bit more challenging.

Next, the collar is lined, and perhaps interlined. Interlining can be useful for large full collars. Using some type of batting is typical – wool if you can find it, polyester, or perhaps cotton (although cotton adds weight and not much loft). For a lightweight collar, such as the “air gallon” ones above, no interlining would be used.

The lining can be silk, or velveteen or synthetic suede. This depends on whether one wants the collar to stay in place well, or be silky against bare skin.

I usually use synthetic suede or cotton velveteen lining, and add 6-8 large snaps to the collar, so it is detachable. I often use wide twill tape on the inside of large round or Quaker type collars and add the snaps to that twill tape. A matching synthetic suede edge is added to the circle cape, as shown at the right.

If it’s a V neck collar I may sew the snaps near the underside neck edge of the collar and in the matching places on the jacket. If it’s a standup collar I often make it so it’s like a pocket with the lower edge open to slip over the standup cloth collar, and add snaps to the inside.

Sometimes a purposeful asymmetry in the fur can add interest (as shown on the blue fox collar left, that replaced a fake fur collar on a purchased jacket).

Many furriers believe that the “grotzen” or hackles area of fur that runs down the spine of wolves, coyotes, etc. should not be incorporated into a collar. However, if placed appropriately, this can also add interest (see the back of a wolf collar below).

V Necklines

Most of the collars I make for outerwear are round collars or standup collars because I find them warmer in our cold Canadian climate.

However, some people prefer collars that fit a V neckline. The collar at the left is made from random silver fox fur scraps.

Fur collars that fit V necklines are common on the vests I make. The narrow detachable fur collar on the Pendleton wool vest, left, is fisher. Fisher is not a long-haired fur, and therefore also appropriate for an indoor garment.

Sometimes I use only fur lapels, not full collars, as shown on the Blue print vest, right. The lapels are beaver, dyed black.

Many male furriers teach that the fur should go downwards at the back but up towards the face on the front of such V neck collars. They believe that creates a richer look in front. Most women seem to prefer that all the fur goes downward. The beaver collar in the photo below shows the fur going upwards. It also illustrates a classic layout used by many furriers in making collars for V neck coats. This particular designer obviously thought the cut pieces being very individually visible created an interesting effect, as do I. (note that this is the only collar illustrated that I did not make).

“Nina Beaver Collar” by Ecogriffe of Montreal (recycled beaver fur was used in this collar)

The cutting diagrams on the right were found on Pinterest. These would make the individual pieces less obvious.

The Air Gallon Method for Collars

Saga Furs and Kopenhagen Furs have videos of this technique. It is for at least two purposes: to lighten and thin the fur and to provide stretch to shape the fur piece differently, such as in a curve. If one wants to do a curve then more cuts occur at the outer edge, than the inner edge.

this fox collar has been cut in the “air gallon” method, then stretched into shape following a pattern draw on the white sheets of paper.

The air gallon collar, left, was used on this light wool fall jacket. In comparison, a tradtional red fox collar was used on this heavy coat weight wool tweed sleeved cape (right). Each has it’s place.

One can also use the air gallon or “breadth by a thousand cuts” as I think of it, on just a portion of a collar. The back half of this raccoon collar was done with air gallon cuts, but and the front sides were not.

This V neck type collar is a single 3” strip of raccoon fur, the back cut with the air gallon method, and stretched into this shape.

Leathered Collars

Ocassionally one wants a "corduroy" look to a collar. This can be achieved by alternating strips of leather with strips of fur. In this case I purposely used black leather and arctic fox fur.

The top portion of the photo shows the underside of the collar during construction.

The bottom portion shows the finished collar. The arctic fox fur is so full and dense, one barely sees the black leather in the "grooves".

Slipover Collars

Particularly on men's jackets, I find the slipover fur collar useful. One constructs the jacket with a collar in a plain style first. Or one purchases such a jacket.

The fur collar is made by cutting the fur slightly larger than the existing collar and then adding a facing to it by sewing the facing to the back edge and each end, allowing enough extra undercollar fabric to be able to sew it to the inside at the front. Attach bias tape or wide twill tape to the front edge of the fur collar and hand tack it to the inside.

The finished collar is then an open envelope and is slipped over the jacket collar. I typically sew snaps to the coat collar edge and the front edge of the fur collar.

This is a "shacket" with a slipover beaver fur collar. Many men's collars are made of shorter haired furs. This shacket can be easily hand washed with the collar removed.

References and Links Regarding Fur Collars

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