It’s a faux fur place mat, the latest home product to be made of that soft, luxurious fabric that makes you want to pet it.
Throws and pillows made of faux fur have been around for decades.
Restoration Hardware’s 2014 holiday book says its been refining faux fur for 30 years and that it’s “ultrasoft, cozy and with all the weight and nuanced shading of the real thing.”
Each year, there is more and more faux fur to throw around the house: ottomans, wine bags and bean bags. It’s a fall staple at Frontgate and Wal-Mart. You’ll find faux fur snow leopard throws at West Elm, Nate Berkus white faux fur stools for Target and blankets of fuzzy faux giraffe at Pier 1 Imports.
“Our customers can’t get enough. It just keeps growing every year,” says Jenn Kline, Pottery Barn’s head designer, whose office is piled with samples of “fabulous faux fur throws.” The store has faux fur dog beds, duffel bags, hot water bottle covers, tree skirts, neck roll pillows and Christmas stockings. “Fur in America used to be a very unattainable thing. Fur was a luxury item you would have to invest a lot of money in,” Kline says. “Now everyone can have fur.”
Although some animal activists are against faux fur because they say it draws attention to real fur and makes it more fashionable, for most consumers it’s a guilt-free and affordable choice.
At Restoration Hardware, you can even buy your dog his own mini fur throw of faux wolf or mink. Or you can dress him in a faux fur doggie vest, the veritable dog dressed in wolf’s clothing.
New York designer Alexa Hampton wrote in an e-mail, “I think faux fur is so popular because it satisfies an almost innate desire for a deep, comforting texture that is simply not provided by anything but fur. Naturally, or unnaturally as the pun demands, faux fur is the caring alternative.” Hampton says she uses faux fur in her interiors and in her own home. “They conjure images of 007 lounging on one by the fireplace,” she added.