Our afternoon teaching session saw us back with Stig Reinhold, KF’s resident chinchilla expert to introduce us to this luxury skin.
"The chinchilla is a rodent that comes from the Andes Mountains in South America. The finest chinchilla skins have dense and long furs with an equal lustre. Due to the look and feel of chinchilla furs they are regarded as one of the most exclusive materials available.
Most chinchillas have a beautiful blue-grey colour, darkest on the back shading to a lighter grey on the sides. However, several other colours are available such as white, ebony, violet and sapphire. The fur of the chinchilla is very fine and silky." (Source: Kopenhagen Fur)
The Danish farmed chinchilla are the most blue in clarity - apparently this is achieved by having increased access to their sandboxes and fresh air in their enclosures for their digging and cleaning habits. The yellow/brown clarity is most often caused by urine staining the fur.
As well as learning the basic grading techniques for chinchilla we also learned some key facts about the selling of chinchilla that are different from the other skins sold by KF:
- Chinchilla is sold in lots of 40 skins max;
- There are 2cm between the sizes;
- They are sold ‘dressed’ (not raw) as they are such a delicate skin that they can lose hair during the dressing process if they haven’t been pelted perfectly; and
- Denmark produces a special quality of Chinchilla – the bluest natural clarity, and quality dressing by hand that produces the softest, thinnest leather with the best lifespan.