Wear Our Heritage, Homepage

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last updated August 15, 2017 by Sheila Schmutz, Saskatoon. sheila.schmutz@usask.ca

Fur trapping has been a part of Canada's history from the begining. The Metis people were active in the fur trade across Canada. Today it is still a means of livelihood for many people in the far north. One example is the "Northern Saskatchewan Trappers Association Co-operative".

Clothing made of natural fur is also still a means of personal survival for Inuit peoples in the far north. The fur apparel they have worn is shown on this Inuit doll with a soapstone carved face. The doll is part of the First Nations art collection on display in the Agriculture Building of the University of Saskatchewan, donated by Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg. The doll was made of sealskin, fox fur and stone by Rose Kogayona of Kugluktuk (Coppermine).

Contemporary artists such as 2014 Polaris prize winner, Tanya Tagaq, continue to speak about the importance of fur, such as seal skin, to the survival of the Inuit people today. Read more about this in:

We encourage you to wear real fur and support this part of our heritage! This website is meant to help source fur garments and materials in Canada. In recent years, such items have become harder to find, and purchase in some areas.

Canada is cold much of the year, so wearing garments with natural fur serves a useful purpose, not just a fashionable purpose. However, fur trim can also add luxury and beauty to clothing, as well as warmth.

Sheila entered three fur trimmed items at the Saskatchewan Art Showcase of the Saskatoon Exhibition in August 2017, in the theme category. The theme was "Canada 150". The Red Riding Hood Cape shown at the right won first prize in a subcategory and first prize in the Theme Division. It is now on display at the Centre East Galleries until October 15, 2017 in the Centre Mall on 8th St. in Saskatoon.

The "Design Sheet"for this item pinned to it states: The colours in Canada's national flag, which was not adopted until 1965, are red and white. These colours were therefore used for this lady's cape. The outer side of this reversible cape is red and the inner side is white satin, flannel backed kasha. The fur trim on the hood is from the white underside of a wolf. Therefore this interpretation of the nursery rhyme "Red Riding Hood" has a different twist!

More illustrations of the fur trimmed accessories I make are available on a linked page. Most of these items are currently available only at craft fairs in Saskatchewan. The "booth" at the left was at the Western Development Museum's Christmas Craft Fair in Saskatoon on October 14-15, 2016. It won 1st prize for display.

If size is not an issue, I'd be happy to try to mail prepaid items within Canada.

Some items are designed specifically for Renaissance Faire wear or other Medieval events..

Craft Exhibits and Shows that will have a Wear Our Heritage Booth in Fall 2017.

Thanks to everyone who purchased a fur trimmed garment this season! Enjoy wearing it for years to come!

Craft Exhibits that had a Wear Our Heritage Booth in Fall 2016.

Sheila is proud to be included in the Artisan Canada directory.

She is also a member of the Saskatchewan Craft Counil

Links to Fur Garments and Accessories Made in Canada, with Canadian Fur

This list is not comprehensive. The sources listed here have been selected with care and in keeping with the "Wear Our Heritage" goals and philosophy. Preference has been given to locally owned and operated stores that offer goods made in Canada, often by hand by local or Canadian artisans. The current emphasis is on western Canada.

Furriers and Fur Salons using Canadian Fur

Links for Fur and Supplies to Make Natural Fur Garments Yourself

Note that tanned fur, or items made using tanned fur, can be legally sold and purchased by anyone. However, raw fur pelts can only be purchased by persons with a fur dealers permit within their own province. Contact your local or provincial Environment Office for further details.

Sewing with Natural Fur (click to see another page in this series)

Former Furriers in Western Canada and Vintage Fur Coats (click to see another page in this series)