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last updated November 7, 2018 by Sheila Schmutz, Saskatoon. sheila.schmutz@usask.ca

Fur is





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.

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!

As part of the Saskatoon Fashion and Design Festival 2017, Sheila was interviewed by Janella Hamilton in a spot on CTV Morning Live. She is shown at the left with the two lovely models that appeared.

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.

If size is not an issue, I'd be happy to try to mail prepaid items within Canada. Some items are designed to be "sizeless" and are the best choices if the item is to be a gift.

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

Craft Exhibits and Shows where Sheila had a Wear Our Heritage Booth in Fall 2018.

Thanks to everyone who purchased a fur trimmed garment in fall 2018! Enjoy wearing it for years to come!

The "booth" at the right was at the Western Development Museum's Christmas Craft Fair in Saskatoon on October 112-13, 2018. It won 1st prize for display.

A special collection of items, including the hats shown above, has been made of Pendleton wools for the Wanuskewin Gift Shop. Please visit the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, north of Saskatoon, or their "new" store on 810 Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon, to find them and other beautifully made items with a link to First Nations Peoples. Pendleton blankets were and are associated with First Nations people, as trade blankets, often for fur pelts.

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

She is a "juried" member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council