When purchasing a fur coat, you may come across the terms ''skin to skin'' and fully let out. Both terms refer to the way the pelts are sawn to make a ready to wear fur garment. The skin to skin technique is the oldest of the two. It is not hard to imagine that the fur pelts are sawn one after another. It is also the simplest of the techniques used. However, the 'fully let out'' technique is a bit more complicated.
First of all, it can be used for any type of pelt. More frequently, fur makers use it with mink, fox, beaver and racoon pelts. Initially, the pelts go through a machine which works like the common paper shredder. They are cut into fine, 1/3 of an inch wide, diagonal stripes. From there on, the fur maker has got two options. One is to saw the stripes together. The other option is to interfere leather stripes between the fur stripes.
One may ask, why should a fur maker should go into such trouble. Well, there are a few important reasons.Perhaps the most important one has to do with the final look of the coat. The ''let out'' technique results in a more even, uniform and smooth hair surface. The density and the hair length of a pelt is not equal across its surface. This technique helps in masking those differences. It is actually a homogenization process.The same principle applies for color matching. Another reason, is that fur pelts are natural products and their tolerance to tension is limited. More seams result in a more durable product. When it comes to fluffy pelts like racoon and fox, the technique helps with volume reduction. This is done with the interference of leather stripes. In some occasions, wider leather stripes are used. Usually this is done to save fur pelts and make cheaper garments.
In general, let out fur coats are more expensive, since more working hours are spent in making them. The seams work as multiple mini joints that give the garment more flexibility. The latter translates into better fit.
Some designers argue against this method. It is considered to be too interfering and it takes away the natural wilderness of the fur.
Finally, the fur garments will still be very warm. Leather stripes provide excellent insulation. One minor drawback is that a let out fur coat will shed a bit in the first two months.