Rabbitis noted for being very inexpensive. It’s also noted as being the great imitator, because of its use to imitate just about any other fur. Both wild and domestic rabbits are used, although most rabbit fur today comes from animals raised for food purposes, the skins of which would be thrown out if not used for fur.
Rabbit may be left natural or it may be plucked, sheared, dyed, and processed in the effort to make it resemble other furs. As a result, it used to be called a wide variety of names, including lapin, sealine, beaverette and chinchillette. But nowadays it is legally required to be called rabbit, no matter how it’s processed.
Long-haired rabbit tends to shed. Thus, anyone who wears dark colors would be better off with a darker color or dyed rabbit than with a white or light-colored rabbit coat or jacket. In any case, the texture should be silky and the color uniform. Some rabbit is leather-edged to give it a longer life. Although rabbit may wear as long as five years or more, the average rabbit coat or jacket probably wears about three years. Keeping in mind that a rabbit coat may cost less than a cloth coat, though, it gives good value for the money.
The fur of this special breed is quite distinct from that of regular rabbits. According to the National Rex Rabbit Club (U.S.), the breed was the product of a recessive gene first spotted in France in 1919. Unlike regular rabbits, the Rex has no prominent “guardhair”, resulting in a silkier, denser fur resembling chinchilla or sheared mink. Rex rabbits were imported into the U.S. in the 1920s. (See Rabbit Redux: A Once-Lowly Fur Finds New Luster, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 27, 2004. Outside link.)