Beavers are now found only in North America in quantity, though they are making a comeback in the former Soviet Union. It is an aquatic animal with shiny, coarse guard hair and soft, exceptionally thick underfur called beaver wool orduvet.
The color range is wide. It may be dark brown on the back, shading to pale golden brown on the sides, or the entire fur may be pale or even silvery. Whatever the color, beaver should never have a red cast. The best beaver comes from Canada, the northern US, and Alaska. Northern beaver wears longest.
Southern beaver has a thicker skin and is inexpensive in comparison to northern beaver. The fur texture is similar, although the underfur may not be as thick. Beaver is used both natural and plucked and sheared. Southern beaver is best when natural.
Natural beaver: Natural beaver doesn’t resemble the sheared beaver with which most of us are familiar. Watch for long guard hairs that give the fur a lustrous sheen. Natural beaver is ideal for men’s coats because of the rugged look. It also makes striking casual wear for both men and women. Natural beaver is a durable fur. Its natural brown color may be dyed other colors.
Sheared beaver: Beaver almost always used to be plucked and sheared to a velvety, soft pile. The natural color is sometimes dyed darker brown or beige or even bleached white. The fur may mat when wet and requires care and annual cleaning.