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Raccoon is a truly American animal and fur, and it’s come a long way from the enormous, heavy coats that were a “must” for the 1920s college man and the Davy Crockett hats of the 1950s. Raccoon are found all over the United States and in southern Canada, with its fur getting thicker and longer the farther north the animal lives.

Although the distinctive tail alternates black with tan rings, the body guard hairs are long and silvery with black tips and the gray sides shade to black along the middle of the back. The best raccoon has plentiful guard hair, heavy underfur, and a silvery color. If raccoon is plucked and sheared, the texture should be silky and the shearing even. Sheared raccoon, as is true of any sheared coat, needs special care to keep it from matting. Raccoon can also be bleached or dyed. The fur can be very durable with care, as the number of raccoon coats from the 1920s that were around a few years ago (and may even still be around) demonstrate.

One day raccoon may not be truly American. Pairs have been resettled in Russian forests where they’re said to be growing in number.

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