Influential Images: Borgana and Dynel Faux Fur
September 16, 2011 § 40 Comments
The temperatures finally dropped today and from what I’ve read on Twitter, many New Yorkers have pulled out their fur and cashmere already. I’d prefer to wait until a true cold stretch to pull out my heavier pieces, but I know many people like a drastic change in wardrobe. I have very little real fur in my closet; I’m an animal lover and am planning to buy a faux fur piece or two this fall.
There’s not much in the way of information about the history of faux furs but I did read that they were introduced to the market in 1929. For the earlier half of the 20th Century, a mink coat was a prized possession in a woman’s wardrobe. Faux fur manufacturers presumedly saw a void market, and created ‘the look for less’.
Borgana was a faux fur produced by the Borg Textile Group. Also little to be found about the origins of the textile or the manufacturer, sadly. One reference says that Borg Textile Group was located in Rossville, GA and WWD reported that they later moved to Tennessee in the 1990s. Other references differ in terms of the origin of Borgana. According to this account of a box belonging to the Albrechts of St. Paul Minnesota, the synthetic textile was first manufactured by their family. The Albrechts arrived to Minnesota from Germany in 1855, and had been furriers since 1725. They developed wholesale and retail fur businesses under various company names. I think they were predominantly known as Albrecht Furs. This document also says that Borgana’s trade name was Boralba.
Dynel was another faux fur textile. First introduced by the Union Carbide Corporation, Dynel is a synthetic fiber that is typically used in plastics. Today, it seems to be used more as a coating of marine decks, but historically it was used for faux fur coats and wigs. This particular coat was produced by Burlington Industries of Greensboro, NC, a company that still exists and is currently owned by the International Textile Group.
If anyone has an additional information about the history of faux fur textiles, I’d love to hear!