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Ermine Hair

During the winter in cold climes, the fur of ermines, which is at other times of the year predominantly brown, turns white, except for a black spot at the end of the tail. In areas that are a bit warmer, however, the coat of the animal only turns partially white. It is the principally white winter pelt of the ermine that is in great demand within the fur industry, where the soft, lush, highly valuable hair is often utilized to fabricate coats, stoles, and trimmings. In fact, the admiration of and desire for white ermine fur extends back many centuries. The tails of the animals were, for instance, utilized as ornamentation by the warriors of certain Native American tribes, and in England during the years that Edward III inhabited the throne (1327-1377) ermine fur was considered so luxurious that it could only be worn by the royal family.

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