Skin Type

Procurement of seal skins

The purchase of sealskins takes place through a network of more than 70 trading stations along the Greenlandic coast. Hunters can sell their sealskins from northern Greenland in Qaanaaq, around ‘Kap Farvel’ and up to Illoqoortoormiut covering a coast line of more than 3.000 kilometers.

The purchase department at Great Greenland A/S is a service function for these trading stations and handles all administration related to the procurement of seal skins. Each year around 2.500 individuals trade in seal skin at Great Greenland A/S – a high number in a country that only has a population of around 50.000 people. This indirectly makes Great Greenland A/S one of the biggest employers in Greenland.

The purchase of skin takes place all over Greenland. This takes place through

  • - own trading stations in Nuuk, Maniitsoq, Upernavik and Tasiilaq
  • - independent trading stations of seal skins in small villages
  • - Pilersuisoq, that purchases dried skins in the smallest communities

In Great Greenland A/S predominantly procure seal skins. In addition, a very small number of polar foxes and polar bears are only acquired.

The initial quality inspection of the skin takes places when the skin is traded in. If the skin is accepted it is preserved and prepared for dispatch to Qaqortoq for tanning.

The basis for the purchase of skins is a service contract between the Greenlandic Home Rule government and Great Greenland A/S.

Sorting of seal skins

After the skins are tanned, the skins are sorted. First they are split up in species, then size and color, and then quality.
The quality assortment for sealskin is A+, A, B, C+, C, and D. A+ is the best skin, with no mistakes, in this group there are fewest skins, and theses skins are the most expensive. D is the lowest quality and has many mistakes or big arrears with hair loss. The assortment of the skins are manual, each skin is assessed by trained employees. This demands great knowledge and concentration, to get the right assortment.

Sealskin is traded in sq. feet, which is unique in the fur trade, and this is why the skins are sorted in size.
Great Greenland wants to use all skins the most effective way, this is why we also make seal leather of some of the skins. Seal leather is known by the patinated surface, which comes from the animals’ free life. Seal leather is a very beautiful and strong material.

Dyed skins

Each year Great Greenland A/S introduces a number of new colours in our fur collection. The new fur colours mark current trends and fashion.

Overview of various colours that Great Greenland A/S currently offers:

  • - Nature
  • - Graphite, Camel, Golden Brown, Brown 05, Tobacco, Tarmac, Black
  • - Oblivion Green, Military Green, Kiwi
  • - Ice Blue, Denim, Blue 98, Marine Blue
  • - Red 98, Fire red, Autumn red
  • - Orange, Cherry

Other colours are available on request.

Skin colours shown on the screen may differ from real colour shown in ambient light.

Fur care

A fur coat is a product of nature that will keep and maintain its characteristics through a lifetime if it is treated and stored correctly. Below Great Greenland A/S has collected some practical advice for giving fur coats a long and beautiful life.

In general

Never attempt to or clean a fur coat without the necessary professional skills. No kind of home treatment can work as a substitute for professional cleaning.

The fur is wet

The fur is combed very gently. Drying must be done by air drying in a well-ventilated room and by no use of hot air e.g. from a radiator as it will dry out the fur and leather. A hair-dryer can only be used shortly and to not to close to the fur, as the temperature must not exceed 30º C.

The fur is soaking wet

In this case Great Greenland A/S recommends that the fur coat is handed in to a furrier. The inner lining is removed, the fur coat is dried and tumbled and a new lining is fitted to the fur coat.

Spots from coffee, etc.

The spot is washed away using cold water and the fur dried as described above.

Paint

The paint is removed using a solvent. After that the area is washed using cold water and dried as described above.

Cutling marks or curl

Moisten the fur with water or steam from an iron. After his the fur is combed gently as described above.

Fur storing

After a long winter Great Greenland A/S recommends that the fur is handed in for summer storage at a furrier. Most furriers have temperature-, humidity- and light-controlled storage facilities. This ensures that the leather does not dry out. If it is not possible to store the fur coat at a furrier, try to keep it in a cold and dark a place as possible. Overexposure of light can cause the fur to oxidise or change colour. In addition, the fur should be kept hanging using a broad-shouldered hanger avoiding and pressure. When stored do not use plastic bags, as these will prevent air from circulating and the fur from breathing.

While travelling

Store fur coats in cloth garment bags.

Repairs

Always have small rips or tears repaired by a furrier immediately to prevent more expensive repairs later.

Chemistry

Avoid use of any chemical agents. Avoid spraying any kind of chemicals onto fur coats such as perfume and hairspray.

Intensive use

After intensive use Great Greenland A/S recommends that the fur is cleaned at a furrier. This includes a special moisture resistant treatment of the fur coat. In addition, the leather side will be revitalised.

Other skins

In addition to seal skins the company tans furs from polar bears. Private individuals can take advantage of the company’s capabilities since we also offer to dress polar bear skins as a service. In addition, Great Greenland A/S offers cleaning of polar bear skin.

For dressing or cleaning of polar bear skins please contact Great Greenland A/S to obtain our general conditions. The same written agreement can be downloaded in Danish here.

In addition, Great Greenland A/S wholesales lamb wool, polar fox skins and seal leather.