The pelts, although very light, are tough and durable, hence their good reputation for linings for ladies' walking or driving coats.
The French adventurers, bent on finding either a "North-west passage" or some land route to the Pacific (which they believed to be no farther west than the Mississippi), naturally went west by the water routes of Wisconsin; as a fine field for their bartering and trading with water-courses by which they could convey their pelts and skins back to Montreal, the region attracted the coureurs de bois and fur traders; and it seemed promising also to the zealous French Catholic missionaries.
During the 18th century a considerable trade in sheep, wool, wine and pelts developed, chiefly with Chihuahua and with the Indians of the plains.
For straight seams the machines are excellent, making as neat a seam as is found in glove work, unless, of course, the pelts are especially heavy, such as bears and sheep rugs.
Moreover the export of sheep skins and pelts was valued at £680,000 in the lastmentioned year.