A former trade in oil and sealskin has decayed, owing to the smaller number of whales and seals remaining about the islands.
Commencing in the Arctic region, the Eskimo in his kayak, consisting of a framework of driftwood or bone covered with dressed sealskin, could paddle down east Greenland, up the west shore to Smith Sound, along Baffin Land and Labrador, and the shores of Hudson Bay throughout insular Canada and the Alaskan coast, around to Mount St Elias, and for many miles on the eastern shore of Asia.
The article known as tussur spun is prepared in exactly the same manner as other spun silks, but its chief use is to make an imitation of sealskin known commercially as silk seal.
These are the Hudson's Bay Co., Russian Fur Co., Alaska Commercial Co., North American Commercial Co., Russian Sealskin Co., Harmony Fur Co., Royal Greenland Fur Co., American Fur Co., Missouri Co.
It is also dyed sealskin colour, but its woolly nature renders it less effective than the more silky musquash.
Nutria also is prepared to represent sealskin, and in its natural colour, after the long hairs are plucked out, it is sold as otter or beaver.
Garments made of sealskin pieces and Persian lamb pieces are frequently sold as if they were made of solid skins, the term "pieces" being simply suppressed.