Fursuit Care Guide
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR FURSUIT
As with any investment, fursuits require proper care and some maintenance along the way in their use. With proper care taken, your fursuit will last you many years. Please follow this guide to keep your fuzzy friend fresh and well kept.
ITEMS WORTH INVESTING IN
- A mini fan to be placed in the head for drying after use.
- A bottle of Febreeze Anti-Microbial, rubbing alcohol (to mix in a 50/50 base with water. 100% alcohol is too strong), or any other disinfectant to use on the suit immediately after use.
- Under Armor Heatgear long sleeves shirt and leggings or lycra clothing to wear under your fursuit during performance. This will help keep you cool during wear.
- Under Armor or a lycra balaclava to wear on your head during performance.
- Under Armor or a lycra skullcap to wear on your head during performance.
- If you're a woman, an Under Armor or similar sports bra is worth the investment.
- Rubbermaid Action Packer, or a decent piece of luggage for travel or storage.
- Woolite and fabric softener for washing.
- Folex for spot cleaning along the way. (We buy it by the gallon at Lowe's!)
- Nylon bristled pet brush for general brushing.
- Small slicker pet brush for use only on high friction areas that become matted during wear. (Ex. the crotch/groin area and armpits)
UPON DELIVERY - Your brand new custom made fursuit is ready for wear right out of the box! Go ahead and try it on!
HOW TO PUT IT ON: Put on all your under gear. First step is put on your body suit like pants, but don't zip it up or put your arms into it just yet. Next, put on your feet, making sure the legs of the body go over the ankle cuffs of your feet. If your tail is detached, pull it's belt loops through the tail loop holes in the body suit. Once the loops are through, slide a belt between them and put the belt on around your waist/hips. Next put on your hand paws, and then slide your arms into the arm sleeves of the bodysuit, so that the arms of the bodysuit go over the wrist cuffs of the hand paws. With these instructions, everything should have a more "natural" look and flow to the fur. Next, zip up your bodysuit, but go slow and be careful not to catch any of the fur fibers in the zipper's teeth. You could tear the fibers and even jam your zipper. You may need an extra set of hands to help you with this part. Finally, put on your head, making sure the neck flaps go over your body suit. Now give yourself a good look in the mirror, move around to test your movements and vision, and you're good to go!
DURING WEAR - We recommend wearing Under Armor or a lycra under suit during performance in order to keep you cool and comfortable. The lycra material helps to wick away the sweat from your body, but also helps it to not soak so much into the fur of you suit. Wearing the skullcap and balaclava will help keep the sweat out of your eyes during performance, as well as keep your hair contained and out of your face if it is long.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE: Always have a good meal, get well hydrated, and avoid bladder stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine before getting into your fursuit. Wearing and performing in a fursuit can be more taxing on your body than just being active in everyday street clothing. Consuming alcohol before and during wear of your fursuit will dehydrate you much faster, so be sure to be cautious. Hydrate well before performing, during, and after. It's okay to take breaks once in a while! Removing your head, hand paws and unzipping the upper portion of your bodysuit will help your body expel any excess heat built up during wear and performance.
RIGHT AFTER USE -
Head: Take off your head and spray the inside with the Febreeze Antimicrobial spray, (or a similar disinfectant) then rest it on the small fan to dry. If you do not have a fan, rest the head upside down, and open up the neck flaps so that the bottom opening is pointed up and outward. You can use a larger table top fan to blow directly toward the neck opening of the head. Let your head completely dry before performing in it again or storing it. Storing it while still moist can result in mold growth and can completely destroy your head.
Body: Turn your bodysuit inside out and spray it with disinfectant spray. Then hang it (still inside out) and let it completely dry before performing in it again. If you are ready to wash your bodysuit, disregard using the disinfectant spray. Put it in the washing machine inside out with cold water, set on gentle cycle, and use a light detergent such a Woolite and some fabric softener. Any detergent should work fine, but we prefer Woolite because it guarantees no fading of fabric dyes. Once it is done in the wash turn the body right side out. To dry you can either air dry it by simply hanging it from a hanger for a few days in a dry enclosed location, or you can air dry it in your dryer. If you are unsure of the settings on your dryer, try running the "Air Dry" cycle on it for one minute with nothing in it. After the minute, stop the machine and stick your hand inside. If it doesn't feel warm at all, then you have found your setting. DO NOT USE ANY SOURCE OF HEAT FOR DRYING. EVER. NOT EVEN ON "LOW HEAT." Using heat for drying will destroy the synthetic fibers of the fur, permanently ruining the costume. Such damages are irreversible. (I personally have made this mistake before on a personal built costume!)
Hand Paws: Spray the insides with the disinfectant of your choice, and let them completely dry before performing again. If you are done performing in them, follow the same cleaning instructions as stated in the Body section.
Feet Paws: Spray the insides with the disinfectant of your choice, and let them completely dry before performing again. If you are done performing in them, follow the same cleaning instructions as stated in the Body section. If you choose the machine wash them, they will take much longer to dry. You may have to let them sit out for a few days, or even place a fan in front of them. Just like the head, mold can grow if you store them while still moist. Always check your feet everywhere before storing them. If your feet are made of a harder material than just foam or polyfil stuffing, then they will have to be spot cleaned with Folex.
Tail: If you tail is attached to your body, it will follow the same cleaning instructions as the body. It may take a little longer to dry than the body, so be sure to monitor it before storing it. If your tail is detached, it can be machined washed and dried the same way as the body. The tail does not need to be sprayed with disinfectant spray since it doesn't come in direct contact with your body.
Brushing: Always use the nylon bristled brush for brushing your suit. Brush it before performing, during if needed, and after washing while it's wet to help re-straighten out the fur fibers. Brush it again when dry too if it looks like it needs it. Only use the slicker brush on high friction areas such as in the crotch/between the upper thighs, and under the arm pits where mattes in the fur will form. Using the slicker brush always rips and tears the fur fibers right out of the backing, so use it very seldom elsewhere on your fursuit. Remember, this fur does not grow back! Too much slicker brush use can result in bald spots, and the fur having to then be replaced which can prove to be costly.
STORAGE: Hang your bodysuit on a hanger in your closet as you would any other garment. For heads and feet we store them in a trash bag on a shelf in our closet to prevent any sort of dust from resting on them. We always make sure everything is 100% dry before being stored. Hand paws usually end up stuffed inside the head during storage. However you can also store your loose parts in the Rubbermaid Action Packer if you have the space. Just be sure everything is 100% dry before storing it in an enclosed bin.
TRAVELING: We like to use Rubbermaid Action Packers for travel because they are a harder plastic with more durability than basic plastic bins. Just be sure to use TSA friendly locks when flying. Labeling and packing instructions taped inside the lid and bin always helps as a 'just in case' if your bin was to be opened by a TSA agent. If you are uncomfortable with the large Action Packer Bins, there are other alternatives to luggage and duffle bag types. Most important thing to consider is to pack everything snugly, and be sure not to crush anything. Crushing costume parts can result in deformation if packed for too long and handled in higher temperature environments.