From fursuit making to maker: a guide

Thumbnail source: https://www.weasyl.com/~renashe/submissions/646727/foam-fursuit-head-wip-atlas

It is certain that this has crossed the minds of many members of the community -to bring their character, or fursona, to life. In the fandom, we often see it around – products of the process from imagination to materialisation – also known as fursuiting. Often in all shapes, sizes and colours, they are sure to be creative masterpieces.

If you have ever been attracted to the art of creating these fursuits, you might be interested in how to start your journey. With that, this article will briefly guide and give you certain aspects that you should consider before getting your hands all furry.

Choose your materials

The fabrics that fursuits generally have are plush and textured, although this varies from the species and design that we want to make. Usually, our working speed and the time of completion will depend fundamentally on the material quality.

If what you are looking for is something economical yet quality, try the simpler materials. You can go to a haberdashery to look for sponge and fabric, which are the main materials you’ll need.

Premade fursuit head bases can be found online in a variety of species, styles and price ranges. If you fear making mistakes when making the base on your own, you could consider getting this.

There are a wide variety of textiles available out there, however, the better quality ones are usually obtained abroad or online, such as Etsy, a popular online marketplace.

Plan it out!

You will need a reference sheet to make the suit – it should include different perspectives (front and side) of your fursona.

Make sure to note all important details – such as patterns on the fur, as well as the size and design of the ears, tail and paws.

You can get free fursona outline templates online, if it is difficult to draw your sona or that you’re not so strong in art. Print it on paper, and then design it your way.

If you are considering making a fursuit head regardless of the species you want to make, you will need the following materials:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Silicon
  • black foam
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Industrial tape (for duct tape dummy if you are making a full suit)
  • Cutter
  • Permanent pen
  • Industrial sponge (mattress ones do well too) or a premade (fursuit head) base

If you want to craft some claws you can use one of the following materials, ordered from least expensive to most expensive:

  • Moldable foam
  • Clay
  • Cotton stuffed cloth (can also be used to make teeth)
  • Resin

The last two materials are for sale on platforms such as Etsy or eBay. However, some fursuit makers also make them available for sale to the public as well. The first two materials demand DIY work.

For feet paws, you will need the following materials regardless of species:

  • Foam
  • A pair of shoes, cheap or old unused ones
  • Moldable foam or resin

Starting your own fursuit making business

Remember that fandom is a very large community, and it’s never too late to start integrating into the world of furry trading. Do remember to consider one thing – commitment.

Definitely, before you start, you must make sure that you are most ready and comfortable with making fursuits in a repetitive manner. You could practice your skills by creating some fursuit parts, such as the fursuit head. Pick one species, create it and then repeat until you are comfortable. Once you’re already confident with one species, you can move on to other species.

You must ask yourself these three questions:

  • What to prepare before starting my business?
    • You can prepare samples so that potential customers know what to expect from you.
    • If you can’t work alone, it may be ideal to work in a team. Have an interested friend who is also good at sewing and crafting? Bring them in!
  • Do you have enough resources to get quality materials?
    • Quality fursuit materials are always a plus – durability, appearance…..all those areas would definitely receive a boost. And with higher quality materials comes higher prices, so make sure that you are well-prepared financially for the long run.
    • If high quality materials seem like it’s on the peak of Mount Everest, you can start small – some cheap materials can be actually better than expensive ones. Or you can get scrap faux fur from fursuit makers, if they do sell them.
    • If your budget does not allow you to get materials in the quality you want, you must inform your customer if you are going to raise the price of the final product.
  • Do you want to target a specific audience?
    • The fandom is for all ages, so it is not that hard to decide on the audience, unless you intend to offer artistic content or items aimed at specific groups, such as those over 18.

Important values and ethics

  • Be patient
    • Remember that nobody is perfect and you may not be good at first. Practice is important, and although things might not be up to your expectations, you could always ask for advice or get ideas on the Internet.
  • Be fair and professional
    • If you have a hard time keeping your business accessible to everyone, you could start offering fursuits in your country. And as you have enough resources and popularity, you could expand from then on and further open.
    • Remember to establish a defined payment method and ensure that your account number is correct when you provide it to customers. Do remember to also establish customer satisfaction policies which help avoid potential conflicts and legally protect you, as well as product return conditions too.
  • Be original
    • The most important thing is to be original to give your own unique essence to your creations, so don’t be afraid to experiment and develop your own style.

References

Tips by Angelwolf Suits

Business ethics

Edited by Pawsry Hamktxchuzhni

Spanish version: https://globalfurrytv.news.blog/2020/04/04/de-la-confeccion-de-fursuit-a-ser-fabricante-una-guia/

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