FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I AM NEW TO COSTUMES/FURSUITS/MASCOTS, BUT I AM CONSIDERING PURCHASING ONE. WHAT SHOULD I KNOW BEFORE TAKING THE PLUNGE?
The Fur Collective costumes are wearable pieces of art. We take extra precautions to make sure that our costumes are as strong and comfortable as possible. That being said, these costumes are roughly between 10-15 pounds of faux fur and upholstery foam and are very hot to wear. They are not for the claustrophobic, and reduce the wearer’s visibility and intricate motor skills noticeably. We suggest that you have a helper get you dressed and spot you while you perform. The costumes also need maintenance as they age. Cleaning these costumes is also time-consuming and should be treated with care. I would highly recommend, if possible, trying out a costume by borrowing one from a friend before purchasing one. Not everyone enjoys wearing them, and we would prefer you understand that and be happy with all aspects of your purchase- appearance and performance!
WHEN DO YOU OPEN FOR COMMISSIONS?
I open regularly each January and June. I will leave the quote form open for a few days, the days will be announced on our social media outlets or will also be on our home page.
HOW DO YOU MAKE --?
Unfortunately, I do not have the time to answer these kinds of questions. However- there are very helpful websites where I was able to learn just about everything that I know (short of making the suits myself). Try searching for them on the fursuit livejournal or on youtube!
CAN I JUST GIVE YOU MEASUREMENTS INSTEAD OF SENDING A DTD (DUCT TAPE DUMMY)?
Sorry, but I only work off of duct tape dummies. The reason is to guarantee a snug fit, and measurements could be imperfect.
DTDs will be required for fullsuits and partials with legs. Here is an open guide (thank you very much Mischief Makers!) showing just exactly what I would like from you.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A COSTUME/HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FINISH A COMMISSION?
Costume making is time consuming, and each studio treats this process differently. Currently, The Fur Collective is taking and completing commissions in batches.
I give out estimated completion dates when I take commissions. It is usually 5-6 months out from when I accept a commission. I do not guarantee any deadlines requested by clients.
DO YOU DO RUSH ORDERS?
For the most part, no.
The most likely scenario that a rush order would be allowed is if the commission was already accepted, and a deadline was added after work had begun. After both parties agree on the date, the 20% rush fee will be added either immediately, or tacked with the shipping cost.
HOW MANY YARDS OF MATERIAL DOES IT TYPICALLY TAKE TO MAKE EACH SUIT?
Generally, it takes about 4-5 yards of material to get the job done. However, I use many varying lengths of fur which usually means I purchase more but have a bit extra.
WHAT DOES DIGITIGRADE VS. PLANTIGRADE MEAN?
Implementing digitigrade padding is a matter of personal preference in aesthetics. Humans and bears are plantigrade, our heels touch the ground naturally when we walk. Dogs and cats have digitigrade legs, they walk on their toes, with their heels off of the ground. Creatures such as horses that are unguligrade (walk on toenails) will be considered digitigrade for the purposes of fursuit making. Digitigrade legs will be more expensive, as it requires extra materials and time.
DO YOU REQUIRE A REFERENCE SHEET/CONCEPT ART?
Yes. If you have something specific in mind, then I need a very thorough reference sheet. The visuals on a reference sheet will take precedence to any designs described in email. (unless otherwise noted) The reference sheet must have a front and back view. A side view in addition to the front and back views is also preferred. I can work with you to create a reference sheet if you would like to commission one.
WHERE ARE THE ZIPPERS LOCATED ON YOUR SUITS/ CAN I REQUEST AN ADDITIONAL ZIPPER?
Front zippers are standard, but back zippers are just as easily done by request of the client. Back zippers will come with a string to help with zipping yourself up. There will only be one zipper included in your costume for getting in and out.
WHERE IS THE VISION LOCATED ON YOUR COSTUMES/HOW GOOD IS THE VISIBILITY?
Our costumes have vision through the iris and pupil of the character's eye, the visibility is very good.
WHAT SIZE ARE YOUR MASKS AND HOW DENSE ARE THEY?
Our foam-based masks are on the larger side. They can look a little big when worn as a partial, depending on the size of the wearer. They are made from dense expanding foam. They do have a slight squish, but do not lose their shape very easily even when crushed.
HOW LONG DO YOUR COSTUMES LAST?
These costumes are not immortal, and unfortunately due to the nature of the material, are prone to aging over time. This is a hard question to answer, because the longevity of the suit will almost always directly relate to how well it is maintained and taken care of. With moderate use, and good cleaning, our suits should not need any kind of repair for up to 3 years. After this point, a few popped seams are to be expected and are simple fixes. Feet will need the most attention, and will wear out over time. Outdoor style feet will last the longest, but it may be a good idea to save for a replacement pair every few years.
WHAT IS YOUR BODY PADDING MATERIAL MADE OUT OF?
Body padding, including manes and digitigrade legs are made from lycra pillows stuffed with polyfil. This allows for greater dexterity and breathability in the suit. Over time, these pillows may become flatter. To avoid this, make sure to only use cold water when washing them. To fix this entirely, you can also strip a small hole in the pillows and re-stuff them. Stuffing can be found at most craft stores. Ankles and other padding which needs to be pointier may be made from carved upholstery foam.
DO YOU USE REAL MATERIALS (FUR, LEATHER, HAIR) ON YOUR SUITS?
For the most part, no. There are no organic materials being used in my standard suits. All furs are synthetic, and noses/handpaws are all silicone, vinyl, fleece or minky. Ethically sourced horse hair or quills may be used for more realistic style whiskers.
ARE YOUR SUITS HYPOALLERGENIC?
Not completely. I have a dog, birds, and a couple cats. They are not allowed in the studio, but fur can travel. As well as this, I might use latex on the noses and pawpads of my suits. Let me know of any allergies, and I will do my best to accommodate your suit in an allergen-free zone. I sometimes snack on nuts in the studio as well, so please mention food allergies as well. However, if your allergies are severe and you aren’t sure, consider commissioning someone else and put your own safety first!
WHICH PAWS HAVE THE GREATEST DEXTERITY?
Paws that have no extras (pawpads and claws) will be best.
DO YOU LINE YOUR SUITS?
Hands, feet and masks are lined with lycra, flannel or cotton materials. Bodysuits are not lined. I highly recommend lycra shirts and pants to wear under the suit. Not only does it protect your skin, but it also helps keep your suit clean by wicking away sweat.
WHAT WILL YOU NOT MAKE?
I do not make copyright characters, duplicates, or most made-up species.
DO YOU SEND PROGRESS PICTURES?
I do! I send updates as pieces are completed.
CAN I REQUEST THAT YOU KEEP MY COSTUME A SECRET UNTIL (DATE)?
Absolutely. If you don’t want your suit associated with you, or for me to include your username or what-have-you with your suit, just let me know. I will eventually post your suit to my site, since every suit is a significant portion of my portfolio, but only after said date has passed or if I lose contact with you without a deadline.
DO YOU HAVE ANY COOLING SYSTEMS?
You may request to have some cooling vents in your mask.
WILL YOU REMAKE AN OLD COSTUME/CAN I BUY ONE IN YOUR GALLERY?
Every costume is unique, and sold by commission. None of the ones in my gallery will be available. I might have a pre-made costume for sale up on my Dealer’s Den account, be sure to check there!
DO YOU MAKE ANY NON-TRADITIONAL SPECIES?
CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE FOR GLASSES?
Yes! Be sure to tell me right away if you need space for glasses in your mask.
The Fur Collective costumes have a variety of custom features to choose from. All designs are given individual consideration with the best materials and techniques to make your costume just how you want it.
Full Costume $4200+ USD
This includes a mask, bodysuit, hands, feet and medium sized tail
Full Padded Costume $4600+ USD
Includes a mask, bodysuit, hands, feet and medium sized tail plus body padding
Partial Costume $2800+ USD
This includes a mask, hands, feet and medium sized tail. For costumes that can be worn with a short-sleeve shirt and shorts, arm sleeves and legs can be added for an additional fee.
Mask $1400+ USD
Includes following or flat eyes and detailing. Built off of a balaclava, and is fully lined inside
Bodysuit $1400+ USD
This type of commission is only available to clients who previously purchased a partial costume.
Necks are lined with fleece to protect sensitive skin. Bodysuits purchased without a tail will not have a zipper attachment. The neck trim of the bodysuit can be a custom color!
We are currently not accepting parts-only commissions (hands, feet, tail, arm sleeves, legs, bodysuit). Parts can be added in addition to a standard commission (ie: an extra set of feet, arm sleeves, etc.)
Feetpaws will have a different shape depending on the body style (plantigrade vs. digitigrade) and species. Standard styles include indoor, with minky, fleece or vinyl pawpads, or outdoor style which has a rubber sole and is more robust for outdoor use. Feetpaws can have silicone pawpads and claws for an additional fee. Feet come lined with quilted cotton for durability. If you plan on really giving your feet a beating, with dancing or advanced use, you may want to opt to have your feet built off of a pair of your own shoes.
Handpaws can be four or five-fingered and have minky, fleece or vinyl pawpads at the standard price. Feral style handpaws have a more animalistic look. Handpaws can be upgraded to having silicone pawpads and plastic or fabric claws. All handpaws are lined for comfort. The trim can be a custom color. When ordering hands for a hoofed animal, please specify if you would like hooved fingers or a standard hand style.
SLEEVES OR PANTS
Sleeves or pants can be added onto a commission to allow a partial costume to be able to wear short sleeves or not wear pants, or allows a full costume the ability to be worn like a partial costume.
This is not an exhaustive list of extra features that your costume can have!
WASHING AND CARE
For a thorough care guide, Download Here!
Keep in mind that faux fur is plastic, so do not use heat in your washing. Plastic will melt, and potentially damage your costume permanently.
Make sure to read a specific product’s information before applying it to your costume
Only the hand tool of a SpotBot should ever be used on your costume
Dryer sheets can be stored in costume parts for maintaining a fresh smell, but do this sparingly
Avoid Lysol and Febreeze, eventually they disintegrate the material
Natural products, such as essential oils, can be used to make your costume smell nice!
OxyClean carpet stain remover
’All’ brand washer detergent for ‘sensitive skin’ (contains no softeners, dyes, or scents)
Dryer sheets (as a short term solution for stink)
SpotBot carpet or spot cleaning machine (for really bad cases)
Grease-fighting dish soap (avoid scents)
Natural Disinfectant Solution
This solution is great for quick and easy cleaning; a must-have for conventions!
Measure out 1:1 isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and distilled water in a small spray bottle
Slowly add essential oils (not fragrance oils!) one drop at a time until fragrant
Shake to mix
Spray inside masks, paws or bodysuit for disinfecting and to get rid of any nasty smelling funk!