Buying fur can be an adventure, and when you don’t know what you’re doing it can be a costly one! In this guide I hope to explain the difference between various types of fur as well as where to buy them, and some do’s and don’t s when it comes to using it.
This guide won’t go over absolutely every type of fur, or every place that sells it. But it will give you a good overview so you can have a good idea about what to look for when shopping for it!
Luxury Shag(also called Punky Muppet, Shaggy Faux Fur, DF Shag) - Average cost per yard: $25-$35
Shag fur is pretty much the basic, first thing-to-come-to-mind type of fur. It is made of longish fibers (called the “pile”), which tend to be around 2 inches long, and usually comes in a solid color. It is deep, soft and plush, and can be shaved down very nicely and naturally. Luxury Shag is great because it’s sold on virtually every fur selling website, and comes in a pretty wide variety of color. It’s versatile and can fit a lot of different projects, as well as generally being the cheapest good quality fur on the market. Because of this it’s the ideal fur for beginner suit makers to use.
TIP: Usually, any fur that costs around $25 a yard will be all soft and nice and stuff. HOWEVER beware of false quality shag. Some websites may advertise a certain type of fur as shag, but in reality the fur they sell is some type of low quality Fun Fur.The way to make sure about this is to ask for a swatch. A swatch is a small sample of any fur you request, which will be mailed to you either free or with a little fee. By ordering the swatch, you can ensure that the fur will be the quality you’re looking for. You can also make sure that it’s the color you want. Dif ferent computer monitors will show slightly different colors, and what you see on your screen may not be what you get in real life.
Fun Fur(also called craft fur, don’t use it besides for learning) - Average cost per yard: $10-$25, small amounts can be purchased at craft stores for around $7
Fun Fur is coarse, sparse and kinky. It will be bristly and the backing will show through after shaving. It usually comes with about a 2 inch pile, though fun fur comes in a wide variety of sizes and color. Fun fur is far from the best quality of fur out there, but don’t completely rule it out. It’s sold in a lot of local stores such as Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. So for those on an extremely limited budget, fun fur is a viable alternative for more expensive online fur that you have to pay shipping for.
TIP: You may think that the low quality shag would be better for realistic suits, as the fibers are harsher, but that’s usually not the case. If you’re looking for realistic fur, check out the “Fox” category.
Fox - Average cost per yard: $25-$40
Fox fur does not come from a fox! It’s simply the name given to this type of faux fur. Fox fur often refers to a type of fur made by Monterey Mills, though it can be bought at different places around the Internet.This fur is long pile (around 3 inches) and is of good quality, but doesn’t have the artificial soft and cuddly feel of shag.It’s rough, but in a natural sort of way (like a real animal)! Also, this stuff shaves down quite nicely. Hence it’s great for life-like costumes. However, different colors of Fox fur can be hard to come by. White and black fur can be bought straight from Monterey Mills, and some other fox fur colors such as Rust and Palomino can be found more rarely. But for more exotic colors you will have to dye or airbrush the fur yourself. Fursuitsupplies.com also has a really cool Luxury Fox Fur, which is like a hybrid between Luxury Shag and Fox Fur, and has the best attributes of both!
Seal/Teddy(best for the main part of a ponysuit) - Average cost per yard: $12-$25
There are different types of short pile(around ½ inches or so) furs, and some are literally called “Short Pile Fur”. However, there are two main types I want to talk about here. “Seal” fur refers to furs that have very short, but dense fibers. This stuff is usually very luxurious and smooth, but not great for shaving or a realistic look; it has more of a plush sort of vibe.Teddy fur is also short fibered, but is a little more sparse, thin and realistic looking, making it great for realistic animals with shorter furs. These short pile furs come in a huge variety of colors and color combinations, so are great for fursuits. However, when looking up these short furs, be careful !Many short pile furs (usually called “Minky” fur) come with lines or dots grooved into the fur. This is because this type of fur is used for clothing, like coats and things. However, that is usually NOT what you want for your fursuit! Make sure that any short pile sort of fur you buy is totally plain and flat before you order it online by ordering a swatch first.
TIP: One thing to note is that with short fur, it’s a bit harder to hide seams. The short fibers makes blending two separate pieces of fur a little tough, and it doesn’t look good to have visible seams on your suit. A technique that makes things a little easier is that instead of buying short fur, buy shag and shave it down to the length you want. Also, you can taper the length of fur while shaving down the shag, instead of having an abrupt change in fur length where the short fur and the long fur meet. However, if you are making an animal that has only short fur, then buying shag and having to shave down everything is pretty impractical, so simply buy what works best for the suit you are making!
Mongolian(ideal for wavy manes and tails) - Average cost per yard: $25-$35
Mongolian fur is wavy, long pile fur, about 3 inches long. It comes in a nice variety of colors. This stuff is extremely similar to your regular Shag fur, though it tends to be a bit rougher and wilder looking. It’s good for accents or animals with longer or more ruffled fur. Monkey Shag is also a long pile fur, though it’s not as wavy as the Mongolian, and comes in fewer colors.
Husky and Wolf - Average cost per yard: $30-$40
Husky and Wolf fur are a long pile fur (around 3 inches or so) that takes on the characteristics and colors of, well, a Husky or a Wolf! This fur tends to be two-toned, with a base fur that fades into a different color near the tip, or small patches of alternating colors. Depending on what you get, the colors may go from black to white, brown to cream, etc. Wolf fur may even have long guard hairs dispersed among the normal fur. This type of fur is amazing for a realistic look that you just can’t get from airbrushing!
Tip: This fur would work great for use on the neck of a mask, or the back on the bodysuit. It may not be so good for detail work! Beware that while this fur is great while it’s long, it may not shave down very well. This is because a lot of these furs have small tufts of a different color dispersed in the main coat; when the fur is shaved, it leaves unnatural spots of color on your fur.
Sparkle Fur(may be used for crystal ponies) - Average cost per yard: $25-$40
Sparkle fur is exactly what it sounds like - fur that’s sparkly! This stuff has got anywhere from 1½ to 3 inch long pile fur, with sparkly tinsel or metallic strands dispersed throughout it. Though it looks snazzy, sparkly fur may not be the highest quality fur, or the softest. It may not shave down very well either, due to the tinsel strands. However, it would work great as a fun accent.
Feather Fur - Average cost per yard: $30-$40
Feather fur is patterned in such a way that it looks like feathers instead of regular fur. It looks really great! If you were making a griffon or something similar, than this stuff would be exactly what you’d want. Feather fur comes with pile about 3 inches long depending on the type, and can be a variety of colors.
Patterned Fur - Price varies depending on the type, around $25 per yard
Patterned fur refers to any fur with designs being part of it - like spots or stripes. Though this stuff might seem appealing, I would strongly discourage the use of alread patterned furs on a fursuit. The placements of the patterns in the pre-made fur aren’t always where you might want them. When you cut the fur, you cut the designs in awkward ways as well. Also, there isn’t much spacing in pre-made patterns, which makes the fursuit (especially the head) look too busy and unorganized. Though patterned fur may work in some cases, I advise to use it sparingly. If you need to put very detailed spots or stripes on your fursuit, and don’t want to hand sew them in, then I recommend either hand painting or airbrushing them on.
Where to get:
PLEASE NOTE: A lot of these site may also ship world wide.
1. Write your name in song titles. Dark Lady - Cher All I Need Is A Miracle - Mike & The Mechanics Renegades - X Ambassadors Killer Queen - Queen Funhouse - P!nk I Am What I Am - Gloria Gaynor Rainbow Connection - The Muppets Electric Barbarella - Duran Duran
2. Why did you choose your URL? See here (X) - long story short, because it’s an old handle & RP character name.
3. What is your middle name? Marie
4. If you could own a fairytale/fictional pet, what would it be? A supernatural ghost cuttlefish who flies in the air and lives on an broken clock on the bookshelf
5. Favorite Color? Lilac & Pumpkin/Autumn Orange
6. Favorite songs? I don’t do “favorites,” I do Top 5 Lists. Top 5 Songs for today: 1) The Cure - It’s Friday (I’m In Love) 2) The Misfits - Scream 3) Melanie Martinez - Pity Party 4) Janet Jackson - No Sleep 5) Hunter Hayes - I Want Crazy
7. Top three fandoms? - Gotham & Batman - primarily The Gotham Rogues - The X-Men Universe before the release of the films (and the subsequent massive changes to the comics & the canon) - A three way tie among Star Wars (IV, V, & VI and the expanded U), Disney Parks, and Dungeon & Dragons.
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– What Love Is (a Crankie Muppet fic I’m working on because darn it, I am)
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