If properly cared for, your costume will bring you many years of fun and dependable service. Our costumes and fursuits are always built with usage in mind, and are designed to withstand the stresses of performing and play. However, in order to keep your suit in tip-top condition, there are a few things you need to do.
Donning your suit:
- When donning your costume, whether it be a partial or a full fursuit, the most important thing to do is to take your time! Relax, enjoy the experience and ease your suit on slowly, piece by piece. Provide yourself sufficient support when putting your costume on; sit down where necessary and avoid bunching up the limbs, or pulling excessively on thinner areas.
- Depending on the features and complexity of your suit, you may need to consider the order in which you put on each piece. For example, some wing and tail designs must be donned before the body suit. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding your specific suit.
- All fursuits are quite warm to wear and will cause you to sweat over time. Wearing full-body sporting underwear like Under Armour (top and leggings) will help keep you cool and will prevent your skin from sticking to the inner layer of the suit.
- Always stay adequately hydrated while fursuiting! Even with appropriate underwear and adequate ventilation, you will perspire and overheat over time. Take breaks as you need them, drink plenty of water or sports drinks.
- If you ever feel dizzy or unwell while suiting, remove the costume at once. Heat exhaustion is a very real risk and no event is worth putting yourself at risk.
- While your suit is designed and built to be durable, do not expose your suit to excessive stresses. Playing sports, horseplay and other active events put repetitive stresses on your suit which can reduce its life over time. Take care to minimize the amount of force you put on seams and thinner parts of the suit, or delicate features that are prone to damage.
- Finally, do not expose your suit to extreme conditions such as excessive heat, extended periods in direct sunlight, or harsh chemicals like cleaners or bleaches. These sorts of factors dramatically reduce the life of your suit, and can break down its structure and components.
Cleaning and Storage:
Properly cleaning and grooming your costume is essential to its appearance and longevity. Also, since germs and bacteria thrive in warm, damp environments – like your suit after a day of performing – keeping your suit clean is important for hygienic reasons. As a rule of thumb, your suit should be sanitized after brief periods of wear, and washed completely after events, strenuous use or periods of extended wear.
Keeping your suit clean and storing it correctly will ensure it will look great and feel great for years to come. Once your suit is on its way, you will want to have the following equipment on hand before you begin using it:
- An delicate sanitizing spray such as Febreze Antibacterial
- A detergent designed for delicate fabrics such as Woolite
- A strong, broad-shouldered hanger such as those found at dry cleaners
- A free-standing, adjustable fan for drying
- A fine-bristled brush or pet brush for grooming
IMPORTANT! All cleaners have the potential to damage certain materials. No matter what type of detergent or sanitizer you buy, always to test the product on the test swatches included with your suit! We cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by cleaning products!
While your costume is designed for strength and durability, you should treat it as you would any delicate or expensive garment. Unlike most garments however, your costume has some specific sensitivities to keep in mind. Use the following steps as a general guide for cleaning and sanitizing your fursuit:
- For brief periods of wear, sanitize your suit by carefully turning it inside out and spraying it down with an antibacterial spray such as Febreze. (See the note above regarding testing of the chosen product on a test swatch before spraying down your suit)
- For longer periods of wear, or after strenuous events or activities, you will need to completely wash your suit. Begin by pouring a bath of warm (not hot) water. Pour in about a half a cup of detergent and mix thoroughly. (See the note above regarding testing of the chosen product on a test swatch before proceeding further)
- If your suit has removable foam components such as muscles and padding, remove them from your suit and carefully lay the body into the bathwater. Using your hands only, gently massage (don’t scrub) the suit from front to back. Turn the suit inside out and repeat the same process.
- The head of your suit can be washed in the same way as the body. Remove the battery from the ventilation unit and from any light-up components and immerse the head in the bathwater. Gently massage the head from end to end until it is completely saturated.
- Leave your suit to soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the bathwater and refill the tub with clean, cool water. Similar to before, massage your suit from front to back and to gently rinse the detergent from the fabric.
- Drain the rinse water and gently squeeze (don’t wring) each part of your suit to remove as much water as possible, working from top to bottom. If your suit has built-in foam components, squeeze each pad firmly working from one end to another. The more water you can remove, the more quickly your suit will dry. DO NOT lift your suit while it is saturated – the foam and fabric will be very heavy with water, which could damage the suit if it is not properly supported.
- Once you have removed as much water as possible, hang the body from a wide-shouldered hanger. Remember your suit will be much heavier while wet so take care to ensure the hanger is positioned correctly so as to avoid putting excessive strain on any one seam.
- Hang your suit on a sturdy hook or beam above a drain and aim a fan to blow air over the suit to help it dry. Do not hang your suit from your shower head or curtain rod – the weight of the suit could damage these items over time. Leave your suit to dry for several hours or overnight, turning it every hour or so so it will dry evenly. DO NOT leave your fan running overnight as it may overheat, presenting a fire hazard.
- As the outside of your suit dries, occasionally brush it to ensure the fur does not clump or mat together. Once the outside is completely dry, turn the suit inside out and repeat steps 7 and 8. Note that foam pieces take a long time to dry so be sure to squeeze them firmly to detect any remaining moisture.
- Once the suit is completely dry, turn it right-side out once more and brush it down. For best results, use small, vigorous strokes to first enliven the fur, then comb the fur straight with long, natural strokes.
- Store your suit in a cool dark place, either hanging in a closet or gently folded in an open container. If possible, store your head on a foam maniquin head to help retain its shape. Do not store heavy loads such as boxes or bins on your suit or its components as this may deform the shape over time. Do not store your suit or components in a sealed container as this will promote decay if any moisture is still present.
IMPORTANT! Never dry your suit using a hair dryer or tumble dryer! The heat from these sources can melt or degrade fur and will ruin your suit! We cannot be held responsible for damage caused in this manner!