I AM NOT A FURSUIT MAKER! Please do not email me & ask me to make you a fursuit or ask for fursuit prices. This page is simply a collection of helpful information gathered by a long-time furry with over a decade of fursuit wearing & fandom experience.
The information below is based off of my experience of over a decade of fursuiting and owning more than 10 fursuits of many different styles & makers. Additional information has been gathered through years of working alongside fursuit makers. Please take this information with a grain of salt; some fursuit makers may be open to working with more complex ideas where others may not. Always research your chosen maker's work thoroughly to ensure sure they are a good fit for your character design!
Not all colors are available in faux fur! Unfortunately, fur is limited and certain colors just do not exist. Dying or painting the fur the correct color doesn't always work either - a fursuit will get very sweaty and needs to be washed. Dyed or painted fur could wash out over time!
To get a good idea of what colors might be available, I recommend browsing HowlFabrics, FursuitSupplies, and BigZFabric. Some fursuit makers may have access to rarer furs not shown on these sites, but its a good place to start.
Not all markings will look good on all fursuits! Some things are just too complicated or won’t show up. Markings such as zigzags, flames, excessive amounts of stripes or spots, and other complex shapes may become too difficult to add to a fursuit! Also, having too many markings can make the fursuit "weaker". The more seams there are, the more likely you are to rip one.
For example, look at the adjacent fursuit by MadeFurYou. It has intricate, sewn-in markings on the arms and legs, but the markings on the arms had to fit into a much smaller space. The fluffy texture of the fur makes it so these small markings are difficult to see the shape of, giving them a kind of blobby appearance. The markings are much more legible on the legs of the fursuit, where there was more space to make them bigger and clearer.
When adapting a character to be made into a fursuit, consider putting markings with complex shapes (stars, hearts, tribal tattoos, kanji, etc.) on areas where they can be made larger, such as on the back of the character, or the legs. Also take the length of the fur into account. If you know you want your fursuit to have a super fluffy tail, don't put any complex shapes on the tail, as the extra-long fluff would hide the marking shapes even more than on the adjacent example.
An option to consider for some markings is whether you want them to be sewn-in or airbrushed.
Look at the two cheetah fursuits by Fursuits by Lacy & MixedCandy - these two styles of spots have very different looks and each have their pros and cons. Sewn markings are bolder and striking; one advantage they have over airbrushed markings is that they will never fade or come out in the wash. However, they usually need to be made a bit larger and more spaced apart than airbrushed markings, and you will never be able to have as many sewn spots as you could have airbrushed spots. If you are very active in fursuit, you can pop seams along sewn markings, but these are often easy to repair and sew back up.
Airbrushed markings can allow you to have as many spots (or other similar marking) as you want, as they are painted on top of the fur. This works great for spots, stripes, or similar complex markings, and works especially well on shorter fur. Airbrushed markings are recommended for more realistic fursuits, as they look more natural. However, since it is painted on, airbrushed markings will eventually fade and start to lose color after several washes. This style of marking will need a lot of maintenance and care, and may require you to send your suit back to your maker routinely to get it touched up. This is important information to keep in mind when deciding what kind of fursuit you want to commission!
Ultimately, it is best to do some research on your chosen fursuit maker. Look at examples of their past work, and see if they've ever made markings like your character's. Some fursuit makers may only prefer to work with simple designs, and would reject a character that has very complicated markings, while other makers may love to make complex suits. Some makers may only do sewn markings, and some (usually realistic fursuit makers) may prefer to airbrush everything! It's up to you to find a maker who is best suited for bringing your character to life.
Feetpaw Examples from MadeFurYou.com
Paw style is another factor to consider for your fursuit. Standard feet paws with hard bottoms (also called parade soles) are the most common option, and are usually standard for most fursuit commissions. This style is similar to a shoe, and offers protection for the feet when wearing anywhere, indoors or outdoors.
Detailed paws (also called indoor paws) feature furred soles and paw pads, which are very cute and look great in photos. However, this option usually costs a significant amount more, and is not meant to be worn outside or walked around on for extended periods of time (such as at a convention in a hotel lobby). These paws are delicate, and too much walking around can cause them to become stained, discolored, or even cause the fur or paw pads to wear out and rip.
If you can't decide which style of paw works best for you, consider getting both (if you can afford to)! Or, if you really want just detailed paws, I recommend commissioning an artist for a pair of "fursuit sandals" or "fursuit shoes" to protect the delicate paws from damage while walking around.
Eyes are probably the most important part of any fursuit, and the style of eyes and expression of your character will affect so much about how your character looks and is perceived by others. There are many styles of eyes, and every fursuit maker has a different way of making them. Below, I will go over some of the common styles so you can decide what will work best for your fursuit.
Toony eyes are the most common style of fursuit eye, as well as probably the most versatile. See the adjacent examples by DontHugCacti for an idea of the variety of shapes and expressions they can be made in! If your maker of choice is skilled at crafting toony eyes, they can be made in any shape, from excited, to calm, to sultry, to sleepy, to grumpy. The expression can be enhanced even more with the addition of "removable eyelids", a newer invention in the fursuiting world that allows you to add or remove eyelids with magnets or velcro to alter the expression from happy to sultry, angry, or sleepy.
Fursuits by DontHugCacti
This style of eye is static, meaning it does not move around to follow the viewer. Wherever the wearer is looking is where the eyes are looking - which can make it easier to tell what you are looking at or wanting to interact with. Also, since toony eyes are not inset into the head like following eyes are, they are always bright and clear, with no shadows obscuring the eye. Since this style of eye doesn't "follow" the viewer, you will have to point your face at the camera to have the suit looking at the camera in the photo, but this also allows you to point your eyes and face at a specific object to make it look like the suit is looking at it. For example, two fursuiters with toony eyes can put their noses together and it will look like they are looking into each other's eyes. This type of intimate photo could not be achieved with following eyes, as they would always look like they're looking at the camera rather than each other.
Following eyes are a different style of fursuit eye that is set deeper into the construction of the head to create an optical illusion that the eyes are "following" the viewer. Like toony eyes, these can come in a wide variety of shapes depending on the maker's skill at crafting them. Because they follow the viewer, you don't have to point your face directly at the camera to have it appear like you're making eye contact in the photo. Tilting the head at different angles can create different expressions too. It's a very neat little trick, and full of personality!
However, since they are inset into the head, they can sometimes appear shadowy. These eyes may require flash photography or bright lighting in order to make the eyes fully visible in photos. Also, since they make it appear that you are always watching the viewer, it can be difficult to tell where you are actually trying to look. You may be looking at a person in front of you, but if someone is standing to your side, it will look like you are looking at them too! This could lead to some confusion, especially if around children. For another example, two fursuiters with following eyes can put their noses together and it will always look like they're looking at the camera rather than into each other's eyes.
In the end, there are pros and cons to both toony (static) eyes and following eyes. Neither is worse or better than the other! It is up to you to decide which is a better fit for your fursuit and character. Also, study examples of your chosen fursuit maker's past work. Some maker's may only make toony eyes, or only make following eyes. Or maybe you like how they make one style of eye, but not the other. Choose whichever you like best!
Eye examples by ClockworkCreature, StuffedPandaStudios, Beastcub, BeetleCat, Crystumes, & MixedCandy
Realistic eyes are another kind of fursuit eye sometimes seen. As the name suggests, this style of eye gives the fursuit a more real-animal appearance. Different makers will have different styles, ranging from exaggerated expressions to fully natural.
Realistic eyes are usually made out of glass, with the vision port being the "tear-duct" area made of cleverly disguised mesh. Because you don't see out of the eye itself like on larger, toony eyes, fursuit heads of this style will often have slightly poorer vision, though it depends heavily on the construction of the suit.
Not all fursuit makers offer realistic eyes on their suits, so make sure to do your research and choose a maker that can build in the style you are after! There are lots of fantastic makers who specialize in realistic work.
There are many styles of fursuit bodies, but the above image covers some of the most commonly seen ones. When deciding which you want for your fursuit, there are a few factors to consider, such as cost, size, ease of wearing, and warmth. I will go over some pros & cons for each type below.
Fursuit by MixedCandy.com
Plantigrade legs are by far the most common style seen for fursuit bodies. It is essentially just your human shape covered in fur, with no extra padding. The word "plantigrade" means that the whole foot comes in contact with the ground when walking. Humans are an example of a plantigrade animal, as are bears, raccoons, rabbits, primates, weasels, kangaroos, and red pandas.
This style of costume is most common because it is the easiest to make, it won't add to the price of your fursuit, it allows for a full range of motion and comfort, is easy to store, transport, and wash, and it is much less warm to wear. All in all, there is really no downside at all to owning a plantigrade fursuit. If you think you'll want to stay in suit for many hours at a time or be a very active performer, this is the style for you. Plantigrade suits are very comfortable to wear and easy to move around in.
Fursuit by MultiColorBark.com
Digitigrade fursuits are another commonly seen style of fursuit body. This type of suit includes padding in the legs to make it look as though the wearer has "animal" legs. The word "digitigrade" means that the animal with this type of leg stands or walks on its "digits", or toes. If you stand on your tip-toes, that is a digitigrade stance! Animals with this type of leg include canines, felines, birds, hyenas, and some dinosaurs.
This style of leg is very dynamic and eye-catching. It really creates the illusion that you are a creature, rather than a person in a costume. It's a great way to enhance simple designs! It can also help your character to feel more animal-like, rather than anthro.
However, there are some drawbacks to digitigrade fursuits. For one, any sort of padded shape will add more to the cost, sometimes $500 to $1,000 or even more, depending on the maker's prices! This style of costume is also much warmer to wear than a regular fursuit, and you may require more frequent breaks. Depending on the construction of your suit, certain activities such as sitting, crouching, laying down, or running could become more uncomfortable or difficult to do. Finally, digitigrade suits are large! They take up a lot more space in both your storage when at home and your luggage when traveling; they can sometimes take up as much space as two regular fursuits! This is important to consider if you plan on flying to conventions.
Fursuit by LobitaWorks.com
Padded Haunches (also called padded plantigrade) is a leg style similar to digitigrade in that it's padded legs for a more animal look, but with a leg shape more suited for plantigrade animals such as bears, raccoons, rabbits, and red pandas. With this style of leg, most of the padding is in the upper leg around the thigh, with the lower leg having little to no padding in it to create the appearance of an animal leg that has its heel on the ground, rather than raised up in the air.
Padded haunches have most of the same pros and cons as digitigrade legs, however, they are not as common. If you would like to commission this style of costume, you may have to research what makers will do padded plantigrade legs, or ask your maker of choice if they would consider building it!
Fursuit by Arito & MixedCandy
Dropped Crotch fursuits are like a more extreme form of digitigrade or padded haunch fursuits. On these suits, the "crotch" of the suit is lowered either a bit or a significant amount, to give the appearance of a longer body with shorter legs. This look is fantastic for animals like weasels, otters, corgis, dachshunds, or any other animal with an elongated torso. It can give your character a really adorable, cartoony look!
Wearing a fursuit of this style would likely be a bit difficult, depending on how far down the body is lowered, as you would be waddling. A small sacrifice to make to look that cute! However, just like the padded haunches above, this style of fursuit is not very common. Not many makers have built exaggerated dropped crotch fursuits like the adjacent example, though many digitigrade & padded haunch suits have a minor dropped crotch. If you have your heart set on this style of fursuit, you will probably have to do some research to find a maker who can pull it off!
Fursuit by DontHugCacti.com
Plush fursuits are among the most extreme forms of fursuits. Plush fursuits are exactly what they sound like- a fursuit that completely surrounds you in padding to make you look like a stuffed animal come to life, complete with a tag! These plushie, fully stuffed fursuits are usually all one piece, with the hands, feet, and tail being attached to the body. Sometimes even the head is attached for a truly seamless look! Plush suits usually do not have defined fingers or toes to fit in with the plushie look, and thus the wearer's dexterity is extremely reduced.
These adorable fursuits are fully stuffed with polyfil, and because of this they are very hot to wear. They are also huge and heavy. They are difficult to walk around in, and are much better suited for flopping down in one place, or snuggling up to watch a movie with. Their giant size makes them very challenging to travel with; flying them to conventions may not be possible depending on how large the suit is. Overall, plush fursuits are a lot more difficult than a standard fursuit, but the payoff is being an incredibly cute stuffed animal. It's up to you to decide if this is the type of fursuit for you!
Again, I AM NOT A FURSUIT MAKER! Please do not email me & ask me to make you a fursuit or ask for fursuit prices. This page is simply a collection of helpful information gathered by a long-time furry with over a decade of fursuit wearing & fandom experience.
If you are a fursuit maker who's work is featured on this page & you wish for me to remove it, please contact me and I would be happy to do so!