Brushing

Your suit should be brushed before and after every wear. This keeps the fur from becoming matted and looking greasy/dirty. 

  • For long fur, it is recommended to use a slicker brush. When using a slicker brush, brush in the direction of the fur but hold your slicker brush backwards, so that the hooks are not snagging and ripping out fur.

    • For tough matted areas, the slicker brush can be used in the "right" direction, but be careful not to remove too much fur in this way as it does not grow back.​

  • For shorter fur, use a bristle brush. Simply brush your suit to get the fur fibers straightened out and pointing the right direction.

  • When your suit is new, it is common to be pulling out lots of fur on your brush. As time goes on, your suit will lose less fur. I do my best to select high quality furs that do not bald over time, as long as they are cared for correctly.

Disinfecting

Your suit should be disinfected immediately after every wear. This is to kill any bacteria in your sweat that result in odor development if they are left on.

  • Dilute isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) 1:1 with water and put into a spray bottle.

    • You may add several drops of essential oil in order to give your spray a scent that masks any initial sweat smell, but it is not necessary.​ Note that buildup of essential oils may irritate skin, so you should use a small quantity and be sure to wash any parts that you spray with the oils relatively frequently.

  • Take this spray bottle with you to conventions and meets where you may be suiting up.

  • When you are done suiting, turn your fursuit inside out and mist the whole suit with your alcohol spray. Then apply a concentrated spray to the armpits and crotch, where the most bacterial sweat tends to develop.

  • Turn your fursuit right side out again and brush it out. Allow to airdry (This shouldn't take long, as alcohol evaporates quickly.)

  • Spray the inside of your fursuit head as well as the inside of your handpaws and feetpaws. Allow these to airdry.

Storage

Your suit should be stored in a way that minimizes crimping fur fabric and crushing foam parts.

  • Store all fursit parts out of direct sunlight and away from excessive heat, as heat can damage fur fibers.

  • Fursuit parts should be brushed before storage to prevent damage to fur fibers.

  • When storing the head, avoid squishing or crushing it for extended periods of time.

    • I recommend storing heads on a shelf, though they can also be kept in a storage box provided they are not compressed in any way.​

  • The bodysuit should ideally be hung up on a wide-shouldered hanger or several smaller hangers.

    • If this is not possible, loosely fold it and store in a way that nothing is stacked on top of it. This may be necessary for suits with heavy built-in wings or other parts.

  • All zip-on parts should be removed from the bodysuit before storage.

  • Tails, feet, handpaws, and any other parts should be stored on a shelf or in a box so that nothing is crushing or crimping the fur fibers. Handpaws can be stored hanging via binder clips or clothes pins if so desired, as can small tails.

Cleaning your Bodysuit (and other parts)

It is recommended to wash your suit after every convention or after 2-4 outings in fullsuit. Most PJCat bodysuits can be washed in any standard washing machine and do not include airbrushed markings or other delicate unwashable parts.

Many tails can also be washed in this way if they become dirty beyond spot cleaning. For large tails, I include a zipper through which the stuffing can be removed and the tail can then be washed like the bodysuit.

Machine washing (recommended):

  • Turn bodysuit inside out and zip it closed. Roll sleeves and legs inward. This is to prevent the washing machine from kinking or otherwise damaging the fur fibers.

  • Place handpaws into a mesh bag or light-colored pillow case. If using a mesh bag, make sure the mesh holes are not too large. This is to make sure that the fur fibers are not damaged.

  • Add detergent according to detergent instructions.

    • I recommend Tide Free & Gentle because it does not use dyes or perfumes, though most standard detergents should work. When cleaning sweat and body oils out of your bodysuit, I do NOT recommend Woolite, as it is designed to leave natural oils in your fabric.

  • Set washing machine to COLD and GENTLE cycles.​

Tub washing:

  • Fill your tub with cool water and add detergent according to detergent instructions, making sure that the detergent dissolves into the water.

  • Place your bodysuit into the tub inside out (zipped or unzipped does not matter) and allow it to become fully soaked. Your handpaws can be washed in the same way as your bodysuit.

  • Using your hands, gently scrub your fursuit against itself, rubbing the soapy water into the fabric. Special attention should be paid to the armpits, crotch, and other regions that experience excess sweat

  • Drain the tub fully of the soapy water.

  • Using fresh water, make sure to rinse ALL soap out of your bodysuit. If you have a removable shower head, this is recommended.

  • Wring out any water from your bodysuit. It is important that your suit is not too heavy and waterlogged before hanging it. I recommend drying your hand-washed suit on a rack until it has lost enough water to be safely hung without stretching.

Drying:

  • DO NOT PLACE FURSUIT INTO DRYER. The heat from the dryer will melt and permanently damage the fur fibers.

  • Air-dry your fursuit and thoroughly brush it once or twice throughout the process in order to make sure the fur fibers dry straight in the right direction. You can lay your fursuit out onto a rack or hang it from a wide-shouldered hanger.

    • I recommend a scuba wetsuit hanger, as they include a fan that can help your suit drying process. Using a wide-shouldered hanger of any kind will aid the drying process and help prevent your suit from stretching out.

    • Alternately, laying your suit on a sturdy rack will help it air-dry. Brush both sides multiple times throughout the rack-drying process.

    • Directing a fan at your drying bodysuit will also help it to dry faster and avoid stretching.

  • Your handpaws can be hung using clothes pins or binder clips and should be brushed and dried in a similar fashion.

Spot-cleaning

Certain parts of your costume are difficult to wash and so will require spot cleaning if they become dirty. This may include tails, feetpaws, and heads. 

  • Mix a small amount of detergent with water.

  • Using a wash cloth, gently wet the affected region, then scrub until the soap lathers up.

  • Using a new, non-soapy wet wash cloth, wipe down the region with pressure until no longer soapy.

  • Repeat until dirt is gone.

  • For tougher stains, dish soap may be necessary in place of detergent. If these both fail, I recommend using a non-toxic carpet stain remover like Spot Shot or Folex.

    • Make sure that any carpet cleaners you use are safe for human skin contact. I recommend testing carpet cleaners on small patches first to make sure they do not damage the fur or yourself.

  • When cleaning minky or other short furs, an electric toothbrush can be used for a deeper clean.

Deep cleaning

The parts of your costume that are difficult to clean may occasionally need more than just spot cleaning. While not necessary, a carpet and upholstery cleaning machine can be used occasionally to remove the buildup of sweat and dirt.

  • Get a carpet/upholstery cleaning machine that does not apply heat. The Bissell Little Green Machine is popular for cleaning fursuits.

  • Following the instructions for the machine, add detergent and water to the reservoir and turn your machine on.

  • Using the standard carpet brush vacuum head, brush along the direction of the fur, adding water as you go.

  • Continue cleaning your costume part until the water is no longer coming out discolored

  • Pat dry with a towel and allow to dry with a fan directed at it.

    • It is important not to let your foam fursuit parts stagnate while wet, in order to prevent growth of mold or bacteria in the foam. A fan will help with air circulation and to quickly dry your suit parts, though it still may take several hours up to a day or two for your parts to fully dry.​

Repairs

Should any part of your costume become damaged, you are always welcome to message me and I will tell you what I believe the best course of action to be. For simple repairs like popped seams, clients are recommended to learn some basic stitches so that they can repair the seam themselves quickly and easily.

  • Blanket stitch should be used to repair any seams that give you access to the back (non-furred) side (i.e. bodysuits and tails).

  • Ladder stitch  should be used on any seams for which you can only access the front (furred) side (i.e. heads, handpaws, feetpaws).

  • If it looks like your damage is more complicated, I am happy to walk you through how to fix it yourself. Feel free to message me detailing the damage to your suit and I will give you instructions to best of my ability.