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The term "fursuit" is believed to have been coined in 1993 by Robert King and is usually used to describe custom-made animal costumes owned and worn by cosplayers or members of the furry fandom, commonly known as "furries"; a furry who wears a fursuit is called a fursuiter. Unlike mascot suits, which are usually affiliated with a team or organization, fursuits represent a stand-alone character.
Creation and construction
Most fursuits are created by specialized online businesses if they are not self-made. Workmanship quality varies widely depending on the cost of the suit and skill of the maker. A fursuit may cost more than a thousand dollars.
The primary supplies are foam, fake or faux fur, silicone; and buckram and plasticard to make the eyes. Many suits include special padding or undersuits to give the character its desired shape (this is especially present in larger characters or those of a particular gender).
Other suit variations include the partial suit, which only has a mask, gloves, a tail, and possibly feet, with regular clothing covering the rest of the body. Three-quarter suits also include part of the body, like the torso or legs. This type of fursuit works well for characters who only wear a shirt without pants or just a pair of pants without a shirt. Quadsuits are designed with arm-extending stilts so that the wearer can walk on all fours, for a more realistic appearance.
Fursuits can be expensive to clean.
Animal costumes have been part of human culture since prehistorical times. Some of the customs have continued such as the Kurentovanje festival in Ptuj Slovenia, where participants dress in costumes of sheep or rabbit fur with feathers and animal horns and part of a fertility rite.
Some fursuit owners use their suits as temporary costumed characters to bring attention to an event or charity. A subset of fursuits more resemble creature suits and may be used in live action role-playing games (LARP) or films.
- Riggs, Adam (2004). Critter Costuming. Ibexa Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-9678170-7-1.
- "'Furries' Descend On Golden Triangle". WTAE-TV. June 16, 2006. Archived from the original on July 3, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
- Riggs, Adam (2004). Critter Costuming: Making Mascots and Fabricating Fursuits. Ibexa Press. ISBN 0-9678170-7-2.
- Maass, Dave (2007-10-07). "Fluff Piece". Santa Fe Reporter. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- Lawson, Kristan; Rufus, Anneli (2014-04-08). Weird Europe: A Guide to Bizarre, Macabre, and Just Plain Weird Sights. St. Martin's Press. pp. 434–. ISBN 9781466867628. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
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