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A model sheet used as part of the design and built process for constructing a fursuit.
The mascot for the Sydney Swans is a fursuited bird called Syd "Swannie" Skilton
A large group of fursuiters at Anthrocon 2010.

Fursuits are animal costumes. Fursuits can be worn for personal enjoyment, work or charity.

The term "fursuit" is believed to have been coined in 1993 by Robert King[1] and is usually used to describe custom-made animal costumes owned and worn by cosplayers or members of the furry fandom. Unlike mascot suits, which are usually affiliated with a team or organization, fursuits represent a stand-alone character.

Fursuiters may adopt another personality while in costume for the purpose of performance. Fursuits are typically sold online by commission or auction, but can also be sold at conventions.[2][unreliable source?]

Creation and construction[edit]

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). Costumes may cost less than one-hundred to many thousands of dollars depending on complexity and materials used.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]


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.[6] As part of his circus side show in London in 1846, P T Barnum had a man dressed up in a fur suit of an "ape man" who ate raw meat.[7]

Fursuits have been used as costumes in films.[8] The fursuit used in the television series Harry and the Hendersons cost USD$1 million.[9] Fursuits have been involved in incidents such as Bigfoot sightings.[10] [11]

Some players of live action role-playing games (LARP) create elaborate costumes, including fursuits, for their characters with emphasis on Japanese pop culture such as manga, anime, and video games.[2]

Some furry fans do fursuiting for a job or to bring attention to an event or charity. This can include mascots at baseball games and the like; but not all mascots are furries, nor are most fursuiters mascots. Many are hired through an agency to represent a character, while others bring their own constructions to an event instead.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Riggs, Adam (2004). Critter Costuming. Ibexa Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-9678170-7-1. 
  2. ^ a b "The Mysterious World of Cosplay: Love is Everything!". PingMag. 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  3. ^ "'Furries' Descend On Golden Triangle". WTAE-TV. June 16, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  4. ^ Riggs, Adam (2004). Critter Costuming: Making Mascots and Fabricating Fursuits. Ibexa Press. ISBN 0-9678170-7-2. 
  5. ^ a b Maass, Dave (2007-10-07). "Fluff Piece". Santa Fe Reporter. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Weinstock, Professor Jeffrey (2014-01-08). The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 45–. ISBN 9781409425625. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Geiger, Jeffrey (2011). American Documentary Film: Projecting the Nation. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 61–. ISBN 9780748621484. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (1991-02-04). Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. pp. 62–. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Loxton, Daniel; Prothero, Donald R. (2013-08-13). Abominable Science: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and other Famous Cryptids. Columbia University Press. pp. 47–. ISBN 9780231526814. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Baker, Robert A. Missing Pieces: How to Investigate Ghosts, Ufos, Psychics, and Other Mysteries. Prometheus Books, Publishers. pp. 259–. ISBN 9781615924141. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 

External links[edit]