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How DO you make those Animal Costumes? (Fursuits)
How to make yarn tails? 
12th-May-2010 11:35 pm
wolfy nose
Hey dudes,

Can anyone explain how one would go about making a tail such as this, out of yarn? I've been searching the memories and have found a couple of links to tutorials, but they're either baleeted or I can't get to them :/
I have a very vague idea that I worked out just by looking at photos and I started one earlier today, but I could definitely use some suggestions to streamline the process.

Also, I bought a slicker brush specifically for this purpose (although I think imma make some dreadfalls now that I has it >w>), but it seems like only about 1/3 of the yarn is actually sticking to the tail, the rest gets yanked out. Is a slicker brush not a good idea, or am I just being too rough/impatient?

Psst! My first order of fur comes tomorrow yeeeeee so excited! Expect a semi-realistic wolf head from me very soon :3
13th-May-2010 05:41 am (UTC)
I'll be posting a tutorial in a day or two. Anyway.

Start by crocheting a simple tube/cone/shape of the tail. Stuff it as tight or as loose as you want with polyfil. Then start latch-hooking strips of yarn onto the tail. PACK IT! Put as much yarn as you think one stitch will hold and add four more.

I suggest combing it out after a few rows, because if it gets too thin from combing it's easier to add more yarn back in.

Have a metal slicker brush, like this: http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-17447561172389_2103_64961770

The ones with the button on back to push the fur out of the bristles is useless, and gets in the way. Don't spend the extra money on it.

Once you're done, well, you're done. Easy version. I'll have a longer one tomorrow.
13th-May-2010 05:42 am (UTC)
By the way.
That's what I've been working on. You can see a finished cat tail, and a work in progress tiger tail. The WIP REALLY shows you how to do it.
13th-May-2010 07:48 am (UTC)
Yes I am. I just posted about it a few posts down, actually. I'm now two and a half months into the project. There's a lot to it. A lot of base pieces to make, and a LOT of tiny strips of yarn to hook on. Then comb out. It looks good, and IS very breathable. It's also machine washable.

It just takes a LOT of time, a LOT of yarn, and a LOT of work. I've already hurt my wrist on it. I'm planning on selling this type of suit, actually, but they won't be cheep. $500-$700. Most of that goes to the yarn and clay and polyfil and eye mesh.

Edited at 2010-05-13 07:53 am (UTC)
13th-May-2010 07:21 am (UTC)
dashingdragon makes yarn tails a different way, maybe she'll chime in and explain because I can't really. :) It involves braiding and twisting, no stuffing or hooking.
13th-May-2010 07:50 am (UTC)
The braiding and twisting is a Germanic type of tail, which was used in Cats.
You don't comb out the yarn into fur.
13th-May-2010 09:57 am (UTC)
amadhi's got quite a bit of information on that up on the forums at http://www.loupguru.com , IIRC. :)
13th-May-2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
I signed up on that site but the videos still appeared to be locked...
13th-May-2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
That particular tail was made by crocheting over a length of chain and then adding the yarn the rather narrow crocheted tube. The chain acts as a spine and a weight to provide good flex and movement....let me check my bookmarks.....

Here is the white tail in action.


He has a couple of other test videos on his channel.

He was using a latch hook to attach the yarn. I think the number of strands depends on what kind of yarn. It is combed out after each small section is done and starts from the bottom up.

The tutorial video was locked after a week or so and came out quite a while ago but that is what I remember.
13th-May-2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
Making yarn tails are pretty simple. I'm using a wire base for mine. thin wire, not like a coat hanger.. but I suppose you could use one, it would just be harder to pose.

I just cut a bunch of yarn segments about the same length & double knot tie the from the bottom up the wire & brush them out as I go. No crocheting needed (which is helpful if you don't know how) & the tail is posable!

You can also do this on a long piece of yarn, but it'll hang there limply until you move or jump around.

Slicker brush is needed, which you can get for about $5 at wal-mart
13th-May-2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
If you are brushing with the cat brush then about 1/3 of the yarn does come out of the tail. This is why after the initial brushing you should only use soft plastic brissld brushes to refresh the look of the tail, and why folks say they do not last as long as unbrushed tails.... to give you and idea of how much yarn comes out of one tail I actully have a photo.

http://www.furaffinity.net/view/3638711/ the cat is for scale.

This is the finished tail http://www.furaffinity.net/view/3638700/
The amount of yarn pulled out will prolly also depend on the type of yarn you initialy use.
13th-May-2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
I'll be making a yarn tail soon, from a tutorial I once found but now have lost... It's pretty easy to remember, anyway.

I'm using a rope as a base, and just attaching the yarn to the rope in layers, starting from the bottom. I'm not going to be brushing mine out, but there's nothing saying you can't, so long as it's attached firmly enough.

The tutorial said to knot them to the rope, but I think I might try just gluing tied sections to the rope, first, to see if that works just as well...
14th-May-2010 01:15 am (UTC)
These tail ideas are all absolutely awesome sauce, and I love em! Though for the OP, if you're looking for that really smooth, silky looking 'fur' look for your tail, there's a step that's missing. I know, because I've been working on a tail like that for myself for ages now. (spare time 1/2 hour here and there while in between other projects) The person who created the tail in the pic is Bir on FA. She does beautiful work, and actually had a tutorial up for a bit, though it's been taken down now. However, if you PM her she might be willing to let you in on the technique she uses. She's always been really nice in her posts and seems like a good egg.
20th-Aug-2010 06:54 am (UTC)
I had an idea, I dunno if it'd work, but I might experiment with it sometime; using a piece of either metal or plastic chain, and tying strands of wool onto the links, then brushing it out when finished, it'd hang limp, but would swing quite nicely when you walk. Do you think that'd work as good as the other types of wool tails?

Also, do you recommend just tying the wool on in any random knot, or gluing it after tying it?
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