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How DO you make those Animal Costumes? (Fursuits)
Yarn tail tutorial! 
13th-May-2010 05:20 pm
Rabbit grin
As I promised, here's the yarn tail tutorial. There are five parts. These files are HUGE JPEG’s. Just a warning. They are very large so people can read them and see them. I have them uploaded here.

EDIT: Images are resized and uploaded.

Onto the tutorial!

Here's an image of a work in progress and a finished product:

I forgot to mention! When brushing out the yarn into fur, after a lot of trial and error, I use a brush like this:
And it works great! Don't get the ones that have the "self cleaning" button on the back though. They get in your way. I used one, and wound up breaking off the cleaning part because it ate my wire bristles.
14th-May-2010 12:56 am (UTC)
my only suggestion is that i'd like to see the whole thing on some of the steps, instead of all zoomed in images!

and possibly a finished product?
14th-May-2010 01:06 am (UTC)
Edited to include a finished tail as well as a work in progress one.

Which ones did you want a full view on? I figured that since most of it was small a close up would do. I'll try and get some full-sized ones if you need them.
14th-May-2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Well i realized that you brush as you go, so a final view of the tube tail isn't really doable! But thank you for the final!
14th-May-2010 01:11 am (UTC)
I'll see if I can get a final version of the tube without yarn, and then one that isn't brushed out (mostly.) I'll just fill the tiger without brushing. One isn't going to kill me after all. I'll keep this one updated as I work on it.
14th-May-2010 01:56 am (UTC)
this is awesome and sense i dont know how to knit, i tried it with hemp the thickest kind you can buy and it worked awesome, im going to attempt a bigger tail and will take pics if any one is interested throw together a how to but its the same thing pretty much lol.
14th-May-2010 01:56 am (UTC)
Thats an awesome rendition of the yarn tail. I would of not thought to necessarily work the belt in that way. Which yarn did you use for the brushout and how well does it hold for cleaning? I use a really soft yarn that is made to fray and it holds up well. I had a bit of a challenge making a cat tail as my yarn got real poofy, real quickly.

Only thing I would tell people that make this kind....be prepared for the high maintainance (brushout, cleanup, etc..). Happy weaving! :)
14th-May-2010 02:17 am (UTC)
The Cheshire cat tail (pink, purple, and blue) is Red Heart acrylic yarn, and Caron acrylic yarn. The tiger is also Red Heart.
14th-May-2010 02:27 am (UTC)
Well, IM impressed. I tried using Red Heart when I first did it. GRanted I had a different method for attachment overall, but yeah...it came out a hot mess when I did even a simple cleaning. Thats why I went with a higher priced type. Works great but sucks for my yarn tail customers should they want one. I was hoping to keep it lower priced. :/
14th-May-2010 05:04 am (UTC)
Thank you SO SO much for taking the time to put this together! You are a lovely and fabulous person :D <3
14th-May-2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
I have a question?

I'd seen a similar yarn tail tutorial out there that advocated using wool or mohair yarn because it brushed out better. The idea was that a lot of acrylic yarns would brush out "kinked" instead of straight, because the fibers would keep the curl they had when they were twisted together.

Yours looks very straight, though. Red Heart and Caron yarn, you say? I already bought wool yarn for a tail for my boyfriend, but I'm totally willing to go back for acrylic yarn if that means I won't have to go through the tedious process of dying it... :)

About how many skeins does it take to make one tail?
15th-May-2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Depends on how many colors. It took one skein of orange for the tiger so far (I still have some of the skein left, but I also have some of the tail left.) But that's also mixing it with black and white. If you're doing a tail like the Cheshire cat tail, but all in white, you'd need probably two normal skeins of white for just the fur. That's why I'm big on buying the pound balls.

Watch for how much yarn is in your skein! I've found that the different colors have different amounts of yarn. I have a blue Red Heart that's seven ounces, and a grey Red Heart that's only five ounces. But they are the same price.

It did kink at first. I brush the living daylights out of the yarn, it straightens after enough of it. Wool is great because it DOES comb out straight very easily. But like you said, it's a tedious process to dye it the right color. Acrylic seems to come in more colors for some reason.
16th-May-2010 06:55 am (UTC)
Very nice!

I'm glad to see this tutorial, since I was playing around with the idea myself. I had also seen another once, similar to the CATS type of tail, but since Im a crochet hound, I like this one better.

Great job.

28th-Jul-2010 03:33 am (UTC) - Quick Question!
Okay so I don't know what polyfill is or where to find it. I've been told to go to the walmart fabric section, but all the walmarts near me decided to be difficult and do not have fabric sections anymore. Could I use cotton balls for the stuffing? If not, what other kinds of stuff could I use? I'm sure I can check Michael's tomorrow, but I don't think they have any polyfill. I was there two days ago when I got my yarn, but eh I wasn't exactly looking for it.
But cotton balls would shrink in water, right? So I probably shouldn't use them. But how about random yarn? The colour wouldn't bleed or anything right? I have a bunch of blue yarn laying around I don't use, and also fluorescent orange. I dunno what the kinds of the yarn is, but I'm pretty sure the orange is Red Heart. The yarn wouldn't take up much room...

Well since This turned into a not-quick question, I guess to sum it up... Is there anything I can use to stuff the tail besides polyfill?
28th-Jul-2010 03:53 am (UTC) - Re: Quick Question!
Cottonballs are horrible. They lump funny, act weird in water, will shift and ruin the shape of your tail, and are just a mess. Extra yarn is about the same. That one I've tried. It is NOT fun. Yarn for some reason finds a way to fall out in a way that polyfill doesn't. Meaning, it'll poke through and will even "deflate" your tail after a few washes.

Micheal's does have polyfil. If yours does not, quilt batting can work depending on the type. If you have a Micheal's, chances are that you have a Jo-Ann's somewhere. They for sure will have poly fill. This is poly fill: http://www.fairfieldworld.com/product-cat/17

It's the same thing as the stuffing in your stuffed animals, and in most pillows. I don't suggest pulling those apart, though. Especially the pillows, as they are full of human oil and kind of gross.
19th-Nov-2011 05:17 am (UTC) - Re: Quick Question!
just a thought but could u fill it with the brushings from ur tail?
19th-Nov-2011 05:39 am (UTC) - Re: Quick Question!
Quoted from the post you replied to: "Extra yarn is about the same. That one I've tried. It is NOT fun. Yarn for some reason finds a way to fall out in a way that polyfill doesn't. Meaning, it'll poke through and will even 'deflate' your tail after a few washes."

So no, the brushing from the tail won't work very well. Also, your tail should be stuffed and closed by the time you start furring and brushing anyway. Also, correct spelling and grammar are appreciated, and will get you quite far in life. Thank you.
20th-Nov-2011 07:40 pm (UTC) - Re: Quick Question!
Okays and i wasnt saying for the tail that your brushing i meant for an other tail..
20th-Nov-2011 08:42 pm (UTC) - Re: Quick Question!
Again: "Extra yarn is about the same. That one I've tried. It is NOT fun. Yarn for some reason finds a way to fall out in a way that polyfill doesn't. Meaning, it'll poke through and will even 'deflate' your tail after a few washes."

No, it does not work. Try it if you want, but it'll fall out after it's washed a time or two, and you will be left with an empty tail and a mess in your drain pipes.
8th-Nov-2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
how did you get the fur to go so nice? when i brushed out my tail it looked like a tail fro :/ and was kinda curly
8th-Nov-2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
Keep brushing it. Brush in small sections, and just keep going. It's curly because parts of the yarn are still twined together. The more you brush, the straighter and softer it becomes. Just keep going in SMALL sections. A good wash and dry with a brushing after really helps as well, depending on how long the fibers have been twisted together on the shelf.
30th-Jan-2011 06:21 pm (UTC) - tail-y goodness
I think this is an awesome tutorial. I had no idea how to crochet, and I am left handed, so even if this was a right handed tutorial I was still able to follow along. I am currently doing the latch hook portion of the tut (along with brushing) and it is taking a long time. My friend wants a chesire cat tail after looking at yours, so heres hoping I can deal with the latch hooking again.
30th-Jan-2011 08:30 pm (UTC) - Re: tail-y goodness
I'm glad it helped! That's the nice thing about crochet, it doesn't matter what hand you use. I can't wait to see what tail you make! Be sure to link us to it okay?
18th-Mar-2011 01:06 am (UTC)
I finished my first tail using this method and since it was my first thing crocheting ever I think it turned out pretty good, but I do have a few questions. First is, did you have a problem with the frame stretching when you brushed out the tail? And if you did how did you get around it?
Also, I can't figure out how you got a nice point to the tip of the purple one in the picture of the final product.
The only other thing I had a problem with was the end where you put the belt loop together and finish it. The pictures were a bit close but I think I might be able to figure it out if I work at it some more.

Thank you for an awesome tutorial. It's so nice to be able to make these things for ourselves rather than pay out the arse for them. :3
18th-Mar-2011 05:23 am (UTC)
The more you crochet, the easier ending off the belt loop will be. If you want any help with it let me know and I'll see what I can do for you!

The tutorial shows how to make both types. If you go to the second image, and read D, it'll tell you to skip E if you want a thin tail. That's pretty much all you do.

Rather than making a flat disk, make two crochet in one stitch, one crochet in the next, then two crochet in the next. Do that until it's as wide around as you want, then only do one stitch in each. It'll make the tail wider without making a flat tip. I also do a bit of trimming when the tail is done, much like you would something out of faux fur.

If you need anything more, please feel free to ask!
19th-Mar-2011 12:11 am (UTC)
Okay, the two one every other is probably what I'll end up trying, and I wasn't sure about trimming and what now.

I just have one more question about washing. I just assumed it goes through a gentle wash cycle with cold water (maybe delicate or something like that) but does it hold up alright in a dryer or should it be hung or laid out to dry?
20th-Mar-2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Oh! I forgot to answer that other question too. Yes, the frame stretches. I found it quite annoying when making yarn wigs. For a tail, I found that if I make it one row/one stitch smaller than the intended size, it evens out. When it's stretched, it has a REALLY nice swing to it because the weave is looser than when it was first crocheted.

Washing! Cold water, mild detergent/soap, tumble dry NO HEAT! For the first wash I put the tail in alone, with wool-lite, and I hang dry it. Just for the first wash. That's mostly because I'm trying to get the extra fur OUT, rather than tangle it into the yarn. I find that washing, hang-drying, then brushing it out once more makes it VERY soft, and helps prevent mats later down the line. After the first wash/dry/brush, it's cool to go into the dryer on no heat.

Do make note, though, not all dryers have a no-heat option, or still get warm even though it's supposed to be an air-dry. Check your dryer first. If it gets too warm, it'll singe the yarn fur. If your dryer gets hot/warm even though it's on air dry, just hang-dry it. It'll take longer, but it'll keep from burning anything.
21st-Mar-2011 01:28 am (UTC)
Oh, that's a wonderful tip for the stretching issue, thank you.

Thanks for those washing directions too. I gave my first tail to my little sister and being, like, ten I'm going to need to be sure to know how to wash it.

Thanks again for all your help, this really is a wonderful tutorial you have up. :3
19th-May-2011 12:37 am (UTC)
Oh man, I just learned to crochet. GUESS WHAT MY NEXT PROJECT IS

Thanks for posting this! (Also fuck yeah, other dudes that crochet. Rock on.)
15th-Jul-2011 04:31 am (UTC)
THANK YOU so much for this! Looks like it'll save me from having to buy expensive long pile fur fabric, and look better too!
I'm not making a tail actually, I'm going to use this method for hair on a stuffed doll. I was thinking of making a patch of it and sewing it onto the piece of material I'll be using for the back of the head. I could sew the edges into the seams, so it would start with only the hair. Do you think that would work well? What exactly did you do when making wigs?
I don't know how to crochet, but I can knit. Is there any reason that knitting would not work as well, for my purposes at least? I have a crochet hook for tying on the yarn. What about for a tail, since I may make a tail later on? Of course, I can learn to crochet if I need to, I just thought it would be faster if I already know what I'm doing. ^^

So many questions! *facepalm* I'm sorry!
15th-Jul-2011 04:41 am (UTC)
I personally don't knit. I know how, but I find crochet to be easier when working in the round. From what I understand, you need four needles to knit in the round. I have started the tutorial with a basic of how to crochet, so it should help should you decide not to knit it.

As for doing doll's hair, I'm not totally understanding what you're asking. If it's a doll you are making yourself out of yarn, make the doll normally, then latch-hook the yarn into the head like you would for the tail. If it's a pre-made stuffed animal like from the store, I would actually suggest buying some tulle and latch-hooking yarn into THAT, and stitching it on. Then you see the base less. That's actually how I made the wig for my Ball Joint Doll seen here: http://i56.tinypic.com/xnes1x.jpg

Just take some tulle, cut it how you need it, and do as you would for the tail. Then when it's how you like, stitch it on. For the doll I actually stitched it to some elastic and THEN hooked yarn into it. Just because then you know the size and such. Anyway, hope that helps?
15th-Jul-2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, thanks, I wouldn't have thought of using something that already has places to hook on the yarn. I have some lying around too! It's really strong enough to withstand all the brushing?

Yeah, four needles, or two needles that are connected by a line at the ends. But, when I go for a tail I should probably go ahead and practice crocheting anyway, since you've done such a good tutorial for it. It would be a good thing to know.

Sorry I didn't explain well. I'm going to sew it out of fabric, like a stuffed animal. It just needs hair. Fuzzy, fluffy, soft hair like those tails will be perfect.

Thank you again!
30th-Aug-2011 12:51 am (UTC) - Swishy?
Does this tail end up just sort of swinging back and forth, or does it swish when you walk the way a real tail would?
20th-Oct-2011 11:27 pm (UTC) - Re: Swishy?
It should be swishy because there is no base structure ;3
24th-Oct-2011 06:54 am (UTC)
I don't understand it at all...
Going to grandma for help ^w^;;
24th-Oct-2011 07:07 am (UTC)
Um... Okay? I guess? I'm not sure why you're telling me this.

If you want, I can help you too. If something isn't clear, it would be more helpful if you told me what, so I can fix it. Also so I could help you.
30th-Nov-2011 03:22 am (UTC)
I realize that you posted this a gazillion years ago, so I'm sorry if me commenting here bothers you, but I'd really like to know if you have the abbreviated crochet pattern written out for this :D I have a really hard time trying to follow detailed written instructions for some reason...

This is a fantastic tutorial though! I can't wait to get started. Thank you for posting!
30th-Nov-2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
No, it's no problem! I'm here to answer questions that aren't answered in the main post.

Since it's really not a pattern, as each tail will be different, I can pattern out the tip and the base if you like?

Chain 3
Row 1: 8sc in first chain, slpst in first sc.
Row 2: Chain one, add marker. 2sc in each sc. 16 stitches, do not connect.
Row 3: At marker, continue to sc 2, move marker, (1sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc) repeat until marker is reached.
Row 4: At merker, continue to sc2, move marker, (1sc in next 2sc, 2sc in next sc) repeat until marker is reached.
Continue pattern (sc in next 3, 2sc in next sc; sc in next 4, 2sc in next sc; etc.) until desired width of tail is reached.

Continuing in round, 1sc in each sc, bl only, move marker.
When marker is reached, double crochet next two stitches together. Remove marker.

Triple (treble) crochet in each sc around, until desired length of tail is reached.

Chain two, turn.
Half treble crochet in each sc, until halfway point is reached.
Chain two, turn. Half treble crochet in each sc.
Continue for width of belt loop.

1sc in each sc of belt loop, connecting to bottom of opening in tail.
1sc in each row along side to close side of opening in tail.
1sc in each stitch along top of belt loop.
1sc in each row along last side to close last side of opening in tail.

Half treble crochet in each sc along bottom closure, DO NOT CONNECT.
Chain two, half treble crochet in each sc.
Repeat until desired size of belt loop.
1sc in each stitch of belt loop and tail belt line to connect. Fasten off.

And of course the stuffing and the furring is as detailed in the pictures.

If you have any questions go ahead and ask! I think this is what you wanted? And of course feel free to modify the pattern all you want. I've actually started to use Magic Circles now rather than the chain three method to start my round crochet, but I find that the chain three is a good beginners technique. Use stitches and methods you feel comfortable with, that still bring the desired result.
30th-Nov-2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks a ton! That is extremely helpful!
5th-Feb-2012 12:51 am (UTC)
Was browsing Google when I came across this - best tut I've found so far! After reading the comments, I have seen that a lot of people have been asking about how to get the brushed yarn to not be kinked/curly. A few other tutorials have actually said to use a straitening iron (on a med/low setting). That way, you don't loose so many fibers while brushing, even after it's all un-twined. I've had pretty good luck with that. I should also tell you that I have only used acrylic and/or polyester yarn because the natural fiber yarn is 1] typically more expensive, 2] more fragile, and 3] harder to clean. I don't know if the iron will work on natural fibers as well as the unnatural fibers.

Edited at 2012-02-05 12:52 am (UTC)
1st-Aug-2015 09:12 pm (UTC) - can't view
I can't seem to view any of the images.
every time i try to zoom in on them they just appear REALLY blurry.
any suggestions?
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