Kigurumi, Fursuit, + Plush Building: Our Sources for Tools, Materials, and Supplies!
Written by Olly on Feb 06, 2020
Howdy! If you’re here you may be familiar with our work crafting custom kigurumi and plush objects, but if you aren’t, feel free to browse through our gallery or shop for some context! I get a lot of questions from other artists asking where I source my materials and what tools I use, so I thought I’d make a big ol’ list for your viewing pleasure. (These aren’t endorsements and I’m not paid by any of these companies etc etc.) Enjoy!
Embroidery Machine - Brother Quattro 3
We do all of our embroidery on our Brother Quattro 3. We purchased the floor model on sale for about $8,000 in 2016, and it’s been great! The max embroidery size is 8”x12”.
Sewing Machine - Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2
Purchased in 2019 for around $1500. Lots of features that I like, including an empty-bobbin sensor, automatic needle threader and thread cutter, automatic button foot, and a large throat for shoving big projects through. Does tend to be finicky in regards to thread/needles– I need to use embroidery thread and stabilizer for the automatic buttonholer, and it HATES sewing lycra and skips stitches often when doing so. I use my backup machine (Brother SE425) for lycra and it sews it like a champ.
Backup Sewing Machine - Brother SE425
My first sewing and embroidery machine! I purchased it for about $350 in 2015. This is a great machine, its so packed with features and I love it. Sews flawlessly and I’ve never had an issue with it– I only needed to ‘upgrade’ as it’s fairly small and was difficult to shove entire kigurumis through the small throat. It can also embroider up to 4”x4” which is great for small patches and plush.
Serger - Brother 3034D
I purchased this serger for about $550 in 2016. I use my serger to sew most of the seams on our kigurumis. It’s pretty barebones as far as sergers go, and I’ve never had an issue with it.
I use fleece (not to be confused with FELT) as the main fabric in our kigurumis and plush toys-- it’s a thick, soft, warm, durable fabric perfect for cozy apparel. When selecting fleece for a project, I tend to look for the best color match first, so having a collection of swatches is vital especially when purchasing online! Below I’ve listed my favorite sources in order of preference. Note: You’ll want to try to get anti pill fleece whenever possible. Blizzard (sometimes called Glacier) fleece is lower quality and pills much faster.
YourFleece: Online retailer. Free swatch books available, just shoot them an email. High quality anti-pill fleece in a wide array of colors. Great prices (~$3 - $5 per yard) and friendly customer service.
Joann Fabric: Get their Anti Pill Plush Fleece, very soft, thick, slightly stretchy. ONLY buy on sale or with a coupon ($11.99/yd normally, sometimes will be as low as 70% off around wintertime). No swatches available but you can browse their fabric in person. Take photos of the end of the bolt to remember the color name and make your own swatches at home from yardage that you’ve purchased (can do as low as ⅛yd). Also available online.
Mill Yardage: Polartech retailer. Polartech fleece is a little thicker and a slightly different texture than anti-pill fleece, but great quality. They have swatch packs available for purchase (https://www.millyardage.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1826). More expensive than other sources; I only source here when I can’t find a color elsewhere as they have some hard-to-find colors (especially browns and muted tones).
Etsy - Etsy has a variety of independent shops that can carry some niche colors that are difficult to find elsewhere. “[color] solid Fleece fabric by the yard” generally will give you some good results! Be sure to check the location of the shop– some are based abroad and will take much longer to ship when you can get the same fabric domestically. Some shops I’ve personally ordered from include Pico Textiles & College Fabric Store.
I often use faux fur in our custom kigurumis for accents and fluffy bits. I have a few favorite sources depending on what I need!
Howl Fabrics: USA-based independent company run by fursuit makers. Great source for unique colors, easy to contact and fast to ship.
Fursuit Supplies: Furry company based in the USA, selection varies but they have unique finds.
Mendels: Experienced small business based in LA. Huge selection and they’re furry-friendly.
Fabric.com: Big biz, they ship fairly quickly so I like to snag my luxury shag here if I can’t find it elsewhere.
The large plastic buttons that I use in my kigurumis are Blumenthal Lansing Co. Brand “Big Button Clamshells” (also under “Crafting with Buttons” brand). They’re available online and at Joann Fabric in packs of 40 assorted colors.
That's about it I think! Hope it was helpful– if you appreciated this resource feel free to let us know! If you found it helpful and want to show us some support so we can keep making fun stuff and sharing what we've learned, consider checking out our Patreon or snagging something from our shop!