We offer a choice of hundreds of faux fur fabrics by the meter, in dozens of colors and variations, and day after day we strive to offer you the widest possible choice for all your creative projects. Nevertheless, it is sometimes necessary to dye the fur to give it even more nuances, patterns, or to personalize it. Some of our customers already master all these techniques (creators of special effects and animatronic creatures, costume designers, cosplayers, fursuit makers…), and with their help we propose you to discover how to simply dye or paint fake fur. We invite you to discover their creations in our photo gallery, we will also add the links to their websites further down in this article.
Dyeing faux fur fabrics?
You may want (or need) to dye faux fur fabric to create visual effects that do not exist on the original fabric. Indeed, even if we offer a choice of several hundred fabrics, in many colors and patterns, you may want a color gradient or pattern that does not exist anywhere else. So by painting or dyeing the faux fur fabric, you can create colored dots, stripes, geometric patterns, very subtle gradients, or even add letters or inscriptions on the fur… the possibilities are endless!
Here are some examples of what can be done…
We are going to present you several dyeing techniques, from the simplest to the most complex, some of them require almost no investment and are very easy to do. Others require a little more material and experience. These techniques are resistant to machine washing, they allow you to make very precise designs and patterns, do not hesitate to do your own tests, you will be surprised by the result!
Can I use textile dyes?
No, these dyes, often in powder form do not work on synthetic fur fabrics. There are “all textile” dyes that are very easy to use, but they do not work on synthetic fibers and disappear as soon as you pour water on the freshly dyed faux fur fabric. We’ve done the tests for you, and none of them work. There are also special dyes for polyester and synthetic fibers, but they require boiling water, which is strongly discouraged for our fur fabrics, and makes using these dyes impossible.
Can I use spray paint or can paint?
No, definitely not! Liquid paint in a can (oil paint or water-based paint) is far too viscous and deposits a compact layer of paint on the fur, which irreversibly glues the hairs. Spray paint is also to be avoided, because it projects very fine particles that stick the hairs together and do not tint them evenly. The result will not be up to your expectations and may render your fabric coupon completely unusable.
First technique: the paint marker
These markers are very easy to use, they contain water-based paint, or acrylic paint. Their paint is odorless and without solvent nor alcohol. It is very opaque and covering, and can be applied on all kinds of support: glass, plastic, wood, paper, cardboard, textiles. These markers allow you to draw, write and paint very easily, and it is possible to buy them with a fine tip or a large tip. The most famous brand is Posca, but many other equivalent brands also offer these paint markers, you can find them in hobby stores and online stores.
To dye your fur with paint markers:
- Simply run the tip of the marker in the direction of the fur.
- It may be necessary to go over the same spot several times to make the dye opaque.
- Feel free to work slowly, checking that the marker tip is still primed. To check this, keep a piece of paper near you and write on it from time to time to see if paint is flowing from the tip. If it doesn’t, shake the pencil and write a little, pressing the tip a few times to reprime it.
- Let the paint dry for a few minutes.
- Then gently brush the fur.
Here is the result after brushing:
This technique allows you to make very precise drawings, or even write words on your faux fur fabric. This paint is washable at 30°, so you can keep your design for a long time.
Second technique: pastel
The pastel pencils allow you to dye the fur very simply. For this you will need standard pastel pencils, such as can be bought in supermarkets or art supply stores. In the tests below, we have tested pastels of several brands, the greasier they are the easier the colors will be to apply.
Here’s how to go about dying fur with pastels:
- Pass the pastel pencil over the fur, in the direction of the hair, pressing well, while being careful not to break the pencil (reminder: they are fragile!).
- Don’t hesitate to go over the same spot many times to deposit the color on the pile.
- You can also lift the pile to tint the undercoat as well, so that the color is impregnated deep down, not just on the surface.
- Brush the fur to loosen any stuck hairs.
- Optional: you can make the result even more beautiful by washing the fur in the washing machine (30° maximum) and letting it air dry. Again, finish by brushing the fur to give it back its softness.
Here again we have tested by putting our fur coupon in the machine at 30°, you will notice that after washing, the colors become a little less vivid. If you want to keep a very vivid color, with bright colors, you can stop at the brushing stage and not wash your fur afterwards. Note that the colors of the pastel pencils mix very well and it is possible to make beautiful gradations very easily.
Here is the final result after brushing and machine washing:
Third technique: airbrush
The airbrush is the ultimate tool for dyeing faux fur fabric, however we present it last because it is more expensive and more complex to use than the two previous techniques. Using an airbrush, you can paint large areas, but also make very fine details, use stencils or make very precise geometric shapes with the help of some paint masking tape.
The airbrush is a miniature paint gun that is the size of a pen. The airbrush works with two elements: compressed air (stored in a small air compressor) and a medium (which is the product being sprayed, oil or acrylic paint, ink, watercolor, pigment, etc.). This tool allows to spray the paint on the fur and to make beautiful drawings.
Our clients such as costume designers, special effects makers, cosplayers and fursuiters are experts in using the airbrush. Rather than test it ourselves, we thought we’d show you some of the wonders they create below, and you can see more of their creations by clicking on the links to their social media profiles and websites.
Some examples of what our customers make.
To inspire you and show you all that is possible when dyeing faux fur fabric, here is a gallery of our talented customers’ work. These techniques illustrate the 3 methods we have presented to you, you will also find very complete video tutorials, which will help you take your first steps!
KCB Fursuits (airbrush with acrylic ink)
Luxia Cosplay (paint marker)
Chimeral Cosplay Art (airbrush)
Pretzl Cosplay (pastel)
Custom Costumes Shop (airbrush)
Gruliette FX (airbrush, acrylic paint and alcohol)
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