Almost every character in Cats (Cassandra being the notable exception) has fur texture added to the base lycra suit. The fur serves a vital function in the success of the transformation from human to cat - it breaks up the very human outline of neck and shoulders.
Authentic Fluffies Edit
Different productions have used a range of materials and styles of fluffies.
The Broadway-style costumes use fabric again, but rather than the strips being sewn in tufts, they're gathered and zigzagged on in lines. The particular example of an early Broadway Tantomile had silk organza that had been acid dyed to match the costume, cut into bias strips and hemmed on one edge, then gathered and sewn down. The same costume also showed later additions of plain black fabric, gathered and sewn down the middle. Note: the 2016 Broadway Revival costumes are actually London-style construction, not the 1982 Broadway style.
Recommended Materials to use for Fluffies:
- Silk Organza - expensive but beautiful
- Artificial Organza - frays well, bounces and stays fluffy, cheap, easily available in many colours
- Lining Fabric etc - any fabric that frays easily and is lightweight works well
- Brush Fringe
These materials all offer the advantage of being lightweight, so they dry easily, hard-wearing, and for the most part easily affordable. Real silk organza may be pricey but a single metre will serve for multiple costumes.
NOT recommended materials:
- Fake Fur - heavy, hot and sweaty, does not wash well
- Yarn - becomes matted very quickly, retains moisture
Making Fabric Fluffies Edit
First, prepare your fabrics. Cut or tear strips approx. 4" wide along the grain of the fabric. Then cut into diagonal strips approx 2" wide.
- one strip of bias-cut organza. The bias (diagonal) cut means the maximum amount of raw edges are exposed, so the fibres will unravel into "fur".
- Simply tie into a knot. Do not pull too tight as this will make sewing through the compacted fabric much harder. A looser knot is much easier to sew through.
- Fold in half for the tufty style, and sew across. Machine sewing is much faster than sewing by hand, but hand sewing works well as long as it's securely finished off.
- Using a pet-grooming slicker brush will fray out the fibres much faster, and create the furry texture.