Part 2 – Making A Fur Ruff — Fur And Material Preparation
- Thread Preparation
Get a good length of Size “D” waxed beading thread. Light one end of cut thread, keep lit until a small waxed ball forms. Blow it out. A hard, waxed ball knot will form. Wax the thread with Beeswax or Thread Magic. Then using the thread, sew up the holes in the hide. Put threaded needle in a pin cushion.
- Cutting the Hide Open
The hide usually comes intact, right side (fur side)facing outward. The hide needs to be turned inside out to prepare for hide stretching. After the hide is turned inside out, you will have to cut from the head to the tail, ON the belly side. Take a hand-held blade, and holding the hide with the left hand, pulling the hide apart as you cut, insert the blade under the neck and slice down the middle of the belly side of the hide, slicing from head to tail.
- Preparing Hide for Stretching
The non-fur side of the hide needs to be gently wetted down with water. Use a spritzer with cool water. Then, with an old clean towel, roll the hide in the towel, and take a coffee or water break. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then unroll and while the hide is still wet, get a heavy stapler and starting at the top of a flat board, staple the edge of the hides head to the board. Working evenly from left to right, pull the hide as you staple the edges of the hide to the board. Continue in this fashion until you reach the tail. It is important to gently stretch the hide as you work, too much force will make more holes in the hide. Leave the hide on the board overnight to dry.
- Measuring the Fur
As with anything you must measure the hood, and coordinate the ruff size with the hood size. Below is a general guideline for hood sizes:
- child sizes 2 – 4 = 2 x 24 inches
- child sizes 6 – 12 = 2 x 26 inches
- child size 14 = 3 x 29 inches
- adult size = 3 x 29 inches
As a precaution, it is a good idea to take a cloth measuring tape and measure the circumference of the hood, and ADD two inches additionally. Then measure the length of the hide from the neck to the hind quarters to see if it is long enough. If not, then you will have to purchase a second fur ruff material. As a general rule, one is enough for a child’s ruff; but two may be needed for an adult ruff, especially if you are using a small animal such as a rabbit or a small fox.
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