What Is Fursuit Eye Mesh?
As the name implies, fursuit eye mesh is the fabric that is used to make the eyes of a fursuit. It is often a relatively thin material so that it can be printed on easily while still allowing the wearer to see through it. This is because mesh has thousands of tiny holes in it that allow light to pass through. The more tightly woven a piece of mesh is, the fewer holes there are and therefore the harder it is to see through it. Not all fursuits have mesh eyes and you’ll most often see this mesh in more toony suits than anything but it’s not exclusive to them. It can also be used in realistic heads, kemono heads, and more. Because the eyes are just made with a thin fabric, it’s quite easy to glue them onto the head of the suit and there are a million tutorials you can find out there on how you can install them easily so there should be no issue if you are trying to make your own fursuit.
Can I Use Any Mesh To Make My Fursuit’s Eyes?
So, as for the specifics of the mesh you want to use this is where things can get a little tricky. You don’t want to use just any old mesh because it might not give you enough vision or ink might struggle to take to it so you should be a bit more meticulous about choosing the right mesh for your fursuit. Lucky for you, we’re here to help.
If you’ve read up a little bit on fursuit eye mesh then you’ve probably had this suggested to you a million times already but, Buckram mesh fabric is your best bet for fursuit eyes. This mesh really is just the jack of all trades. It’s affordable, only costing about $3.99 for a square foot of mesh, it’s easy to work with in terms of painting or inking designed onto the mesh and it’s see-through enough that your vision won’t be massively impaired but just opaque enough that people can appreciate the designs you put on to it.
Of course, it’s not the be-all and end-all if you’re unable to get your hands on some Buckram mesh fabric it’s just what we suggest. There are plenty of equally useful alternatives to this mesh which you can find below.
High Visibility Mesh vs Standard Mesh
Image via Twitter
Are There Any Good Substitutes For This Mesh?
To start, vinyl eye mesh is another great alternative to Buckram. It’s almost just as easy to work with, you can paint onto it nicely, and it’s not too hard to cut. The only problem we find with vinyl mesh is it is slightly harder to see through because it’s a bit more tightly woven than buckram fabric. However, this isn’t a massive inconvenience as you can still get by with the visibility it offers.
Apart from PVC (vinyl) however, there aren’t many alternatives you’ll find. A lot of the mesh you will find will either be PVC or buckram-based mesh as they are just the most commonplace fabric mesh.
However, be warned, all mesh comes with its pros and cons, even buckram. For one, some have complained that buckram mesh fabric often warps and weakens a little too easily with time even if it is better for painting. While on the other hand, more PVC-based mesh often clogs with paint a lot easier thus reducing visibility. As well as this they can often make designs look a little “pixelated” if drawn with a marker pen.
Where Can I Buy Mesh For My Fursuits?
If you’re reading this article because you’re looking to make eyes for your own fursuit but you’re not entirely sure where to buy supplies from, not to worry, we’ll cover your options.
It might sound like a bit of a no-brainer but Amazon really is the marketplace for everything and anything. You can buy yourself any color mesh in varying different sizes and even mesh that is pre-cut into circles for you. Plus, you can get all of this for less than $10. So, if you’re looking for the most convenient place to buy mesh for your fursuit eyes and a lot of the other supplies for your fursuit to be frank, Amazon is probably your safest bet.
However, if you don’t want to put more money into Bezos’ pockets and instead want to support the furry community, you can buy from the furry-run platform fursuitsupplies.com. As you could imagine, they are a bit more in touch with the needs of furries, and their site is dedicated solely to helping fellow furries make their own fursuits and they are relatively affordable. They also offer neat little cosmetics like LED light-up collars and custom-made ones.
Another way of supporting the furry community and knowing exactly whose pockets your money is going into is ordering supplies through Etsy. Etsy has a surprisingly big furry and fursuiting community on it. You can buy everything from full fursuits to foam bases and there’s no shortage of supplies either.
How Do You Paint On To The Eye Mesh?
Given that mesh has so many tiny holes you might think that it would be challenging to paint on but it’s actually far from it. This will be a brief guide on how to paint your fursuit eyes but there are plenty of extensive guides out there that will cover a lot more than this article. Firstly, if you’re going to use paint from a bottle (as opposed to paint pens or spray paint) we strongly suggest using high-quality acrylic paint. We’ve found that this is just the easiest to layer onto the mesh and the paint that takes to the mesh the best.
Once you’ve got your paint you’re going to want to apply a thin layer of the patterns and colors you want. Let this dry and apply another thin layer. The reason you want to keep these layers relatively thin is thicker layers can cause small globs of paint to clog the holes of the mesh and therefore affect the transparency of the mesh. Another way of avoiding clogging is by using a sponge, or piece of foam to lightly dab onto the as opposed to a brush as it allows you to use your discretion a little better. Keep on applying the layers of paint until your design is clearly visible and hey presto! You have just painted your very first pair of fursuit eyes.
Some alternatives to acrylic paint that we’ve seen people have success with are paint pens, felt-tip pens, spray paint, and markers. We know acrylic paint, especially the high-quality stuff, can be pretty expensive so any of these are great options as well.
Image via Pinterest
So, to wrap things up, if you are looking to make eyes for your own fursuit and are unsure where to even start we recommend first picking a material to make the eyes out of. Our suggestion would be buckram mesh fabric but any of the alternatives mentioned below would also work. For the best quality and affordability, any of the aforementioned stores are a great option to get not just eye mesh but most fursuit supplies. Then when it comes to painting your eyes remember to watch a tutorial on it beforehand as although we’ve given you a brief rundown on how you should go about painting it, our word isn’t gospel and there are plenty of tips and tricks you can pick up from several talented fursuit makers out there.