How to Make Minor Repairs and Prolong the Life of your Mascot Costume.
A mascot costume goes through a lot in the act of entertaining a crowd. Tails are pulled, faces are kissed, and the loving can take its toll.
In this section we’ll go over popped seams/ make-up removal & areas that wear the fastest .
Making minor repairs to your mascot costume is essential. What seems minor now can become a very expensive problem if left unattended.
So after each use take a few minutes to go over your entire costume.
It really pays to have someone locally to repair popped seams or any little tear that may occur. If you are not good with a needle and thread to make your own repairs you may have a friend or family member who can help you out. If you don’t have anyone at your disposal, you could check with a local dry-cleaning establishment. See if they employee someone who does alterations and repairs.
Lip stick & make-up on the head is another common problem. If you remove as much of this after each performance you’ll avoid having to have areas of fur replaced. These will need to be spot cleaned as soon as possible. They can be very difficult to remove, treat with a pre-wash spray product. My favorite is Oxy-Clean but there are several options out there. Spray cleaner on area and use a tooth brush to gently clean the area in small circular motions. Then use clean water and a hand towel to rinse. Repeat if needed. Brush while still damp and then air dry.
Areas that wear the fastest are the neck area of the head, arm & leg cuffs and knees of the body.
Brushing the fur around the neck after each use will keep it from matting. I have seen many times where this has been overlooked for a long time and replacement of the fur becomes the only alternative.
Make sure the arms and legs are hemmed to fit you, if they drag you’ll see wear quickly and there may not be enough fabric remaining to hem properly.
Knees can be another problem area. Anytime you slide across a floor you create friction and friction equals heat that melts fur. So avoid sliding in your performance. Knees can be patched but depending on the length of your fur the patch may be very visible.
Tails & wings need to be constantly checked for tears because of pulling.
Written By Lu Smith
Lu Smith has been a designer in the mascot industry for Alinco Costumes since 1985 and is a great source for information. She is responsible for the construction of the San Diego Chicken, Jazz Bear, Benny the Bull and over a 1/3 of the NBAMascot Costumes.