What is a DTD? A DTD is a term that most furries and fursuit makers use to for referring to a Duct Tape Dummy. A DTD is a fast cheap way to provide a template of your body. It is made from taping up your body, including your limbs, sometimes even the hands or neck/head depending on the suit being made. This ensures that the fursuit maker has a representation of you to build a suit so it is made just for you! DTDs are only required for full fursuits and are not required for partials.
- Duct tape ie. Gorilla Cloth Tape (several rolls!!!)
- Painters coveralls
- Glad-wrap or plastic bags - just in case
- At least one other person to help you - the more the merrier! Do not attempt to make this by yourself!
STEP 1 - GET PREPARED
- Go to the toilet - this process can take a couple of hours, and you will not be able to go while you are taped up.
- Only wear underneath what you would wear under your fursuit. This will generally just be underarmour/sweat-wicking gear, but can also include an ice-vest if you plan to wear one. If you do wear your underarmour or icevest underneath make sure when that extra care is taken when cutting you out of the DTD.
- Do not wear shoes (Like I did when making this tutorial)
- Put on your painters coveralls.
STEP 2 - GET TAPED
- If you only have one friend assisting, as the tape-ee you can assist by helping tear tape into strips while you have your hands and arms free to speed up the process.
- If you have more than one friend assisting each person can be assigned a job - ripping tape into pieces, doing the actual taping, or even being arm rests once taping reaches your arms and shoulders.
- When taping overlap your pieces, you want to make sure your DTD is nice and strong and has a minimum of 2 layers of tape and no holes in your taping!!!
Helpful TIP Use Pieces of 4-6″inches of tape instead of “mummy” wrapping. This will keep the DTD from being too tight (cutting circulation is bad!!!). Also helps keep accuracy. For really curved areas - like the breast or crotch use pieces that are 2-3" inches long!
- First part you want to tape is your crotch and chest, some people can be a bit iffy about touching near peoples privates, or having their privates touched by other people - so the best way around it is to do it yourself! Doing a couple of areas someone missed can be a lot more comfortable for some than getting up close and very personal for several minutes!!
-Once those areas are done, tape the torso, the hips and the legs (leaving the knees un-taped for now). The ideal leg position is about shoulder width apart and legs straight (but not locked). If the coverall is a little short use the plastic bags or glad-wrap to cover the areas not covered by the coverall so you can tape those areas. You need to be taped all the way down to your ankles and up to and including a bit of your neck (ideally you won't be wearing shoes while getting your DTD done like I was!!).
-Next tape up the arms, leaving the shoulders free. You want the arms to be out to the side, straight, but not have the elbows locked. Again if the coverall is a little short use the plastic bags or glad-wrap to cover the areas not covered by the coverall so you can tape those areas. You need to be taped all the way down to your wrists.
-Finally, tape the knees and the shoulders. These are left last for comfort. If possible, have you arms resting/supported by furniture or a friends shoulder - this will reduce the strain and discomfort of having your arms raised and kept still for 10-30 minutes.
STEP 3 - REMOVAL
- Get your marker and mark the small of your back (belt level where your tail will be), and mark circles for your elbows and knees.
- Make a line along each area you plan to cut along and hash mark them - this will make it easier to line up the cuts and re-tape them into one piece again. I recommend cutting open along one entire arm and halfway up the other arm, down the front and from ankle to knee - allowing just enough wiggle room to extract yourself from the DTD, and leaving a minimal about to need re-taping.
- Cut along your cut lines being careful not to cut any clothing or the person underneath! Do not tear or rip the DTD off! If it does not come off easily - cut more rather than pulling or tearing at it as this could warp the DTD.
STEP 4 - FINISH UP
- Take your marker again and write your NAME and CHARACTERS NAME on the front.
- Get your tape and rejoin your DTD along the cut lines with several layers of tape (you will be charged an extra AU$50 if you DTD arrives and the seams need are not taped, or are not taped correctly)
- Fold up your DTD and post it off!!!
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- The duct tape used needs to be the non-stretchy kind (so not the PVC/plastic-y stuff!!). If its stretchy it will deform and not hold its shape - and you won't get a bodysuit that fits you properly. There is a brand in Australia called Gorilla Tape - it doesn't stretch much, is easy to tear and is very sturdy, this is the brand I recommend using when making your DTD.- I will refuse your DTD if it is dirty or smelly - it will go straight to the bin and I will ask for another one.
- DTD MUST reach your ankles, wrists and cover your neck, use gladwrap or garbage bags so the tape is not on your skin. If the fursuit ends up too short in the arms or legs, it is because you didn't tape all the way to your ankles and wrists as I typically allow a 4-5" inch overlap in my patterns so that there's no gaps.
- Your DTD is used to determine the size/shape of the bodysuit - so please make sure you stand in the correct position with your legs straight (but not rigid), and your arms up at shoulder height, and that the you are taped completely to your wrists and to your ankles.
HAPPY DTD MAKING!!!