the Saluki Furry Societyis a “family friendly [registered] student organization (RSO) for those in the Furry Fandom.” The Saluki Furry Society hosted an event at the SIU Student Center called the Saluki Furbowl on Sunday, Feb. 27 desde 3 pm to 5 pm, where members of the Furry community could come out and bowl in full fursuit or plain clothes.
Attendees of the Furbowl event could be seen wearing a variety of different fursuits. One of the most prominent among them was a tall, green Husky fursuit worn by founder of the organization and coordinator of the event, Tyler Knupp. Like many in the community, Knupp said he handmade this suit, a process which can be arduous but rewarding in both experience and value.
“All of my fur suits I’ve made myself,” Knupp said. “The process takes a long time, but it’s definitely worth it. It’s very satisfactory to have something this huge that you’ve made yourself, because otherwise if you commissioned it from a more professional fursuit maker, you’re spending upwards of $3,000, and those prices are going up every year. So, after making my own, I only spent maybe $300 in materials. Lots of work went into it, but [it’s] much cheaper.”
Natalie Danielcurrent vice president and a member of the Furry Society since 2018, was also in attendance. Daniel’s fursona, a term used to refer to the person someone assumes as a furry, is an orange cat named Star. Unlike Knupp’s fursuit, Daniel’s fursuit is a refurbished hoodie. She said she spent a significant amount of time reworking the hoodie with all of the facial and aesthetic details of a fursuit.
“I really like to do sewing in my free time but I’ve never worked with foam or anything,” Daniel said. “I made a Star hoodie where the hood is her head instead of a big foam head and I made star sweatpants to go with the hoodie and I made a nice big cat tail to go with everything. […] I made it all without a pattern, just eyeballing things and using my own clothes for reference.”
A couple of lanes over was Jasmine Parkera member since 2018whose fursona, Cotton Candy, was accompanied by a pink and white headpiece. She said this was the second iteration of this fursuit, as she unfortunately lost her first suit in a house fire in 2021. Another fursuit maker graciously helped Parker remake the headpiece.
Rebecca Brintonrecently promoted treasurer of the Furry Society, sat watching from the seating gallery. While not in a fursuit herself, Brinton had ideas for what she’d like to incorporate into a future design for a fursona.
“[My design is] based [on] two Pokemon: Umbreon and Toxtricity,” Brinton said. “I designed it myself, and I was really happy with it, but I wanted to change it up a little bit and make it a little more original. I wanted to make something that was really different, and hasn’t really been made before, which is very, very hard. […] I appreciated the work […] before I started working on it. But, after working on my head, I appreciate fursuit makers so much more.”
Seated in an aisle behind Brinton was Zynn Moorewho’s been a member of the Society since their freshman year. Moore similarly was without a fursuit, but not without a fursona.
“Right now my main character is a chimera, which is a Greek mythical monster,” Moore said. “It’s a little bit different because I think it’s been stylized differently. I bought it a couple of years ago as an ‘adopt,’ which is when an artist makes a character design and sells it to people. ”
The one common sentiment among group members was that the Furry Society provides a great sense of community.
“Everyone is super nice and friendly,” Daniel said. “I didn’t even know what a furry was, and everyone was super welcoming. Everyone was super nice. That’s how I made all my friends here.”
“I think our club’s definitely very friend-oriented,” Brinton said. “Everyone’s very friendly. Everyone’s very open and accepting of everybody too, which is something that definitely helped me out mentally while being here.”
“I was dragged here by a friend and was really in love with the art scene and creativity of it, and the sense of community,” Moore said. “So I would say if you’re interested in things like character design, making art, being creative or delving into fantasy […]. We just like to create and be weird dog people on the weekend.”
Staff reporter Ethan Braun can be reached at [email protected] To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois News follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.