Ziaki's Guide To Yarn Tail Maintenance
You can find slicker brushes at pretty much any pet store. You can get them on the cheaper end for 4$- 5$
The one pictured is what I use for my tails. It is a con-air dog slicker brush and runs about 10$ - 15$ depending on the size you get. I prefer this one because it is better quality and lasts longer.
Slicker brushes are used for basic groom and maintenece of your tail. It is normal for your tail to shed some when you groom it.
Soft Bristled Boar Hair Brush
You can find these brushes at pretty much any drug store or super market in the beauty / hair section. Prices vary.
This brush is used for general maintence of your tail and is pretty much a must have.
Brushing with a soft bristled brush will help maintain your tail's softness and shine and will reduce the amount of heavy duty grooming you will have to do.
Optional maintenance items include
Hair Straightener - to get out any kinks in the fur. Use on a medium to low setting. DO NOT use on your tail if you did not order it from me or ask the maker of your tail first. Some crafters use cheaper brands like Red Heart that to not handle heat well.
Hair Detangler - use a spray in detangler for when your tail gets really nasty and gnarly.
Comb - you may want to use a comb on those more stubborn tangles. Be careful when using a comb as you may inadvertantly pull out the yarn tail bundles. ZYT uses high quality extra strength upholstery thread to avoid such things but some crafters do not, and some crafters use no-sew methods to attach thier bundles.
Basic Care Tips
Hang your tail up when you are not using it.
Hanging your tail in your closet or on dresser handle or anywhere will help keep your tail from getting tangled when you are not using it. Never leave your tail laying around on the floor or in the back of your car or anywhere. It won't ruin your tail but it will increase the amount of brushing you have to do and will increase the potential for damage.
Brush Before and After Wearing
Brushing your tail consistently with a soft bristled brush will help it retain it's shine and will reduce the amount of heavy duty brushing you will have to do and in turn will reduce the potential for damage. The larger your tail is the more grooming it will require.
In general I suggest just keeping your tail away from things that will get it dirty but stuff happens.
You CAN hand clean your tail with a damp cloth and some gentle brushing.
I do not suggest saturating your tail with water as it will take an extremely long time to dry and may become matted.
DO NOT put your tail in the washing machine! It will matte your tail beyond repair.
I got my tail wet! Now what?
Don't panic! A wet tail isn't ruined as long as it's not super matted up. Whatever you do, do not put it in the dryer.
You'll need a hair blow dryer and a lot of patience. Hang your tail up and starting at the top seperate the fur into thin sections with a comb or brush and blow dry. The blow dryer should take care of the fur itself, however if your tail was saturated and the knots for the fur bundles and / or the braided base of your tail is wet you may just have to leave it hanging somewhere warm and dry for a few days to air dry.
You can smooth out any kinks or waves in the fur with a hair straightener AFTER the tail is dry.
Basic Guide for Messy Tails
As you see here we have a very messy tail. I wore it all weekend and barely brushed it and it rolled around in the backseat of my car for a while. This is basically what your tail is going to look like if you don't take very good care of it.But don't worry! We are going to fix it.As you can see we also have our boar hair brush and our slicker brush. These are our basic tools.The first thing you should do is gently brush your tail with your slicker brush. I generally start at the bottom and work my way up.
Now we have used the slicker brush to straighten out most of the mess. You can also use a comb to get out any really stubborn tangles. You must be extra careful to not pull to hard when using a comb to avoid pulling out any fur tufts.I personally use heavy duty uposltery thread to sew my tails so that this doesn't happen but if you did not order a tail from me and you are not sure what kind of thread was used you should be very careful.
The next step is to smooth it out with your boar hair brush.
So now we have our tail mostly fixed up.But after being tangled like or maybe just after a long period of time your tail may have lost some of it's shine and softness.At this point you can use a leave in hair detangler by lightly spraying your tail (do not saturate it).Then use your boar hair brush to brush in the detangler.After you've covered your tail completely with the detangler and have brushed it in you need to hang it in a safe, dry, clean place so that it can dry.
So here's a picture after I've brushed in the leave in detangler.As you can see it is now very shiny and smooth and once it's dry it should be just as soft as it was when it was new.
If you have any major damage to your tail such as tufts that have broken off or broken attatchment loops / rings ZYT will fix your tail for the cost of shipping both ways. Please email (BEFORE shipping it) with photos and a description of the damage so that I can assess and decided whether or not I can fix it.
I DO NOT do repair work on tails that I did not personally craft.