Thursday, August 16, 2012

Choosing Fabrics

There are hundreds upon hundreds of fabric choices out in the world, so it's a good idea to know how to start. Here are some extra sources you can go to if you need any help with fabric. I'm only writing about what I know from the fabrics I've worked with as well, so this is sure to expand as I work with more fabrics.

As a helpful hint, just go around the fabric store and look at the fabrics. Touch and notice the sheen on each type of fabric and make notes in the back of your head. Here are some additional sources for choosing fabrics below.

Cosplay Tutorial Blog
Cosplay 101: Choosing Your Fabric

Types of Fabrics

  • Broadcloth
    • This is a cheap type of cotton that you can buy. You'll be highly tempted to buy it with its cheap price, but don't. I've already made that mistake. The cotton is extremely thin and will frustrate you. If you use this, you might want to double up on fabric.
  • Kona Cotton
    • This is a more expensive cotton that you can buy, but it is thicker than broadcloth. The thing about this cotton is that it's not as stretchy as the shirts you buy at the store, so measurements are very important to keep in mind.
  • Muslin
    • This is a very cheap fabric, often used to plan out patterns instead of making actual dresses out of it. It's very thin, like broadcloth, and should be used for more practice than actual sewing.
  • Cotton Blend (Like the shirts from Walgreens)
    • These are actually my favorite type of fabric to work with. They're stretchy and soft and cheap (if you buy them constructed and deconstruct them). I haven't had problems with them in the wash yet either.
Considering Fabrics for Your Character
Unfortunately, you can't use the same fabric for every character. Depending on where the character lives or the resources the character has in his or her time period, you will need different fabric. Let me show you what I mean:

The classic

If you look at her costume, what fabric would you assume she's wearing? We know it's not leather or any stiff fabric. You'll be looking for a stretchy fabric with maybe a little sheen (spandex and maybe satin for the trimmings).

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