The fantasy realm of fabrics

Nov 13th 2018

The fantasy realm of fabrics

Imagine that you’re traveling across country or getting ready to slay a dragon. Maybe you’re becoming your favorite super hero heading out to fight all evil. Or maybe you’re exploring the dark side with a cape around your back. Want to become an elf? That’s no problem. No matter what realm of fantasy you’re heading to, we know you’ll need the necessities to get there.

Cosplayers around the world are becoming more visible to the sewing and crafting industry because of their talent, dedication and time used to create such masterpieces – costumes. The skills of a cosplayer are often judged by the difficulty of the costume and how closely it represents the actual character it portrays. Often using various type of materials – textiles, sculpture, face paint, fiberglass, fashion material, woodworking, etc. – cosplayers are always looking for new and updated tools to help enhance their craft. This is especially true when it comes to fabrics.

Let’s think about this for a minute. When planning a costume, cosplayers head to the stores where they get lost in a sea of fabric. Overwhelmed with a plethora of styles, colors, textures, and having to decide between quilting fabric, upholstery, fashion fabric, home décor, dancewear, etc. Their list of needs is endless. So how do they choose? Most of the time it’s with trial and error – which can get costly – but now that cosplay is becoming incredibly mainstream, stores around the world are joining in with the sensation.

We previously discussed Shannon Fabrics, for example, has several types of fabric for multiple realms of fantasy.

General Manager of Shannon Fabrics, Julie Old, says, “We are developing many new fabrics with Cosplay in mind. We have excellent quality and selection. We offer hard-to-find specialty fabrics, ideal for Cosplay designers, costume designers and hobbyists. Specifically, we have unique fabrics for science-fiction, animals, super hero, Victorian, Steampunk, medieval, futurist, traditional, and fantasy character costumes and more. Our designs include a wide variety of substrates, materials and colors,”

Some of their well-known fabrics have been jumping off the shelves for cosplay use, including:

Embrace™ double gauze: The lightweight, cotton fabric has many uses. This can range from sheer material like those used in veils or opaque material used in full costumes. Good for royal, fairy, and magical costumes. Think of Rey from Star Wars!
Faux Fur:Often called fun fur by cosplayers, this fabric can be found in a range of colors, textures, piles and patterns.Whether making a full fur suit, or the primary element in a barbarian raider’s ensemble cosplayers have been able to find what they need with faux fur.
Luxe Cuddle® Glam:Knit and durable fabric in vibrant metallic colors have been trending in the cosplay scenes. Not to mention, it has a high-quality stretch base, so it has been good for creating body suits, gloves, capes, etc. Think superhero, sci-fi and anime.

Cuddle® Suede: Faux suede kind of leather with a velvety finish is ideal for apparel such as jackets, vests, skirts, handbags, and totes. The texture of faux suede is perfect for hunters, warriors, barbarians and post-apocalyptic survivors.

Silky Satins:The lightweight and shiny/silky fabric is similar to silk. Cosplayers have found satins great for magical or royal costumes, lingerie, apparel, lining, backing, and capes.

That’s not all, either. Shannon Fabrics has so much more types of fabric that cosplayers will find great for their craft.

“We are very excited about our fabrics for Cosplay and continue to see this as an important strategic market area. We are well known in the industry for having the best selection, quality, in-stock position and customer service,” President and Owner of Shannon Fabrics, Arvin Pariavi said.

They’re even continuing their research to ensure that they will be a great source for cosplayers worldwide.

“We are collaborating with many industry partners such as Famore. We’re also working with Simplicity, McCall’s and other pattern companies, and using their costume and cosplay specific patterns.” Marketing Manager Ellen Mickelson says, “In addition, we are also partnering with cosplayers. We have recently teamed up with Cheryl Sleboda and Tracy Mooney of Sew Much Cosplay on an upcoming project to celebrate the premiere of the Game of Thrones new season. We are looking forward to what’s ahead for Cosplay!”