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Costume Making: 10 of The Best Fabrics for Cosplay

best fabrics cosplay

Playing dress-up is a childhood pastime that is just as fun now as it was then. But costume making has evolved since the days of fashioning capes out of trash bags and applying blotchy face paint. The Cosplay that we know today is a giant subculture and community where TV, film, gaming, comic book fans take the fancy dress to the next level, and then completely knock it out the park. Each cosplayer makes their own costume, spending a lot of time and energy on it to perfectly capture every detail of their subject’s character.  

To create such a masterpiece, you need the best fabrics that will bring your vision to life. The following are typically used for cosplay costume making because of their form-fitting properties and distinct looks. From the fabric that’s perfect for making bodysuits to transfer paper that lets you add motifs and patterns to your fake armor, delve into the world of cosplay fabric and see what you can create.  

Neoprene 

The sponge-like qualities of Neoprene make this a perfect fabric for creating costume armor and weaponry. Customize with an image of real armor or metal texture in order to accurately execute the illusion. It’s 1/8 inch thick, weighs 2.95 oz/yd and is totally opaque, making it an ideal fabric for outdoor style garments. Soft and stretchy in nature, cosplay Neoprene is a firm favorite among our cosplay customers. 

neoprene

Scuba 

Stretchy Scuba is perfect for making bodysuits like those worn by superheroes as it’s form-fitting and figure-hugging. The face has a subtle sheen, giving your Scuba fabric a high-tech, futuristic look, which is ideal for cosplay costume making. I think another reason to love this thick, lively textile is that it’s soft and cool to touch, allowing you to wear it all day and remain comfortable. Recreate your favorite superhero’s suit by customizing Scuba with the exact same design. It’s an easy way to get your desired cosplay look.

characteristics scuba fabric

Slinky Matte Lycra 

Slinky Matte Lycra is as the name suggests, slinky! Smooth and slippery, it glides effortlessly over your skin and can be worn very tight to your body. Despite being thinner than Scuba, Slinky Matte Lycra offers a lot of support and has a firm hold, as well as being highly elasticated. Again, this is well suited to making your own superhero cosplay bodysuit, or if the character you’re emanating derives from the oceans, the water repellent qualities of Slinky Matte Lycra comes in handy.

characteristics slinky matt lycra fabric

Crushed Velour 

Crushed velour immediately adds drama to any outfit and demands attention. The soft, short pile is extremely shimmery, resulting in an almost metallic aesthetic. Combined with the shiny silver undertones, this material has all the makings for a futuristic themed cosplay outfit. If your design/print needs movement, Crushed Velour has a distinctive ripple effect on the plush face that is reminiscent of sunlight beaming down on the surface of the ocean. Capes, headpieces, gloves, and other accessories made using this super stretchy Crushed Velour will make your costume a showstopper.  

characteristics velour fabric

Organza 

You might typically associate Organza with bridal wear, but it has a firm place in the cosplay world too. It’s particularly useful for skirt overlays and is an essential component when making a Disney princess dress and other feminine designs. The transparent quality, sheer finish and subtle sparkle evoke imagery of an ethereal land. Despite this feminine quality, you can use it to replicate more masculine elements such as a fire. Manipulate it to resemble flames licking your body, for example, or incorporate it into a headpiece for a statement feature.

characteristics organza fabric

Crochet Lace

Line your cosplay costume with Crochet Lace, a stretchy open knit fabric that allows your body to breathe. Featuring diamond-shaped holes, your mesh has a distinctive look and feel and helps to keep you cool. As well as lining garments, you can get creative and make a realistic military camouflage helmet using Crochet Lace. Feed leaves and branches through the holes and then attach to the helmet for a cool accessory.

characteristics mesh fabric

Florence Net

Florence Net is a super fine mesh fabric that has a fluid drape. Weighing just 1.77 oz/yd, it’s incredibly light, but don’t be fooled: it’s a lot tougher than it looks. It has a 4-way stretch and can be used for all sorts of cosplay costume features; lingerie, lightweight leggings, delicate gloves, sheer sleeves, headbands…there’s so many opportunities!

florence net fabric

Marbled Velvet

For a real statement piece, you’ll love this luxurious velvet fabric. Marbled Velvet has a magical pile that goes in all directions, creating the distinguished marbling and rippling effect. The fabric ‘dances’ in the light and appears to change textures. I think it’s the ultimate fabric to use for making a majestic coat, cape or shawl that will undoubtedly receive widespread admiration. Printed with your unique designs, you can embody the prowess of your favorite mythical character and bask in the glory that Marbled Velvet helps to cultivate.

marbled velvet

Sparkle Lycra 

This medium weight Lycra is springy, stretchy and more importantly, sparkly! The face of the fabric is slightly textured, but the reverse feels cool and smooth against your skin. It molds well to the figure, enhancing your features and creating a gorgeous silhouette. This makes it the perfect fabric for a superhero bodysuit. Sparkle Lycra has moisture absorbing and sweat resistant properties, cosplay essentials, especially when you have more layers and other outer garments as part of your costume.  

characteristics lycra fabric

Transfer Paper 

There are 2 types of Transfer Paper; textile and super dry. Super dry paper allows cosplayers to add specific patterns, designs, and images to accessories that need to look more realistic. If you have a fake sword as part of your costume, use super dry paper to transfer the engravings or motifs that appear on the actual sword you’re replicating. Or you could use textile paper to transfer an image of a wound or bullet hole, to give that extra dose of drama to your outfit. 

Take your cosplay costume making to the next level with custom printed fabrics featuring your unique, otherworldly designs. Whether you want to channel your inner Superman or become a real-life little mermaid like Ariel, click the banner below to browse the full range and start designing your awesome cosplay fabrics.

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