View Full Version : *white* suiting fabric :<

11-16-2010, 09:58 PM
I'm remaking my Ash (http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100411050140/kuroshitsuji/images/thumb/a/a4/Landers.jpg/290px-Landers.jpg) (Kuroshitsuji) costume from scratch; my current "coat" is a sad, unlined creature made from a deconstructed cotton lab coat. Now that I have more than two weeks to make the darn thing, and that I have a slightly better idea of what I'm doing when I sew, I'd like to make it out of an appropriate suiting fabric. My considerations have been listed below, but I suck at tailoring and don't have a great idea of what my choices are.

Wool Gabardine: Maybe I'm just incompetent at looking for stuff, but all the wool fabrics I've seen are ivory-colored. I've been to several different fabric stores, and all the "white" wool suiting fabrics they had looked really yellow next to the white of my wig/wing feathers. If not for its off-white tendencies, this would be my first choice; I think all the curves (not to mention the shoulders) would come out nicer and less puckered in wool.

Cotton Gabardine: This is what the labcoat is made out of, and I don't think it looks formal enough for Queen Victoria's (historically inaccurate lol) butler.

Cotton Sateen: It's definitely white enough. I like the subtle shine it has, it reminds me a little of the silk suits I've seen. But I've never seen sateen in a weight that felt heavy enough for a jacket. Could I interfuse/flatline the whole thing to give it some more structure?

Silk: I know that silk suits exist, and from what Google has shown me they are glorious, but I don't know what weight/weave is appropriate for suits. Also brutally expensive.

Assorted Herringbone Stuff: No thank you. I'd prefer a weave with no pattern in it.

Other suggestions, o sewing-folk with more experience than I? :confused: I've been thoroughly cowed by fabric store employees at this point.

11-17-2010, 04:16 AM
I would use a silk. You said he's supposed to be the Queen's - and that is livery coat as such, and is pre-Victorian in inspiration. I don't think I'd use wool, but it was certainly used for such coats.

For a suit, you want at the very least, 12oz fabric, but you might be able to get away with less for silk since it can be quite crisp without weight.

You can interline fabric, but it's a pain - you need some internal materials for any kind of suit, though. Traditionally, this is hair canvas / et cetera.

The coat, as drawn, has very "modern" shoulders that would benefit from padding and shaping that might not be present on an actual historic coat of the type.

11-17-2010, 09:43 AM
Thank you Kelley <3

I found this silk twill (http://www.dharmatrading.com/fabric/silk/twill.html) on Dharma; its weight is described in mm rather than oz, but based on this table (http://www.rockywoods.com/Fabric-Information-Help/FAQ/Fabric-Measures-and-Conversions) I'm guessing that they mean mils instead of mm and that it's about 8oz/yard. Their silk dupioni (http://www.dharmatrading.com/fabric/silk/dupion.html) is closer to 12/13 oz, but the slubs in dupioni would have been considered cheap-looking, yes?

What would be appropriate for the lavender fabric in this instance? It's on his vest, the cuffs of his coat, and a stripe down the outside of each pant leg. On the Life Guard's uniforms, I can see that the cuffs/collar are velvet, but I'm more accustomed to matte garment body -> shiny accents.

11-17-2010, 10:12 AM
Having worked with Silk dupioni you either going to love the texture or hate it. There are a lot of nibbs in the grain when woven. I was going to use a duo toned Silk dupioni for a suit jacket but it just wasn't right looking in texture.

11-17-2010, 10:44 AM
I've worked with silk dupioni before, I used it to make a pre-tied obi because I wanted a fabric grain that ran perpendicularly to the length of the sash. Mostly I'm concerned by the fact that the "SLUBS, SLUBS EVERYWHERE!" dupioni is a modern invention circa 1950/60; historically, slubby silk was originally created by accident rather than by design, and was considered to be of lower quality.

11-17-2010, 01:56 PM
You're quite correct there - dupion is a very modern fabric. Prior to the latter twentieth century, slubs were a flaw, not a design feature, especially in the west.

You don't actually need heavy fabrics to make heavy garments, particularly when you get into later periods (I.E. post-medieval) - all coats/cloaks/jackets/redingotes/doublets/what-have-yous, not to mention bodices, ball gowns and wedding dresses are all, to a greater or lesser extent, interfaced and/or interlined. This isn't an optional extra, it's the way clothes are made. Another disadvantage of dupion is that it's incredibly stiff - your tails won't drape unless the fabric has a soft enough hand, and won't flare unless it has an interfaced hem. If you're using a commercial pattern, all this should be in there. If you're working from scratch, look at existing garments, especially high-quality ones - aside from the invention of the overlocker and fusible interfacing, the basic principles at work have not changed significantly since the Victorian period.

In the Victorian period again, silk coats are not very manly (Not necessarily a problem for Ash) - silk satin for the lavender, perhaps, which is basically a giant signpost saying "I have lots of money", since that would need to be replaced within the year, silk satin wears very, very quickly and wasn't exactly cheap - but wool is always going to be yellowish, thanks to, well, sheep. If I wasn't worrying about being period correct I would consider a blend, probably a wool-synthetic blend - you're going to get a sharper white, a wool-like handle, fewer creases, and it might even wash reasonably depending on the percentages.

Now, bear in mind, I live in England, BUT - silk for an outer garment is my definition of a really bad idea. If you choose to go with silk, particularly white silk, do not, under any circumstances, get rained on. Rain spots on fine silk don't come out.

11-18-2010, 01:53 AM
Some duppioni isn't as obvious as others - you really need to be able to hold it in your hands to be able to judge if it will be too obvious or not. Some of it I'd certainly judge quite acceptable for a costume that doesn't need to be completely historically accurate.

As for the lavender, I think velvet would have a very nice look, if you wanted to go that route. It was certainly done - on some of those coats, the whole darn thing was velvet, and there were certainly velvet waistcoats around (and ones with fur accents, too). Since Kuroshitsuji isn't historically accurate, it would make me want to go for it more, since there's nothing to base it on.

I wouldn't do a charmeuse or satin if the body was a silk, even a rather matte one. I'd want something with a bit of contrast in texture, and some nice metallic gold braiding and buttons for those details.