View Full Version : Reddish brown alligator vinyl?

11-20-2003, 11:00 PM
I've been planning out my Niobe costume, from The Matrix Reloaded, and have hit a major snag. I have looked everywhere, and I do mean everywhere--Warehouse Fabrics, Baer, Sewing Fabrics, Fabric Direct, Fashion Fabrics Club, Lycra House, Spandex House, every damn relevent store I found on fabrics.net--and I just cannot find anything close to the shiny cognac/sienna-colored alligator-skin vinyl (http://whatisthematrix.warnerbros.com/rl_img/07_Niobe.jpg) that is used in Niobe's coat and pants. I have not even found a SINGLE true alligator-skin style. The closest thing I've found is a simple pleather in the right color, or a matte, moss-colored, and very flat crocodile-skin vinyl.

I'm at my wit's end. I've Googled it ("vinyl fabric," "vinyl croc*," "vinyl *gator," "fabric croc*," etc.) and have found tons of pages selling garments, shoes, and bags made of the stuff. They must be getting it from somewhere! Why should this stuff be so hard to find?

I have yet to actually pound the pavement looking through the NYC fabric district, but after seeing how much better online prices are in general, I'm not sure I want to go and find a vague match for $20 a yard. Does anybody know of any online fabric stores that I might have missed that could carry such a thing? I mean, I'll settle for just "reddish" or "brownish," but you can see that the raised texture and shininess are key.

I'd really appreciate any help here... Thanks.

Miaka No Baka
11-21-2003, 04:43 AM
i've seen fabric like that at the fashion district in l.a. i believe, i think your best bet is to hit the one in ny and check it out. I've actually found it's way cheaper in la then online. Most places sold it for 4 or 5 bucks a yard compared tot 10-12 online.

tried a search for brown snakeskin pvc came up with this link:


Miaka no Baka

11-21-2003, 08:17 AM
The problem is that the material that coat is made of is more than likely the real dealand not a vinyl. I would be prepared to go find the proper leather skins.

11-21-2003, 05:22 PM
Well, putting aside for a minute that one of the few things that I'm stridently against is wearing animal furs and skins (I guess leather is an exception, though... or I'm a hypocrite), and alligators are an endangered species...

I did see a listing online for dyed alligator hide. It was going for 6 dollars an INCH. You could buy an alligator-skin cigar box for several hundred dollars. Real alligator skin is used in briefcases and watch straps. Real alligator-skin knee-length coats don't exist anywhere, even in the matrix. Considering that the costume dept. would've had to make three or four of each item to accomodate wirework and to account for wear and tear, I don't think making pants and a full coat out of the real stuff would've been quite viable. I know it was a multi-zillion dollar production, but that wasn't going to the costume department. The costume designer says in an interview that Trinity's original costume was made of "very cheap PVC."

Plus, this is my first time working with vinyl and that's already a stretch for me. Even if I could get enough yards of alligator skin without blowing my entire college fund, I have no clue how I would sew the stuff.

No, I think it's vinyl. And even if the real costume is made from authentic dead alligator, I should still be able to find faux; you see the stuff all over the place. Boots, handbags, etc. So it stands to reason that somebody is selling imitation-alligator-skin vinyl SOMEwhere.

I think I shall hit the brick-and-mortar stores as soon as I can. I just remember that the prices, while far better than any other storefronts I'd seen, still pale in comparison to online bargain warehouse prices. But Miaka, thanks for the link. It's not *quite* what I'm looking for ideally, but I've bookmarked it in case I can't find anything else. Thanks!

11-26-2003, 12:11 AM
Yay, well, I've found a brown alligator vinyl, and on sale! So maybe I can use some kind of polish on that to give it some red overtones... or not. But at least I have something!