View Full Version : Velvet as cosplay material?

11-20-2002, 04:19 PM
I was just curious about something. I hear everyone relaying the joys of broadcloth and similar materials for anime costumes. However, I am putting together a Guts and Caska formal dress ensemble for Katsucon and I was wondering what the general consensus for using velvet for material is from some of the cosplayers on the board. I have been forewarned against the evils of satin already, and I wasn't planning on using that anyway. But does anyone have pros for velvet? Cons (beside price)? Past expreiences?

11-20-2002, 04:38 PM
2 of my costumes have real velvet (not the cheap stretch velvet).

Cons are that the material is heavy and have to avoid rubbing it against accessories like sword as will develop bald spots. Also haven't found right setting to get wrinkles out (able to iron them out some but still there a little).

Pros are that velvet comes in some rich colors that usually look good in photos. Usually drapes well due to the weight.

11-20-2002, 10:58 PM
Pros: It is beautiful, soft, and very impressive to look at.

Cons: It frays and wrinkles like nobody's business if you aren't careful. I've found hanging it in the closet for weeks is the only way to get rid of wrinkles from being moved in a suitcase. ^^ Be really careful about sewing your seams too- leave plenty of allowance, and don't tug at them if you can avoid it. It's also quite heavy...

Dark Vision
11-20-2002, 11:15 PM
a great material if you know how to sew really really well. If you have a bad sewing ability and just a costume builder like me.... it's not worth the pain unless its like gonna become your ulitmate costume.

11-21-2002, 12:08 AM
If you want to iron velvet, you need a whatchacallit... needle board or pinboard in order to not crush the pile. If you can line the garment or somehow finish the raw edges, it'll shed less on you and your other clothes. Sewing it is an adventure all in itself because the velvet layers like to creep all over the place.

11-21-2002, 06:14 AM
velvet is very difficult to sew with for all the reasons listed above. If you're going to try it, you should have a needle board to steam your seams (do not press them) and a walking foot for your sewing machine to help stop the layers from creeping. The cut edges will shed little loops of pile on you like nobody's business, so you must finish your seams. I wouldn't even consider sewing velvet without a serger anymore. I guess you should take another look at the character designs and see whether velvet is the most appropriate fabric, and if so, be aware of its problems. Stretch velvet is actually a little bit easier to work with than non-stretch, but it does have all the same problems, especially with shedding. Good luck!

11-21-2002, 06:27 AM
Oh god.... it FRAYS like HELL (you have to fold it over twice to hem it) and its HOT and SWEATY and doesnt really stretch. Man I had to constantly keep drinking water in my belldandy costume otherwise I would have passed out from being overheated...

11-21-2002, 08:45 AM
Eek, it look like I have my work cut out for me. Luckilly, I want to wear this at a winter con, so the heat will be welcome. But the sewing of this looks like it's going to take quite some time... But I'm really going for authentisity and richness with this one, so I'm absolutely sure I want to use velvet, if only for Guts' coat. It just seems appropriate for the costume.

11-21-2002, 08:52 AM
Stretch velvet is nice because you can usually wash it, too, while regular rayon-pile velvet has to be dry cleaned. (Also, if you use rayon velvet, try not to sit in chairs too much. Or if you do, try not to sweat. Once you get a flat spot pressed into that stuff, it will not come out.)

11-21-2002, 12:24 PM
I dunno what is about Berserk costumes and Velvet.
For my griffith I really want to use this beautiful lilac velvet I saw.. I would make the one from assasination though,not his usual tunic.

11-21-2002, 12:59 PM
Oh, when are you doing Griffith? Keep me posted on that one! It's nice to know someone else is suffering through a Berserk costume with me.

I think that velvet is just appropriate for the period and the setting. As far as I know, no one wore broadcloth to court. :)

11-22-2002, 01:48 PM
I don't really think that Velvet looks very nice in costumes... It's just me I think, but it always looks so horrible if not done just right... I personally think that most costumes look better when they aren't shiny...

11-22-2002, 02:27 PM
Ah... most velvet isn't very shiny... ^^ Ah, well, to each their own! I think velvet is the most beautiful fabric ever... a pain to work with, but the results can be amazing!

11-22-2002, 02:43 PM
Yeah, mostly it is only stretch velvet that is shiny.

Some examples from my closet

red in middle is velvet

Dark green is velveteen

purple is stretch velvet

11-22-2002, 04:39 PM
I don't suggest using velvet unless you..

a) know what you're doing
b) have a lot of time and energy to put into working with it
c) enough money to go buy more if you screw up o_O
d) all of the above. u_x

sometimes velvet looks good, mostly on long dresses or capes *points at Hikaruchan's examples*, but you should really make sure it'll look decent before you rush out an buy it (as it is a bit pricey... unless you live in LA oO).

sometimes you HAVE to use velvet.. I know that there's a few jrock bands who just loooooove making their costumes out of velvet. +_+;

just.. please don't use crushed velvet. it scares me and I think it looks like cottage cheese. T_T

11-22-2002, 07:42 PM
I would avoid using velvet as well. Unless you're using a stretch velvet or a crushed panne then it won't have much give. it attracts insane amounts of lint I've seen costume made out of crushed panne and the like and they looked pretty darn tacky. I would only use it if it were for a long dressy costume and even then i would use a cotton velvet, much less fraying and slipping. My first garment I ever sewed was made of a red cotton velvet and it still looks beautiful today

11-22-2002, 09:21 PM
Yes velvet is hot. ( in both the ways ! ) The best way to get wrinkles out of velvet is to use a hand steamer ( like the stores do). That's what we use in the shows. As far as my experience goes, get the real thing for certain. The cheaper, the more likely it will fray and tear. Also ,as someone before said, don't let anything rub on it. When I do my costume designs I always line the inside of the costume with another material. Last note, AVOID alcohol based perfume. It weakens and bleaches velvet. Hairspray with leave a grey "film " on it

11-25-2002, 10:33 AM
Anyone had used Silk Velvet before? It seems to be the most recommanded velvet for some Sci-Fic and Fantasy costumes, especially that it can be dye and washable to certain extend.

11-25-2002, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by The_Serifita
Anyone had used Silk Velvet before? It seems to be the most recommanded velvet for some Sci-Fic and Fantasy costumes, especially that it can be dye and washable to certain extend.

Yes - it has all of the same sewing problems as rayon velvet. It's the weave, not the fiber, that's the problem.

11-25-2002, 10:56 AM
I'm putting up a link to the picture of the costume I want to make (well, the one I posted on Cosplay Lab, I have better pictures to work with) here so you can actually see what the dress looks like.


I don't want to use stretch velvet or crushed, because it won't give me the effect of heavy court robes. I don't know, velvet just suits the period...I must sound like a broken record by now...

But thanks so much for all the help so far. I think I'm just about ready to tackle this project...as soon as I can find velvet for less than $24/yd.

oi......bless school discounts.

11-25-2002, 11:30 AM
Pretty! ^_^ Are you on the Jo-Anns mailing list? They send out 50% off one item coupons every few weeks. That's what I used to buy my velvet- it helped me to save more than $50!

11-25-2002, 01:40 PM
I usually get my velvet at Jo-Anns also due to those 50% off coupons. On a big money purchase those really help. Will have to have a general idea of how many yards you will need for the dress, though - so hopefully have found a similair enough pattern to give a ballpark figure of how much you need to get and always get a bit more.

11-25-2002, 02:05 PM
allright! Caska cosplay! I'll really want to see pictures of that one when it's finished :)

As for velvet.. it really depends on the costume. I've seen some costumes done in velvet, stretched velvet, crushed velvet, etc.. that REALLY should have been done in a different fabric..
But, when it suits the costume, I say go for it.

I also have to second the Jo Anne's option...
But, if you need over 5 yards, you might have trouble. I need approximately 7 yeards of green velvet for the cape I am making, but unless I catch Jo Anne's when they have a new bolt, I won't be able to get enough for the cape. I could always special order some, but then I wouldn't be able to use my 50% off coupon, which leaves me to pay the whole 18.00 a yard to so that it runs at over here. So.. I'm pretty much just biding my time with it to see what happens. Hopefully, I'll be able to get it all at once with a coupon before I need to have the cape done.. or face the certain doom of my depleted checkbook XD

11-25-2002, 02:06 PM
Have you looked at velvetfabric.com? Their prices are reasonable and they always seem to have a good selection.

11-25-2002, 02:35 PM
Thanks! I'll have to check it out. I'm gong for hunter green, and I've already bought a very pretty satin to line the cape with, so my biggest concern has been color. With local places... most have 7 yards total, but they all come off different bolts with a different pile each, so it's been rough going. >..<
Hey.. are you the Toshiya I talked to at Animefest this year? XD I was Machi for a day.