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Unread 06-30-2013, 02:21 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Lightening lycra fabric?

I bought a lycra wetsuit a while back for a costume of Wiccan, from Marvel's "Young Avengers."

I thought that maybe it would be too hard, so I didn't try it, but then he got a new costume.

The only problem:

The wetsuit I bought was black, as his old costume was; the new one is gray, with galaxy print.

I was considering just trying to lighten the whole wetsuit, then attach black fabric panels and splatter paint (or just buy and cut up a pair of galaxy tights). The problem is that I know I can't bleach the lycra to get it gray, so I'm not sure what to do.

Any suggestions? It occurred to me I could get gray fabric paint and just paint the necessary portions gray instead, but I'm not sure how that'd fair when stretching...
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Unread 06-30-2013, 02:52 AM   #2
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I suggest either:
A) do the old costume as originally planned, which matches the bodysuit you already have
B) buy a new suit in grey if you're now smitten with the new costume
C) Buy contrast fabrics and just make the suit

In order to paint a lighter color over black, you need to use an opaque fabric paint. You will have to wear the bodysuit as someone else paints it, and once the paint is on there, you will lose almost all elasticity in the fabric. It won't be able to contract to a snug fit against your body, and it will be stiffer. It won't be nearly as stretchable either, and if it stretches more, it'll possibly split the paint.

On the other hand, if you want to go from grey to black, you can use a transparent, flowable fabric paint like Dye-Na-Flow, which does not inhibit stretch. The "galaxy" effect can be painted, and while it would have to be done with an opaque paint, the coverage is not solid so it wouldn't affect stretch much at all. The one thing about Dye-Na-Flow is that it spreads and bleeds (it works just like a watercolor paint, after all), so to get sharp edges and control the bleed effect, you need to prepare your fabric with a resist or flow stopper.
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Unread 06-30-2013, 02:54 AM   #3
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I would just do the "old" costume version. Lightening fabric is unpredictable and can destroy it (bleach can weaken fibres). Lightening a costume often results in splotchy fabric, not an even tone.

Your suit is also not 100% lycra. The base fabric would determine how well it would take bleach - even best case is not too good.

Paint all over a suit is going to get crunchy/wrinkly/peely over time. I've seen some people do that on other costumes and it's not a great bet.

You could buy a grey suit and combine them. Or just stick with the costume you were originally going to make.
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Last edited by Kelley : 06-30-2013 at 04:51 AM.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2009
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My problem is that I'm a little pressed for time, and I've never made armor before so the arm gauntlets and headband are hard for me.

Thanks, though.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
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If you know what you're doing, you could paint it just fine and not have the "crunching/peeling blah blah " crap over time. As long as you don't have too many layers you won't have to worry about that or losing all the elasticity. It will not be super stiff, but you will notice a small difference. Just as well you don't need someone to paint it as you wear it. While that is a choice, there are other options. Such as a mannequin or simply stretching it out on a board and pinning it so it stays as you paint it. I'm particularly fond of Jacquard Textile Colors for painting lycra.

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