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Unread 01-21-2015, 09:16 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Where do you get your 'metallic' trims?

One of the things I've found difficult when planning a cosplay is the incorporation of metallic trims to cloth pieces. I feel like the trim is the first thing I need to obtain so that I can ensure that the other metallic elements of the costume (for example armor pieces and accessories) compliment the trim rather than clash with it. For example I've begun working on a costume of Hel from Smite (ref pic here), a project that incorporates gold piping (for the large details), gold embroidery (for the small details), and gold paint (for worbla jewelry and accessories). I've created my muslins and perfected my patterns, but I'm 'stuck' until I can find the gold piping, so that I can match my embroidery thread and gold paint to it.

Where do you all go for nice 'metallic' trims? I'm definitely willing to go with a gold-toned satin/rayon type trim rather than a metallic foil since I find foils tend to look pretty harsh and a bit tacky when attempting to match with gold paint over a smooth surface. My best find so far is ye olde generic upholstery piping but would like to see if I can't find something better that doesn't give people the impression that I'm a giant velvet and fur trimmed throw pillow.

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 01-21-2015, 03:47 PM   #2
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You can make your own piping. That may be easier than looking for the right color.

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Unread 01-21-2015, 10:13 PM   #3
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The "metallic" gold of a clothing embellishment is not always the same metallic as actual metal (or what should be metal) armor and prop portions of a costume. So, what works for one costume might be the totally wrong way to go for another.

Because the paints for props and armor can be more limited than your fabric and thread options, I tend to suggest picking out your prop paint first, and matching fabric and thread to it as best as you can IF the reference calls for it. This reference? Yeah, it looks like the embellishments on her coat and tabard are more or less the same color as her hip armor, even if they aren't what I would consider metallic. They're in the same color family as the rendered armor, at least.

Piping and bias trim are relatively easy to make, and less of a headache than using the only metallic pre-made trims out there (they are made from lame and are gross and hard to sew). I second EvilLittleKiss, if you need piping, in this case, make your own. Then match your embroidery thread to the fabric, rather than the armor itself, but make sure both the thread and the fabric are at least in the same color family as what your armor will look like when painted.

Caveat: it won't be like this for every costume circumstance. Sometimes what you think is the exact same color turns out to be not even metallic when you get a nice high-quality render. And not all metallic fabrics are the same. Sometimes, a sparkly lycra will fake the metal look wonderfully, and sometimes it will just look awful (and often sew terribly). Sometimes, a high-sheen satin works a lot better to suggest a metallic fabric than anything actually branded "metallic."
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Unread 01-22-2015, 10:25 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for that guide, I'm not sure why I didn't think about that! Unfortunately my plan was to use the piping mostly for the thick embellishment above the belt around her ribs/waist. Mostly because the pattern for the top is heavily darted--almost like a corset--and I'd rather not embroider across darts in case I need to make an alteration (seam-ripping and re-sewing piping is much more preferable). That particular pattern doesn't seem to lend itself to cordedge pipiing since there's no seam, and to create one would be fairly difficult given the flourishy shape. I'll see what I can do about adapting that method to create piping without a lip. I also agree that a golden-colored satin would be preferable to a sparkly fabric.

I realized my ref pic kinda mutes the metallic colors, maybe this is a better example:
The metallics in this picture are too garish for me, so I definitely plan to make it a 'less-burnished' gold look.
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Unread 01-23-2015, 09:32 AM   #5
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Unless you were French nobility in the 18th century, then it was REAL silver...
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Unread 01-23-2015, 11:22 AM   #6
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If you're thinking to go the route of a satin rather than strict metallics, you could look at rattail cord as a possibility -- it doesn't have the lip of piping so it'd get around that issue, but it maintains the sheen I believe you're wanting. (If you're seriously masochistic you can get satin and sew bias tubes and turn them inside out to make cording, but that's pretty intense. XD )
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