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Unread 09-02-2013, 10:02 PM   #1
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Pirate Coat Fabric Help?

For an upcoming cosplay I am making a pirate coat for my friend's Dungeons and Dragons character. The character is a half-orc pirate captain. I have most of the costume planned out and I have a pattern for the coat, but I am unsure of what sort of fabric to use. The pattern recommends velvet but I am afraid this might give it too cheap or costumy of an appearance. I mean.. I know its a costume and all, but I'd like it to be on the more realistic side XD
I don't have any pictures of this character but the look I am going for is similar to Gangplank from League of Legends: http://img1.leaguecraft.com/lol-spla...760px_1182.jpg

Does anyone have any fabric type suggestions? Preferably something that comes in a deep red or dark blue. Thanks!
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Unread 09-02-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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I question what kind of velvet you've been looking at to think it would make a coat look cheap O.o

Good quality velvet looks very classy and rich. It also tends to be pricey.

As an alternative, velveteen is a velvet that's made out of cotton instead of silk or acetate. One of my friends made a Beatrice costume (Umineko no Naku Koro ni) using brown velveteen, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Cotton velvet is also a historical textile.

Wool was also a common coat material, but depending on where you live and what the weather tends to be like during whatever event this is for, wool might be too hot or itchy to wear.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 06:33 AM   #3
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He doesn't really look like a "fancy" pirate (unless you want your costume to be more "fancy" looking than the picture you linked to), so I'd be more inclined to go with wool. It shouldn't be any hotter than velvet or another fabric of similar weight. Wool is also the most "realistic" option - though if you really want to go that route make sure you go with a wool suitable for
a coat, not something like your typical gabardine which is rather thin and flimsy.

Since it's not going to be touching your skin itchiness shouldn't be an issue. Most people who are sensitive to wool are actually sensitive to the finish on the fabric, not the fabric itself, anyway. And many wools aren't very "itchy" at all - it's something you should get a swatch for if you're really concerned about it as that's the only way to really tell how it's going to feel. I have a finely woven wool suit that's not itchy at all and the pants are not fully lined and it's fine - my wool tweed jacket is slightly "itchy" if you pet it since there are far more loose, kinky, fibres. However I also have several pairs of wool socks and this wool vest that is very fuzzy - all of which are very soft. So a swatch is the only way to tell, because even a "fuzzy" looking fabric might have soft fibres due to process or finish.

Sorry about the tangent.

Cotton velvet is definitely how you want to go if you want velvet. A synthetic is going to look cheap and fake (they can work for some applications and some are better quality than others but I'm just not feeling it for a coat like this) and silk velvet costs upward of $75/y and a lot of it is VERY shiny and would still not look "right".

You should easily be able to find deep red in cotton velvet or wool and likely the blue too - they're both common colours for this kind of thing and for historical costuming use so they're out there.

If you can't find exactly what you want, you can also dye it.
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Unread 09-04-2013, 10:24 AM   #4
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I'm completely biased towards wool, and will also point out that it's a very forgiving fabric to work with. Much more so than velvet, where if you sew in the wrong place and have to take it out it will often show.

Completely aside from the fabric type (since you never know what you're going to find at the fabric store and what will be in your price range), you want to make sure your fabric is not too lightweight and drapes well. If wool or velveteen are difficult to find, other suiting weight fabrics may work very well. I've made two pirate coats, both from '100% mixed fibers' (aka, the fabric store doesn't know what the heck it's made out of either!) Both were nice and thick with a wool-like look and draped and moved well. I was really happy with how both coats turned out.

Play with the fabric before you buy it! Unwrap it from the bolt and drape it over your body, pretend it's a pirate coat and see what you think. May sound silly, but it gives you so much more than just reading the back of the pattern envelope.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 09:09 PM   #5
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Thank you very much for the help everyone! I have a much better idea what to look for when I venture to the fabric store next
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Unread 09-08-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
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Just my 2 cents... but If you're looking for something slightly heavy but not as let's say "rich" looking as velvet, a twill or another similar bottom weight fabric might work ! Take a look the next time you go to the fabric store ! But keep in mind most twill has to be cut on the grain
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