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Unread 01-02-2014, 01:03 AM   #1
Kiramay
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Zia Fabric Help

I have been trying to cosplay Zia for two years now. I am not a very good sewer (complete sewing noob), but my trusted commissioner no longer has time so here I go!
I am having serious problems finding fabric that will work for this project. I have had bad experiences with rit dye in the past, so I am not really sure where to go
I am looking for a very specific shade of teal fabric and so far my research has led me to look for cotton twill or something near that.
Does anyone know any online stores perhaps that sell this shade, or even if they have some lying around?
If not, what kind of dyes might be best for this project and what cloth should I buy alternatively to dye this?

Reference
Reference 2
Reference 3
Reference 4
Reference 5
Color Reference
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Last edited by Kiramay : 01-02-2014 at 02:20 PM. Reason: New links
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Unread 01-02-2014, 02:42 AM   #2
Evil Bishounen
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Could you please post a full-body reference of the character? While the headshot gives an idea of the color, it doesn't say anything about the weight of the fabric, the way it hangs, etc. (Preferably actual source artwork, not a pic of someone else's costume.) It's hard to recommend a specific type of textile without that context.

I don't usually buy fabric online unless I'm specifically buying PFD fabrics (usually silks).... but when I do, I just start Google-searching for fabric stores and a general type of textile. Joann Fabrics has an e-commerce website, and if the chain exists in your area you can check out what selection they have in-store, too. There are very large fashion districts in both New York and Los Angeles with blocks of fabric stores, and some of them may sell online, too. If you buy online, ask for swatches first to make sure the fabric actually is what you want.

As for color, you can try looking for synonyms like "teal" or "turquoise". You might even find this under greens. The color in that headshot honestly looks more "green" to me than "teal".

It's totally possible to dye it though if you just can't find that specific shade you want. And yes, Rit sucks. If you decide to go with a cotton fabric, get a procion or fiber reactive dye. I buy it from Dharma Trading - I get their Dharma Fiber Reactive Dye (HUGE color selection with accurate results), with soda ash in the dyeing process and in a big pot. I pre-wash and post-wash with synthrapol detergent.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 02:25 PM   #3
Kiramay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Bishounen View Post
Could you please post a full-body reference of the character?
The first post has been edited with new links. There is not much available to look at, and the art from the game varies a bit in how her clothing is portrayed. The picture of the cosplayer was a color reference to the shade I am aiming for because some of the in game artwork shows a lighter color or a darker color depending on the scene and lighting.


As for Jo Annes, we have two in my area. They are the only fabric stores. I have been searching on and off for a year but they do not sell the shade I am looking for or anything close to it in any type of fabric. I am guessing a dye is my best bet. My past experiences with dye went rather poorly.. what was supposed to be a very dark royal blue washed out to be a very very light lilac purple after following the directions very carefully. Oh rit dye
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Unread 01-03-2014, 01:16 AM   #4
Evil Bishounen
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Thanks for the extra pics, that helps a lot to be able to see what the garment is supposed to look like.

It looks like a light- to medium-weight drapey fabric. There's some poof to it, but also drape and flow based on what I'm seeing in the pictures. A linen or tencel linen (rayon-linen blend) might look really nice and have character to it. If you work some structure stabilizing into it, some kind of matte silk or a cotton sateen could work as well. Cotton twills might be okay if you can find one that isn't too stiff or thick. Wool might work, but you wouldn't want to use it if you live in a warmer climate, and wool is hard to dye because you have to use a protein dye, which requires near-boiling temperatures - something that can felt wool and cause it to shrink like crazy.

Fabrics made of linen or cotton would be the most forgiving to dye, because they are made from plants (cellulose fibers). They do not require the high temperatures that protein fibers (silk and wool) do - plain hot water from the sink is just fine - and the process is less exacting.

Quote:
My past experiences with dye went rather poorly.. what was supposed to be a very dark royal blue washed out to be a very very light lilac purple after following the directions very carefully. Oh rit dye
Yep. This is one reason why I hate Rit and have long since stopped using it. What you get out of it is a crap shoot. For some people, it works fine. Others, not so much. In my experience, Rit's cold colors are less reliable.

I've dyed cotton using the process I mentioned before, and the color comes out very true with fiber reactive dye.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 03:31 PM   #5
Kiramay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Bishounen View Post
Fabrics made of linen or cotton would be the most forgiving to dye, because they are made from plants (cellulose fibers). They do not require the high temperatures that protein fibers (silk and wool) do - plain hot water from the sink is just fine - and the process is less exacting.
I am taking a look at JoAnn's online right now and looking at their cottons, linens, and blends. It ranges from linen suitings, cotton twill bottomweights, straight up sew classics linen 'white tissue,' and specialty cotton. Do any of these work, or should I avoid these? They are all 100% cotton or linen, or a 60/40 blend of the two.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 06:19 PM   #6
Evil Bishounen
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The suitweight 100% linens have a nice weight to them. I like using them for hakama and pants. Tencel linen (the rayon-linen blend) is lighter in weight, and it's easier to get a poof or blousing effect from this type of fabric.

Cotton twills have such wide variation that I tend to want to feel them and look at them before committing. In any case, they will be stiffer and less drapey than linen, and probably thicker. If it's labeled as "bottomweight", they're saying it's a good weight for pants and skirts...so it's probably okay in this case. (Occasionally I'll come across a cotton twill that's just WAY too stiff for my tastes.)

I have no idea what "specialty cottons" means. Usually when I see that label, it's stuff like cotton fabrics in the quilting section that have patterns all over them, not solid colors like you're looking for. When I run a search for "specialty cotton" on the Joann site, everything I see matches what I'd expect: fabric that has a visual pattern on it in some way, or a non-standard raised texture. So no, I wouldn't use any of this.

If you decide to go with a linen, make sure you double-check the fiber content so that you really are getting a linen or a natural fiber blend. Some fabrics that the chain stores categorize as "linens" are labeled as "linen look" and are NOT actually made from linen. The "linen look" fabrics are usually 100% polyester or a polyester blend that's woven to sort-of look like linen, but it would be a lot less comfortable and harder to dye.
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