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Unread 01-02-2014, 03:13 AM   #1
Ishihara_Seth
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Question What KIND of poplin? (FmA uniform)

Hello everyone,

I am making a Major General Armstrong cosplay from FmA: Brotherhood. Now, there are lots of resources and tutorials out there when it comes to making the uniform, and the general consensus is that poplin is the best fabric to use.

References: [1] [2] [3] [4]

I was wondering whether "stretch poplin" would also be appropriate? I've been looking online for a similar color and the closest I've found isn't a poly poplin or a "trigger" fabric, but a stretch poplin. I know that the stretch part of the name simply refers to the fact that there is spandex blended into the fabric (10% in this case), but I'm a stickler for details and I don't want it to end up looking more like a regular shirt than a uniform if there is a discernible difference.

Normally I'd just go look at the fabric store by myself but it was mysteriously scant on poplins...I blame the seasonal 60% off everything sale...

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 07:08 AM   #2
Penlowe
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Stretch poplins are designed for shirts and pants, not outerwear. This tells me that they aren't going to look like outerwear. YMMV just my two cents.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
Evil Bishounen
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Ugh - no, just no. Poplin, ESPECIALLY polyester poplin, is a terrible choice for a military uniform. Not only would it just not look right in the slightest, but polyester poplin is just a terrible fabric in general. It's not comfortable. It doesn't breathe so it's easy to overheat even when it's NOT lined, and it's scratchy to wear. Pre-washing doesn't really fix any of this. It's also difficult to iron unless you have a really badass iron. It's resilient in the wrong ways: seams never look like they've been pressed properly, pleats don't take, and when that fabric gets wrinkles in it, they are impossible to iron out. The only iron I've ever worked with that actually WAS able to press seams open and get wrinkles out of it (without melting it) was a Reliable V95.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 12:19 PM   #4
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If anything I would recommend a medium to heavy weight twill or gabardine.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 02:51 PM   #5
Ishihara_Seth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Bishounen View Post
Ugh - no, just no. Poplin, ESPECIALLY polyester poplin, is a terrible choice for a military uniform. Not only would it just not look right in the slightest, but polyester poplin is just a terrible fabric in general. It's not comfortable. It doesn't breathe so it's easy to overheat even when it's NOT lined, and it's scratchy to wear. Pre-washing doesn't really fix any of this. It's also difficult to iron unless you have a really badass iron. It's resilient in the wrong ways: seams never look like they've been pressed properly, pleats don't take, and when that fabric gets wrinkles in it, they are impossible to iron out. The only iron I've ever worked with that actually WAS able to press seams open and get wrinkles out of it (without melting it) was a Reliable V95.
SEE, that's what I kept thinking, and it's always the first and only choice that people freaking use for those uniforms. They don't take into account what people mean when they say "___ poplin is a popular choice for uniforms" is that OBVIOUSLY THAT DOESN'T MEAN MILITARY UNIFORMS.

I freaking knew it! >:C

I actually am a fan of your posts in general because you have tons of textile experience, so I wonder if you have any other recommendations as to where I should start instead. Maybe another kind of bottomweight?

Last edited by Ishihara_Seth : 01-02-2014 at 06:13 PM.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 02:52 PM   #6
Ishihara_Seth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penlowe View Post
Stretch poplins are designed for shirts and pants, not outerwear. This tells me that they aren't going to look like outerwear. YMMV just my two cents.
See, that's what I thought - I have a stretch poplin shirt and the weave is just...the way it hangs, even, doesn't look like outerwear at all. Thank youuuu.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 06:54 PM   #7
CapsuleCorp
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Go cotton twill if it comes in the right shade of blue. A cotton/poly blend will do in a pinch but nothing beats the comfort of an all-natural fabric.

But no, do not use stretch poplin, or anything stretch. Even if the spandex content seems small, stretch is stretch - it will be present, and it will affect your construction. Save yourself a few headaches.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 08:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
Go cotton twill if it comes in the right shade of blue. A cotton/poly blend will do in a pinch but nothing beats the comfort of an all-natural fabric.

But no, do not use stretch poplin, or anything stretch. Even if the spandex content seems small, stretch is stretch - it will be present, and it will affect your construction. Save yourself a few headaches.
Thank you! I'll go look at the bigger fabric store tomorrow.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 01:34 AM   #9
Evil Bishounen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishihara_Seth View Post
They don't take into account what people mean when they say "___ poplin is a popular choice for uniforms" is that OBVIOUSLY THAT DOESN'T MEAN MILITARY UNIFORMS.
HA HA HA HA wow. Yes, you are correct - just because someone says "uniform" doesn't mean all uniforms. All ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks.

Poplin IS a popular choice for uniforms.... for people who work in occupations in the economic service sector. This means hotel staff, movie theater ushers, waiters, etc. HUGE difference from military.

Quote:
I actually am a fan of your posts in general because you have tons of textile experience, so I wonder if you have any other recommendations as to where I should start instead. Maybe another kind of bottomweight?
Oh wow, I'm flattered. Well, the suggestions already given to you about using gabardine or a cotton twill are good. I've also seen these uniforms done in wool (specifically for the northern brigade uniforms, Olivia Armstrong and her people), and that looked pretty amazing - like old European military uniforms. But, the wisdom of using wool is one of those things that depends on where you live and the time of year you plan to wear the costume, because wool is very warm and insulating.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 02:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Bishounen View Post
HA HA HA HA wow. Yes, you are correct - just because someone says "uniform" doesn't mean all uniforms. All ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks.

Poplin IS a popular choice for uniforms.... for people who work in occupations in the economic service sector. This means hotel staff, movie theater ushers, waiters, etc. HUGE difference from military.



Oh wow, I'm flattered. Well, the suggestions already given to you about using gabardine or a cotton twill are good. I've also seen these uniforms done in wool (specifically for the northern brigade uniforms, Olivia Armstrong and her people), and that looked pretty amazing - like old European military uniforms. But, the wisdom of using wool is one of those things that depends on where you live and the time of year you plan to wear the costume, because wool is very warm and insulating.
Ahhhh thank you so much; I'm so excited to have a place to start when I go to grope everything at the fabric store tomorrow. <3

As for "atmospheric conditions," I'm anemic, so I'm alllllways cold. Always in a fleece hoodie. :x

Thank you so much for your input <3
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Unread 01-03-2014, 06:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
a place to start when I go to grope everything at the fabric store tomorrow. <3
:snicker: my mom & I always called it fondle-shopping
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Unread 01-04-2014, 12:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penlowe View Post
:snicker: my mom & I always called it fondle-shopping
Giggling that someone else does this! XD
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