Mediumweight Fabrics

Thursday, 9 December 2010, 8:00 | Author : Kricket
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This post will introduce you to the most common medium weight fabrics.  Each fabric has different characteristics which determine the look and maneuverability of the fabric.  You can find detailed advise on how to cut and sew a specific fabric (including what size needle and presser foot to use) by checking out Sandra Betzina’s More Fabric Savvy and Claire Shaeffer’s Sew Any Fabric.

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LINEN

content: 100% linen

difficulty: easy

cosplay uses: This is a great natural looking cloth that has a lot of texture and visible weave.

construction notes: Iron and pre-wash fabric.  It does not respond well to pleating and wrinkles easily.

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MICROFIBER

content: polyester, rayon, nylon, or acetate

difficulty: easy

cosplay uses: Great for uniforms.

construction notes: The fabric is very smooth, but may not adhere to a sharp angles as well as other fabrics.

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SILK

content: 100% silk.

difficulty: easy

cosplay uses: Creates a luxurious appearance and is useful for royalty.

construction notes: There are many types of silk which vary in sheen (e.g. shantung and dupioni).  To reduce snags, you need to sew with a sharp needle.

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TRIGGER

content: 65% polyester and 35% cotton

difficulty: easy

cosplay uses: Great for uniforms.

construction notes: This fabric is a bit thin and stiff, but is commonly used for retail store aprons.

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BROCADE

content: silk, rayon, cotton, polyester, or nylon.

difficulty: moderate

cosplay uses: Multi-purpose.

construction notes: Brocades are treasured for their raised designs, which when woven in the same color as the background can provide subtle texture to your costume.  They can be similar to silk and require sharp needles.

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DENIM

content: 100% cotton

difficulty: moderate

cosplay uses: Pants, Jackets

construction notes: Prewash to prevent shrinking.  Use a heavier denim needle when machine stitching.

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FAUX SUEDE

content: 100% polyester

difficulty: moderate

cosplay uses: Great for fantasy series or traveling characters.  Can provide interesting texture for sheaths.

construction notes: There are various types of suede.  Avoid butter suede as it is the cheapest looking and not particularly soft.

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SATIN

content: Usually polyester; originally made from silk

difficulty: moderate

cosplay uses: Great for flashy outfits.  I’ve heard it is a popular cosplay choice in Japan.

construction notes: Some satins fray at the ends; hem the edges properly.

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VELVET

content: polyester or cotton

difficulty: moderate

cosplay uses: Velvet is very soft in texture and appearance.  Great for luxurious costumes.

construction notes: Requires a special velvet board to iron without crushing.  The bushy fibers will make it tricky to sew.

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SPANDEX

content: 100% spandex

difficulty: hard

cosplay uses: Due to it’s elastic nature, it is great in tight-fitting costumes.  It has also been marketed under the trade name Lycra which is especially popular for swimsuits.

construction notes: Spandex can stretch up to 500%; use a sharp needle and narrow zigzag stitch, stretching slightly when sewing.

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