I recently had an encounter for a group where someone was ADAMANT that for a certain outfit, SATIN MUST NOT BE USED.
Now, go on a cosplay.com forum and go to a ‘what fabric should I use for this thread’ and the first thing most experienced cosplayers will say, “stay away from satin, and go for cotton!”
But that’s NOT the case with everything.
Satin gets a really bad rep, but there’s quite a few types of satin out there.
First there’s the horrible, please-never-use-this-on-a-cosplay costume satin. It’s usually 2.99-3.99 a yard, which is why most cosplayers go for it. Plus SHINNNNNY…shiny is good, right? Well, in some cases, yes. I’d say this satin is good for high school plays and ballet recitals, but not much else. I have PERSONALLY used this type of fabric, and I hate it. It frays, it shines HORRIBLY in photos, and it can get rips in it for not using the right type of needle.
And then there’s the mid-range satin. I’m referring to the casa line from Joanns mostly. Casa satin is probably one of my FAVORITE fabrics to work with…actually most of the Casa products are my favorite. Casa satin has more of a weight to it, has less shine, frays a tad (BUT THAT’S WHAT PINKING SHEERS ARE FOR, INVEST IN SOME!) but the one thing that cosplayers hate is that it is a bit more expensive. HOWEVER, you guys don’t realize how much you can REALLY save on this fabric. Save up for a sale or wait for a 40 or 50% off coupon, it can bring that fabric down to 3.99 to 4.99 a yard. Believe me, paying the extra money IS WORTH IT.
And then of course we have the bridal satin. Bridal satin is lovely. I’ve never worked with it, but I will be looking at it for my wedding dress. Bridal satin can run $20 a yard, and well unless you have that much, or are making a ball gown or such, I’d just stick with the casa line (it’s a very good substitute).
So yes, satin can be evil, and it might not be the best to iron or frays like a mad man when not properly pre-treated (and I mean either serging or using pinking sheers), and SHOULD NOT BE USED ON EVERY COSPLAY, I’d recommend it. Here’s a list of great costume types it would work with:
Ball gowns, Formal Kimonos, SAILOR SCOUT UNIFORMS (skirts, collars), and well pretty much any formal outfits.
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