Category Archives: Definitions and Advice

All Dyes Are Not Created Equal

Courtesy of the smart folks at Dharma Trading: Did You Know That Every Black Dye Doesn’t Dye The Same? And the same holds true for all colors. How a dye turns out depends on the fibers your dyeing, the technique you use and the chemical composition of your dye. Visit my page about dyes and… Read More »

Bedsheets: An Underrated Resource. Yes, Really!

Bed sheets can be an awesome resource for cosplayers. They’re useful for mockups, flat-lining and even making some garments – I made a hoopskirt and matching bodice out of fancy sheet set from Target and they looked great. Previously-owned sheets have done all their shrinking and bleeding in previous washings, so no nasty surprises await you in that regard.… Read More »

About Upholstery Fabrics

You should never neglect the home décor section when shopping for costume fabric. You’ll find patterns and colors there appropriate for a surprising swathe of history and some drawn characters too. For instance, when you need emergency princess gear, pintuck taffeta can be a lifesaver. Sheer gauze curtains can provide material for fairy wings. I’ve lost count of… Read More »

Before You Sew: Prepare Your Fabric

You’ve found the perfect fabric, you’ve acquired the yardage and now you’re going to lay out your pattern and start cutting, right? Wait! Stop! Arretez-la! Before you cut your fabric – before you even pin/stick your pattern on to it – you have to prepare your fabric by washing it or sending it to the… Read More »

What Is A Fabric’s “Finish”?

(I realized about three days after the site launched that this entry was necessary. Mea culpa – Ed.) To keep it simple, a fabric’s finish is what happens to a fabric once it comes off the loom. How big a deal is it? Batiste and organdy begin life as the same greige goods and organdy only becomes such… Read More »

Introduction to Fibers: Microfiber

Microfiber is a synthetic fiber less than 1 denier wide. It can be made of polyester, rayon, nylon or from almost any other synthetic material – but most often, it is made from polyester. What’s a denier? Denier is a way of quantifying a fiber’s mass. A fiber’s denier number is equal to the weight of 9000… Read More »

About Dye and Dyeing

I adapted this from a piece written a few years for a Doctor Who cosplay LJ community. No point in re-inventing the wheel… – Ed. About Dyeing Fabric – My Quick-And-Dirty Guide Every now and then some optimist will inquire about the feasibility of dyeing a store-bought garment they’ve found in order to get it “screen accurate”. Often it’s… Read More »

The Difference Between Nap and Pile

The terms nap and pile are often used interchangeably to indicate any fabric with a fuzzy surface. The term napped fabric is almost always used to describe anything that changes color depending on how the fuzz lies. Sewing patterns will refer to the “with nap” layout when giving directions on how to cut the pattern.… Read More »