4 Best Fabrics for Cosplay

Designing costumes for cosplay can be very fun. There are tons of fabrics out there that can be used for costuming. Damask or brocade fabrics, velvets, heavier weight silk fabric, good quality satin, wool, muslin, cotton, faux leather, taffeta, or even neoprene are all popular fabrics. Even if there is a budget set for a costume design, many times good quality fabric that doesn’t end up looking shiny, cheap, or ‘Halloween quality’ can still be purchased.
FabricProsCons
Stretch Velvet– High fashion fabric with a luxurious sheen
– Versatile for form fitting costumes
– Comes in many colors
– Some velvets may look shiny and cheap
Damask Red/Black– Versatile fabric for a wide range of costumes
– Lightweight and 100% cotton
– Budget-friendly
– None mentioned
Faux Leather Caprice– Affordable alternative to real leather
– Wide range of colors
– Easy to cut, sew, and work with
– Requires wiping with a damp cloth for cleaning
Telio Belvedere Sateen Cotton– Resembles satin with a slight sheen
– Drapes well and is smooth
– Suitable for historical dresses and blouses
– Requires hand washing and laying flat to dry

Best Fabric for Cosplay

Here are our fabric for cosplay reviews.

1. Stretch Velvet

Velvet is a very popular fabric for costume making and cosplay. While it might be true that some velvets, like crushed velvet, can look shiny and on the cheaper side and are more popular for Halloween style costumes, there are velvets that look very classy. This fabric is a high fashion fabric and comes in many different colors. The fabric is beautiful with a knit base and a luxurious sheen.

  • The fabric is a medium weight 80% polyester/20% Lyrca spandex blend and features 10% four-way stretch
  • Very versatile- perfect for form fitting costumes, shawls, skirts, dresses, capes, and much more
  • Hand wash cold with mild soap or dry clean
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2. Ink & Arrow June Bee Esme Lyla Damask Red/Black

Damask fabric is very popular for costumes. It is used widely for apparel because it is very versatile. It can be used to sew jackets, trim jackets and sleeves, for robes, for dresses, skirts, top hats, and more. Damask fabrics come in many different colors and prints.

  • Machine wash, tumble dry
  • Fabric is lightweight and is 100% cotton
  • Fairly budget friendly

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3. Faux Leather Caprice

For designing costumes that require leather accents or larger leather pieces, consider a faux leather. It is generally much more affordable, comes in a wide range of different colors and shades, and might even be easier to cut, sew, and work with. This fabric is a heavyweight 100% vinyl fabric with a faux leather look. It is quite budget friendly.

  • Wipe with a damp cloth to clean
  • Fabric is upholstery weight
  • The fabric is very versatile and can be used for crafting, upholstery, bags, accessories, pillows, and more
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4. Telio Belvedere Sateen Cotton

Sateen is a beautiful type of cotton that sometimes resembles satin. It does have a slight sheen, tends to drape well, and is often smooth. It is a popular fabric for making clothing, but has many other uses as well. Cheap satins tend to look cheap, and many cosplayers avoid it for their costumes. However, a good quality sateen can be a beautiful fabric to sew different types of historical dresses, skirts, or even blouse reproductions from.

  • Fabric is luxurious, lightweight, and does have a more sophisticated sheen
  • Hand wash, lay flat to dry
  • 100% cotton, finely woven and very soft

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Best Fabric for Cosplay Buying Guide

Cosplay and costuming can be really fun. Half the excitement comes from gathering the materials needed for a certain costume. There are many different styles of costumes that can be made, and so there is a wide variety of materials and fabrics that can be used. No matter what costume you’re making, it can be handy to do a bit of research ahead of time. There are also many tutorials online for patterns and design tips.

Budgeting

Costumes can be expensive, but they can also be made on a budget. There are many fabrics that can be purchased on a budget that aren’t going to look cheap or gaudy. Try and research tips and tricks for costuming. For example, faux leather can often be used in place of leather. Some damask fabrics can look very classy and expensive, but are actually quite cheap to purchase. Some velvets, sateen, wools, and muslin can all generally be purchased quite inexpensively.

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Functional Costumes

Function and the purpose of the costume are going to play a big role in the materials selected. If the costume is just for wearing for photos, you’ll probably want to steer away from something shiny, because it tends to look cheap. Lustrous fabrics will still work, but try to avoid obviously cheap “silks” and “satins.” Crushed velvet tends to be used for Halloween costumes, so purchasing a different velvet will give your costume a richer look and feel and won’t be so shiny.

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