Creating cosplay costumes isn't easy. Most characters don't have readily available patterns, and those that do may seem, well, a little boring. If you're making the costume yourself, you want it to be your own. Gender-bending, merging characters, giving your favorite character a fresh look—the possibilities are limitless! Until you start to look for the perfect fabric...then it might get tricky.
Photo from: CosplayFabrics.com
Pleather or stretch suede? Shiny or glittery? Thick or thin? But it's not always about what fabric is ideal; it's sometimes about what's available. If you live in a larger city like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, you have options for specialty fabric stores, but if you don't live in a metropolis, or you can't easily get to a speciality shop, you have to rely on the Internet and guess what the fabric will feel like.
The good news: It's now gotten a lot easier to find the right fabrics, thanks to CosplayFabrics.com and Jo-Ann's stores. The line, which began as a partnership with superstar cosplayer Yaya Han (pictured left), features elaborate cosplay-specific fabrics perfect for Victorian and Steampunk costume designs, as well a variety of cosplay materials, including 4-Way Stretch Fabric and 4-Way Jumbo Spandex Fabric. You'll also find fabrics with unique coatings, such as foil, liquid leather and embossed armor plate. The fabrics began rolling out in some stores in early February 2016, and will continue to expand. Now you don't have to guess how something is going to stretch, feel or look—you can hold it in your hands before you buy.
Photo from: Joann.com
This is a huge step for the art of cosplay, but it isn't just for conventions and LARPing—moms who are looking to create superhero and comic book character costumes for their kids will now have an easier time finding the right fabric. Hopefully, it will lead to more and more people using their imagination to create fantastic costumes.
Header: Yaya Han. Photo by Brian Boling from YayaHan.com