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  1. Kerr Avon's Avatar
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    Sep 10, 2007, 11:41 PM - Fabric That Looks Like Leather #1

    At a costuming panel at DragonCon, someone had some material they used for a costume that at just a few feet looks just like leather, but it's actually a woven fabric of some sort. They had purchased what was available at Hancock's fabric, but the store wasn't able to identify exactly what type it was or get more. It was amazing stuff, likely synthetic, and apparently breathes a lot like regular cloth. Anyone have an idea what this material may have been called?
  2. LizardJedi's Avatar
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    Sep 11, 2007, 1:17 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #2

    Ultrasuede?
  3. mdb's Avatar
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    Sep 11, 2007, 4:26 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #3

    There are a lot of leather substitutes, was this something new? Most are on a knitted base but some older vinyls were on a woven base.

    There are PVC and urethane coatings on knitted fabrics of varying stretch (two way tends to have only a little give and the coatings tend to be thicker four way tends to be stretchier and usually has a thinner coating and is nearly always glossy). None of them are really breathable unless the coating is thin and only on the top side of the knit. Leather isn't breathable either though but it does absorb sweat so it is much more comfortable in that regard!

    Ultrasuede mentioned above is a suede finish fabric made from a man made fibre and thus also is not really that breathable (though it says it is). Ultrasuede is a brand name but seems to be used by the piblic (probably even some fabric sellers) as any faux suede.
    http://www.ultrasuede.com/
    That is the real deal and it is non-woven (in this case felted) A lot of faux suedes have a knitted ground.

    Maybe it was ultraleather?
    http://www.ultrafabricsllc.com/
  4. RPF Premium Member yodakiller1138's Avatar
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    Sep 11, 2007, 4:29 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #4

    Pleather?
  5. RPF Premium Member
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    Sep 11, 2007, 9:36 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #5

    Which costuming panel was it? I lectured on two of them. Also, of you go to www.dragoncon.net/costuming you might be able to find the speaker andsend them an email about it. Most of us put that information out there for just such occasions.
  6. DB73's Avatar
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    Sep 11, 2007, 10:52 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #6

    i got this stuff once and its alot better than pleather, it also can be bought in various versions ie the grain of the leather.

    i just went to a furniture upholsterer and asked them what they had and could they get me some. they had sample swaubs of every type n colour

    they were happy to send for what ever i wanted as long as i gave money upfront. worked out about £10 a sq meter i think
  7. Kerr Avon's Avatar
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    Sep 11, 2007, 8:55 PM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #7

    The panel was the Stargate alien costuming panel. The person on the panel who had the costume, a Wraith commander, said he had purchased the material at Hancocks but the people at the store weren't able to get more or even tell him really where it came from. It looks just like leather from the outside, breathes like fabric, and can be sewn just like any cloth material. It's definately not pleather, probably not ultrasuede, but MIGHT be that ultra leather. It has that surface appearance of leather, but the backside is definately cloth. I'm sure it's not vinyl either.

    DB73, do you have a name of the manufacturer or type? I'm really wanting to get this stuff to make costumes with since working with leather is such a nightmare, from what I hear.
  8. mdb's Avatar
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    Sep 11, 2007, 9:12 PM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #8

    Is pleather a brand name? People tend to use it for a variety of faux leathers too.

    Real leather isn't that much of a pain to use. I made a costume from it several years ago when I was young and very naive about what was easy and difficult to use I made plastic templates for patterns and taped them over my Duct Tape Double to fit then cut them from a layer of leather and a layer of sweatshirting for comfort. I learnt then that you need the right needles and thread or you'd get big skipping stitches!

    Man made leather lookalikes are interesting to deal with. You'll need to play around with what needle to use as the backing has different needs to the coating. For the four way stretch used in my icon I used a 70 universal as it was fine enough to puncture the coating but not going to cut the material base. Normally with lycra you want a ball nosed needle. A really good smooth poly thread is also needed as it is going to shred if it is cheaper. I swear by Metrosene as do many others. It has a very low flaw ratio which means it is smooth and less prone to shredding.
    And like real leather you need to be sure of your stitch lines as it will leave a trail of holes if you take stitches out.
  9. Lan-Ed-Tul's Avatar
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    Sep 15, 2007, 2:36 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #9

    pleather is faux leather.
  10. mdb's Avatar
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    Sep 16, 2007, 12:31 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #10

    Well yes, but is it a brand or generic name;
  11. Kerr Avon's Avatar
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    Sep 16, 2007, 8:07 PM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #11

    mdb said: View Post
    Well yes, but is it a brand or generic name;
    I found some microsuede fabric this weekend, it's pretty close, it breathes real well and might be doable. I've also got some emails in for some ultraleather swatches so I can look at that material as well.
  12. DB73's Avatar
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    Sep 16, 2007, 8:16 PM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #12

    sorry i dont remember the brand but im sure if you look up upholstery u will come accross it.

    its deffo not pleather, its the stuff ure looking for.

    this was a UK based supply
  13. Eaglewood's Avatar
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    Sep 17, 2007, 7:06 PM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #13

    There was a segment on "How its Made" on tv that featured the stuff you are talking about. Cant remember the name but if you do a search on past episodes you might be able to find it.
  14. Kerr Avon's Avatar
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    Sep 18, 2007, 10:18 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #14

    Machina Artium said: View Post
    There was a segment on "How its Made" on tv that featured the stuff you are talking about. Cant remember the name but if you do a search on past episodes you might be able to find it.
    Episode 6: Nails and Staples, Safety Glasses, Fabrics, Bicycles
    Nails are made from carbon steel wire several kilometers in length that undergo many operations. While a variety of steps are required to create them, this company produces 25 million nails daily.
    The safety glasses worn to do certain jobs and play certain sports are made from a plastic resin called polycarbonate. Making them obviously calls for great precision so that they can effectively protect your eyes. Find out the whole story during this episode.
    Fabric is made from thousands of braided threads, some of which are many kilometers in length. Weaving is done at spectacular speeds. See how they weave and dye kilometers of fabric in just hours.
    Bicycle frames are made of steel or a chrome/molybdenum alloy. Each bicycle requires many procedures such as welding and positioning of different components. The factory in this episode makes 2,500 bicycles each day.

    That one sound right? If so I'll try to find a copy of that one.
  15. ObiWannabe's Avatar
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    Oct 4, 2007, 9:06 PM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #15

    That sounds very odd. I've never known Hancock to carry anything in the pleather, pvc, or ultraleather vein...only faux suedes (woven ultrasuede, etc). If it was some kind of random fabric that they got in once and could never order again, there's no way of knowing exactly what it is. It could have been part of a small, rare batch of something that they bought wholesale from a warehouse dealer to throw in their cheapo bin. I used to work for Hancock, I know their bargain fabrics are usually culled from the oddest places and are definitely non-reorder-able.

    Good luck, though. I love pleather, despite its non-breathability. REAL pleather (not PVC vinyl, the shiny stuff Joann's is passing off as "pleather" during costume season) is so much fun to work with if you need a stretchable bodysuit type thing that looks like real leather.
  16. freakengine's Avatar
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    Oct 5, 2007, 1:34 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #16

    My gf used an upholstery/home decor fabric for her Visas Marr costume, and it looks a lot like leather, but works more like heavy fabric and breathes like heavy fabric. There's actually a built-in liner layer too. We bought it at JoAnns, but I have no idea what it's called. Here's a pic of us at C4 to give you some idea of the fabric:

  17. mdb's Avatar
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    Oct 6, 2007, 1:43 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #17

    You can't really see it very well but the faux leather stuff I have for my mara Jade and possible future Jean Grey uniform has a subtle grain and very soft texture:
    http://costumes.glittersweet.com/other/marajade.htm
    It has a brished cotton backing and feels like it's going to be comfy to wear.
  18. borgknight's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2007, 10:13 PM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #18

    I found a denim-based fake leather at Joann's a few months ago. I made my Vader undersuit out of it and Andrew Nelson (Vader for Special Edition and many promo events and commercials) thought it was real leather when I met him Saturday.

    I asked about it last night to see if I could get more, but the clerks had no idea what I was talking about.

    Here's a pic of the codpiece I made from it:



    On the back side, it looks and feels like a thin denim fabric. It breathes a lot better than any other vinyl I've ever tried and is sturdier than my old undersuit.
  19. Member Since
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    Oct 8, 2007, 10:48 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #19

    I think I saw the fabric you are talking about at the Hancocks near me.
    The fabric I saw was thin and very flexible with what looked like a impregnated surface that looked and felt like real leather.

    I will swing by the store in the next few days to see if I can get a name for it for you.
  20. Kerr Avon's Avatar
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    Oct 9, 2007, 1:13 AM - Re: Fabric That Looks Like Leather #20

    Thanks, that'd be great. Unfortunately the Hancocks in my area have closed down. It appears the entire chain is in bankruptcy court now.

    The codpiece looks very close if not the right stuff. I'm still waiting on ultra leather samples from a dealer.

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