A Han Solo holster made out of canvas fabric.

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Lutso

Sr Member
Well, not actually a Han Solo holster, but something with the same style and dimensions. This would be a custom design built around one of my custom blasters (which is sort of like the Jabba Skiff blasters).

I've had it drawn up and measured out for a while, but haven't had the expertise nor financial resource to get into leathercrafting. And this isn't exactly a good project to "learn" on.

However I am quite adept at working with fabric. So the thought occurred me - what if I forget the leather, and just do it in fabric?

I think a fabric could actually look the part very well in a SW setup. Obviously fabric holsters do exist in real use, even today, although I am mainly thinking of the fabric Webley holsters used during WWII - those are what immediately came to mind for me.

I'm starting to really like the idea! It's better than an outright copy of Solo's belt, right?

So picture a Han Solo-style gun belt done up in fabric. That same cut and style.

What type of fabric should I use? Canvas...cotton...duck cloth?

I am looking for something that will hold it's shape fairly well, and would drape much like leather would. Nothing too soft or floppy, but also nothing too coarse and stiff. I think "dense" is a good description of what I want.

The holster itself would demand a little more rigidity I guess, but that's not my main concern as long as the rest of the belt is good. If it really came down to it I could use metal inserts in the holster etc.

Please advise me on your suggestions for fabrics - and your thoughts on this endeavor in general. I've never tackled anything like this before. My sewing experience comes from vests and pants - not gunslinger wear.

Thanks!
 
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Popeanator

Active Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

I would look for a heavy leather type material. That you can sew. Somethink they make women's hand bags out of mabye. Perhaps you could find and old one in a thrift shop.
Just an Idea.
 

renegadecow

Active Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

Material choice will mostly determined by what application it's going to meet or what loadout it's going to be matched with. Heavy canvas was used for holsters widely in military, law enforcement and civilian applications up until the mid 70's before synthetic fabrics were used for the same purpose. Cotton duck too as well for some of that require a holster to be more supple. A rugged, no frills design and canvas will fit you well. For concealed carry, cotton duck will work as it is more supple and will not chafe against your skin as much. For nylon or polyester blends you'll need to pad it with something thick and semi-rigid in between to hold the shape such as dense foam rubber. There are also "hard" holsters which are molded plastic or kydex which replicate the function of leather holsters in that they truly hold shape on their own. Leathercraft isn't expensive at all to start. You just need a good piece of leather of the right weight (thickness), waxed cotton thread, upholstery needle(s), and a lot of patience. You can use a machine to stitch it too, but that's when cost goes up as they're more for commercial applications.
 

ObiWannabe

Well-Known Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

I agree with renegadecow that leather craft isn't THAT expensive...it looks scary but it really isn't once you figure out what you really do need and don't need.

But if you're set on going for fabric, I'd say any kind of heavy utility cotton is fine - duck, canvas, or denim. Just probably not a brushed denim or brushed twill, or a straight twill or cotton bottomweight - those might be slightly too lightweight.

Bear in mind that if you're going to be constructing the holster in such a way as to require some seriously thick seams - double, triple, quadruple the thickness - you'll need heavier-weight denim or even leather needles. It may, in the end, require getting extra equipment just the same as you would have if you went with leather. Really, I would think the difference would be in the appearance. What kind of look do you want it to have? Is that look best achieved through sewing or through a different method? Will the fabric do what you want - i.e. do you know what kind of shapes you need to cut in order to snugly fit the blaster, and will it require extra shaping seams or darts that wouldn't be needed if you wet-formed leather or molded plastic?

I'm all for saving money. Just make sure that the fabric look is what you want. Most of the strong-but-supple fabrics appropriate for a holster will have a texture. Duck/canvas can be pebbly or gridded, while denim and twill have a diagonal weave. That may help your end product appearance, I don't know - that's all up to you.
 

Havok69

Well-Known Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

You really should reconsider trying the leather approach, especially if there is a local Tandy shop around. I just built an authentic copy of solo's holster for my costume. The leather cost was around $75 for the leather and the snaps, needles, thread, etc.

You will need other tools to complete the job, but if you have a local Tandy, they will let you come in and use theirs, plus help you out.

Here's the site to look into it, if you want:

Leathercraft and Leather Craft Supplies - Tandy Leather Factory
 

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Lutso

Sr Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

Thanks for your consideration fellas, but I'm actually quite set on doing the fabric now. I really like the idea a lot. I'm not so interested in leather at this point, regardless if I can afford it or not - I'm much more intrigued by the fabric idea.

I'm going to drop by the fabric store today and have a look around, see if anything catches my eye.
 

Havok69

Well-Known Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

I'll be interested to see how this turns out. What kind of blaster are you planning on putting in there? Resin?
 

Lutso

Sr Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

Yes Havok, the blaster is resin, and is a relatively light weight. It's a custom build of mine. No pictures yet, but I'll get them.

I officially started working on the holster today. I went to Joann's and got a white (hey, if it's gonna be different, why not make it waaay different?) cavasy material which I like. The texture is actually almost corodory-like. That may sound weird, but it's actually very Star Warsy...

I started with the easy parts - the belt itself and the supporting straps. I am working on them now, and getting a feel for the fabric and how it feeds into my sewing machine.

I will be posting updates for anyone who is interested in this!
 

Bonded Hawk

Well-Known Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

The only thing that may be a problem is the holster. The weight of the blaster might make the holster sag (not hang properly). You might want to back the fabric with something, with what I have no idea.

Good Luck
Bonded Hawk
 

Risu

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

You can get some really heavy fusible interfacing and iron it on to the back of each piece (assuming you're going to make it two pieces sewn around the edges and flipped). That would be the best way to add strength to it.
 

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Lutso

Sr Member
Re: A Han Solo holster made out of cloth? Fabric experts - advice needed.

That is precisely what I have done. I got a pretty decently thick interfacing, and actually doubled it on the inside of the fabric.

Right now my finished pieces have the consistency of, say, a thick cotton jacket.

Hawk brings up a good point about the holster however. I think what I've decided to do is sew the holster with an inside "pocket" in which I can slide a piece of reinforcement - be it interfacing, posterboard, or even metal.
 

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