Advice for tattered clothing effect

Zeke1

New Member
I've seen alot of threads for how to weather clothing but I'm hoping someone can help me find a way to take that a step further. I'm looking to try something new and make a duster look tattered and distressed. Like someone climbed out of the grave in it or it's seen a lot of action. Something like this...
f533c5e8a0dbb629bb87a45892af739b.jpg


Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

JPH

Sr Member
once you start tearing fabric, you run the risk of it easily continuing to separate beyond what you want.

I would recommend a fabric paint of similar color to the fabric applied BEFORE you start weathering/tearing, then shred away in a pattern you like.

Tear in a structured pattern, so, you are making a very organized pattern *appear* to be random weathering.

Then you have to beat the integrity out of the fabric-dyed fabric so that is moves like weathered fabric, instead of like a sheet of heavy-weight paper.
 

Dr Jones Sr

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Replicating that painting would be difficult, I think, because cloth doesn't wear and tear like that.

The cape in the painting has a number of almost perfectly circular holes of various diameters, some superimposed on top of each other.

Most fabric is woven on a loom, the warp and weft threads running straight and at 90 degrees to each other. Thus cloth has a "grain" one could say going horizontally and vertically, and that's how cloth wears and tears.

So there's a choice to be made, whether to distress fabric in the way it distresses, or recreating that illustration.

About replicating that painting, I suppose if you had the right fabric you could burn those circles, or cut them out. Unless you bound the edges of each cutout circle the fabric would begin fraying along the horizontal/vertical axis of the woven fabric.

Felt isn't woven, it's pressed, so felt would avoid those problems. It's easy to cut holes in felt, and once cut felt doesn't fray much.

About distressing cloth, I came across a great YouTube video about recreating the look of surviving clothing from the Middle Ages. I don't remember what the video was called.

When I've distressed cloth I've used sandpaper and thinned-down Liquitex acrylic paint. It's not as realistic as Fuller's Earth but it stays put forever.
 
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Zeke1

New Member
Replicating that painting would be difficult, I think, because cloth doesn't wear and tear like that.

The cape in the painting has a number of almost perfectly circular holes of various diameters, some superimposed on top of each other.

Most fabric is woven on a loom, the warp and weft threads running straight and at 90 degrees to each other. Thus cloth has a "grain" one could say going horizontally and vertically, and that's how cloth wears and tears.

So there's a choice to be made, whether to distress fabric in the way it distresses, or recreating that illustration.

About replicating that painting, I suppose if you had the right fabric you could burn those circles, or cut them out. Unless you bound the edges of each cutout circle the fabric would begin fraying along the horizontal/vertical axis of the woven fabric.

Felt isn't woven, it's pressed, so felt would avoid those problems. It's easy to cut holes in felt, and once cut felt doesn't fray much.

About distressing cloth, I came across a great YouTube video about recreating the look of surviving clothing from the Middle Ages. I don't remember what the video was called.

When I've distressed cloth I've used sandpaper and thinned-down Liquitex acrylic paint. It's not as realistic as Fuller's Earth but it stays put forever.
I apologize. I didn't mean to imply that I was doing exactly that picture. I haven't really settled on the specifics yet. Although I was watching The Last Crusade the other night and thought wouldn't it be cool to dress up as the Grail Knight. No not the one at Alexandretta, the dead one in the tomb - Sir Richard. A zombie Templar knight. So thats what i am leaning towards But I couldn't find a good picture of a surcoat all withered and desiccated
 
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Zeke1

New Member
Found this great Tested video and was wondering what people thought what fabric he's working on at 3:18

 

smithjohnj

Well-Known Member
In the video it is indicted he is using a "heavy-weight" upholstery fabric. The individual threads are thick or heavy so there are few threads per inch in each direction. Natural fibers like 100% cotton, linen, flax, or hemp would all be possible medieval possibilities. Remnants of cotton upholstery fabric are common finds in the clearance bins in most fabric stores and are easiest to work with. Pull out threads from all four edges of your fabric to give you the "unraveled" look and then wash and dry the fabric to get the ends to tangle together. More washes and tumble drying will help soften the fabric and remove the stiff feel provided by sizing or other fabric finishes added to new fabric. Getting fabric from heavy used fabric like old work clothes can also work well as a starting point. .
 

lmgill

Sr Member
One technique I use is hammering the fabric with a heavy rawhide mallet on rough concrete. This gives a nice tattered effect.
 

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