Cape Materials (Specifically 300 Spartan, Superman, and Batman

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Elementor5x5

New Member
Hey Everyone,

I've had some experience in the past making capes from cosplays and some Halloween costumes. However, I am far from an expert on fabrics and materials. I mostly just try to match colors as best I can at the local fabric store. There are too many different options of cottons, wool, and polyester, that I don't know what would look the best and have the right flow to it.

One serious cosplay I am working on right now is my Spartan from 300. Any suggestions on what material I should look at to get the "feel" of the cape right. I want it to have the right weight and heft to it, without looking shiny or too coarsely woven. Links to specific places I can buy the material besides a Jo-Ann would be super helpful.

In a much broader sense, any recommendations for a typical superhero cape like for a Superman or Batmen. In this case I would probably have something with a sheen to it on the outside.

As always, just general guides or tutorials on cape making would be appreciated as well.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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ghostfade13

New Member
For the man of steel I've heard they used a tango red Microsuede for the cape. I picked up 2 yards of it for a project I am working on and it feels quite nice. I got it from Hancocks fabric store.
 

pastadude

Active Member
Microsuede has indeed become a very popular suggestion for superhero capes, though it can be difficult to find one that's a good color.

For the 300 cape, I would recommend a natural fabric... linen would probably be the best, but it'll depend on the knit. I'm sure you can get a cotton-blend that would work as well, but it'd be a case-by-case deal.

Just to weigh in briefly though, I wouldn't recommend ordering fabric online... natural fabrics have variance in them, so you'd want to see them in person, and synthetic materials don't tend to fold very well - shipping can leave them damaged before they get to you.

Thankfully the 300 material should be pretty common to find at most Joann's or Hancock Fabrics!

-M
 

Doh2

Sr Member
I took a tour of Warner Bros. a couple of years ago, and they had one of the Nolan Batsuits on display. The tour guide said that the cape was velvet.

Alas, pictures were not allowed.
 

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mdb

Sr Member
Funnily enough wool can be good, I know one of the Batman capes was latex over an insanely beautiful worsted. The inner tailor cried, the inner costume technician cheered- because the properties that make it such a beautiful fabric for tailoring* also make it beautiful for flow and drape.

Spartans need a heavy fabric with a reasonably open weave, and the fibres are not glossy but can be very loosely twisted. I have seen hessian, and I have seen fabric that was more like a silk noil. What most online stores do not do is talk about weight, density, thickness with any sort of real qualification.

But yeah, the Superman costume that toured was a microsuede. To be specific it's a fine knit with a brushed surface, usually made from polyester. So it has a lot of drape but a surface that kind of blurs light reflecting off but also doesn't look like it has a velvet surface. It does tend to be made in neutral or slightly muted colours, as it is supposed to try and mimic the look of real suede and that tends to be dyed to muted colours.

You can buy Jacquard iDye-poly. It dyes incredibly well over polyester. In fact it will dye plastic- not tint actually dye. It needs to be done on the stove (high heat) and uses a colour enhancer which is a very pungent chemical additive that helps with the bonding of the dye to the fibre. I have not had this stuff bleed in to other fabrics after final rinse and it also does dye incredibly vibrantly.
http://www.arrayedindreams.com/media-costumes/fantasy/elsa-ice-gown/
Everything blue on this dress was dyed with iDye-poly (turquoise, blue, and kelley green in different proprotions). Okay not the lining, I was super lucky there :) But check out the gradient dyeing and the range of fabrics. Including sequins.


*With tailoring you use a lot of wet heat to shape the wool in to curves cut in the fabric and to curve over the shoulder. It will then hold that shape until it is really heated the same way again.
 
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