People who live in Los Angeles could once rely on International Silks and Woolens, or Lincoln Fabrics in Santa Monica for their costuming needs. If you couldn’t find the exact fabric you were looking for in one of these two places, they knew where to get it – and if they didn’t, odds were that it simply didn’t exist. Even there, they might be able to hook you up with a manufacturer who could make it. Fortunately, International Silks and Woolens is still with us, fortunately, serving the needs of the motion picture and theater industries, but if you live outside of Los Angeles or New York, what’s a costumer to do? Even the most skilled foragers can have a hard time finding the right fabric for their newest creation. Even a good spandex can be hard to get.
How does that success mantra go again? Oh, yes. “See a need, fill a need.” Renowned cosplayer Yaya Han and a new company called Cosplay Fabrics are fixing the problem. They are introducing a new line of fabrics that have, to date, been very difficult for do-it-yourself costume makers to find, let alone in a variety of colors and coatings. Most importantly, this new line of fabrics is going to be made available in Jo-Ann’s Fabric Stores nationwide this coming spring in 2016.
The Cosplay Fabrics product lineup includes materials such as 4-way Stretch Spandex and 4-way Jumbo Spandex in a wide variety of colors and materials perfect for cosplay creations. Some of the unique coatings available on these stretch materials will be options such as foil and PU leather — perfect materials for creating the next superhero, science-fiction and fantasy characters. The line will also include elaborate brocade and coutil fabrics, perfect for popular Victorian and steampunk designs, as well as novelty fabrics for armor and a lot more.
The entire selection of fabrics was developed in close concert with cosplay superstar, Yaya Han. A name instantly recognizable to cosplayers and fans of superhero, anime and sci-fi conventions, Han is a professional costume designer, model and cosplay entertainer who has been active in the world of cosplay for more than 15 years. She was featured on TV in the SyFy network’s Heroes of Cosplay, (controversial for its extremely unrealistic portrayal of costume competitions at conventions) and served as a guest judge on two seasons of the TBS network’s King of the Nerds competition.
Cosplay has gone seriously mainstream over the past few years, and the bar has been raised in terms of the quality of the work done by the cosplayers. It’s an enormous community now, so large that pattern makers like Simplicity and McCalls’s each have cosplay sections in their catalogs that are of vastly better quality than the Halloween costume sections each used to feature. As neat as all this is, there is a certain disquiet in it as well. If the special and unique becomes the mundane, will it cease to be special?
Cosplay Fabrics hit the Jo-Ann’s Fabric Stores nation wide in Spring of 2016. What will you make?