Cosplay 101: Choosing Your Fabrics

Cosplay 101: Choosing Your Fabrics

Cosplay is where people get to dress as their favorite characters at conventions and events, and some people wish to make their own cosplays. Have you ever wanted to make a cosplay but are not sure on where to start? This month, we are going to cover the topic of choosing your fabric for your costume. Before you finalize your decision on what fabric you will use for your cosplay, you should know a little bit about that different types of fabrics available.


Cotton fabric.

Silk fabric.

Something to keep in mind about fabrics are they come in two main types and broaden from there. There are natural made fabrics which are made from fibers of animals or plants. An example of such is materials like cotton or silk. The other type of fabric is man-made or synthetic. These are fabrics such as polyester or nylon. Let’s take a look at some of the natural fabrics first.


There are many kinds of natural fabrics, most common one you probably have heard of is cotton. This kind of fabric is not only soft but will feel comfortable against your skin after long hours on a convention floor. Cotton fabric is considered an all-season fabric since it will adjust climatically. In

Wool fabric.

summer, this fabric will keep your body cool and absorb the sweat; in the winter months it will keep your body warm. 

Another type of natural fabric is silk. It is known for its soft feel, but it has a luxurious sheen that gives it the trademark look. It was

Linen fabric.

discovered during 2640 B.C. in China. It is normally used for expensive dresses to give it a rich sensibility.



Linen is another type of natural fabric used for apparel making and home furnishing as well. Linen fabric is suggested for sensitive skin as its natural properties makes it resistant for allergies. It is very strong and durable, while also being easy to maintain. No special treatments are required for linen; it can be simply washed by hands. It is also a great fabric for dye if the color needs to be manipulated.




Wool is another type that is known for being strong and durable. On a positive note, it does not tend to wrinkle. Unfortunately, this fabric does have a tendency to get rather warm, so it is better to use for an outfit in the winter months.     

The last natural fabric that I will mention is leather. It can be comfortable in both hot and cold conditions because leather is not affected by surrounding temperatures like synthetic fabrics which we will discuss next. Leather fabric is soft, elastic and firm. It is also blessed with the quality of absorbing water vapor without loosing dryness and retaining to the original shape when stretched.


Now let’s move on to synthetic or man-made fabrics.

Chiffon fabric.

First one we will discuss is chiffon. It is made with fibers like nylon (man-made) or silk (natural). Chiffon fabric can easily be dyed to

Nylon fabric.

any desired shade you might need for your cosplay. Chiffon is used normally seen in bridal gowns, evening dresses, prom dresses, and scarves, known for its sheerness and flowing movement. Chiffon fabric is a classic choice when making blouses and various types of dresses. Chiffon fabric adds a magical look to the dress and wearer’s personality.


Another type of fabric is nylon. Nylon fabric is really strong and has the ability to stretch. High elasticity of nylon fabrics makes it prime use in like of luggage baggage, wallets, among others. Since it is highly durable, nylon fabric makes the cloth long lasting and wear-and-tear resistant.

Velvet fabric

The next type of man-made fabric we will talk about is velvet. It has

Denim fabric.

a distinct look and feel. Velvet is one of the smoothest and softest amidst these types of fabrics. It is usually seen in garments such as trousers, shirts, and cloaks.

A commonly heard of man-made fabric is polyester. It is known to be wrinkle resistance and has the ability to keep its smooth shape. The polyester fabric is very strong and soft as well. It will be seen at times in blends such as cotton, wool, etc.

Satin fabric.

Another type of man-made fabric is denim. Denim fabric is a rugged cotton twill. It is known for its diagonal ribbing which is identifiable on the back of the fabric. The diagonal ribbing separates the existence of denim fabric from cotton duck. The denim fabric is generally colored with indigo dye to create blue jeans.

Lastly, we have satin fabric that is also man-made. Satin fabric is used several types of garments like blouse, panties, gowns and some cosplay dresses. The glossiness of the satin fabric makes it really stand out. It is composed of silk or rayon making it very smooth. It also has many different weights, however is normally fairly light.

Here is a guide provided by Craftsy on common types of clothing and suggested fabrics:
  • Pants: Linen (for warmer weather); denim; flannel; and wool.
  • Shirts and blouses: Cotton voile; rayon challis; double gauze; knit; silk; chambray; cotton lawn; linen; and flannel (for less drapey shirts and blouses).
  • Skirts: Cotton lawn; rayon challis; denim; knit; and linen.
  • Dresses: Cotton voile; cotton lawn; rayon challis; double gauze; knit; silk; satin; linen; and wool (for colder weather)