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Welcome to the TCos Materials Wiki!

The purpose of this forum is to provide member-sourced info on all the various materials and working methods out there that are used for this brand of cosplay. The articles are meant to be an overview about the material, variations on it, and potential uses. Tutorials for various working methods will be found in the links, as well as TCos discussions, other websites that might be of help, and links to online retailers where you can purchase the material.

No topics may be started here, but if you want to make a thread about a material, whether sharing info or asking for help, head over to the Open Discussion forum.

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 Fabric ✔
Posted: Dec 2 2009, 02:58 PM

Good Cop
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 1,577
Member No.: 1
Joined: 22-June 08


Toxicity: None
Price: Low to high
Learning Curve: Easy to hard

Fabric has many, many uses in making mecha costumes, and is perhaps one of the most versatile materials. It can be used to make body suits that run the full range of complexity, it can be used to make interior support systems for heavier and more complex rigs, and coupled with other materials, it can be used to make many kinds of armor pieces.


"Spandex is a luxury, not a right!"

Lycra and spandex are fabrics with a lot of stretch and are commonly used to make bodysuits that go underneath armor pieces, and they usually come in two varieties: the kind that is meant to be seen, and the kind that isn't. The visible type of suit is meant to be part of the costume itself, and may incorporate colors, patterns, or other decoration to mimic streamlined armor parts. The kind that is meant to be hidden, however, is oftentimes a matte black to minimize the visibility of the wearer underneath the costume. This is not always the case, though. Sometimes another solid color is better suited than black depending on the character.

Some spandex make for very nice armor pieces as well. The metallic spandex in particular has a fantastic finish, though even regular or matte are useful in achieving certain looks.

The downsides to this family of fabrics, however, is that they are synthetic and do not allow your skin to breathe very well, sometimes involving mildly uncomfortable situations where sweat is concerned. And because they have a lot of stretch, they are also difficult to sew.


Vinyl is a little more difficult to work with than spandex, though is often used in a different way. The kind of vinyl that lends itself best to this area of costuming is "wet-look" or PVC, because it has a shiny, smooth, plastic finish to it that mimics painted metal or plastic very well.

Because of the nature of this fabric, you won't really find anyone attempting to sew it, which is also why it is most popularly used in the vinyl over foam method or armor-making, and the best results usually come when working it with glues rather than needle and thread.

Unfortunately, vinyl does not have much stretch at all, and marks are very visible on its otherwise spotless finish. Planning seams when covering armor pieces with it also takes skill and practice, and many glues do not work well with binding it to foam.


The great thing about this brand of cosplay is the freedom to use whatever materials we can get our hands on to make good looking pieces.

Cotton broadcloth has been used to great success in a similar fashion to spandex, with the added bonus of being very cheap and easy to sew.

Tissue lame can also be used to make see-thru optics, and due to being very metallic, it almost has a bright, day-glo effect in flash photos.

The sky's the limit as far as fabric goes, and the learning curve for some methods are so beginner-friendly that you might consider using it as your main means of construction for your first foray into robot cosplay.


Body Suits
Vinyl Buying Guide
Pilot's Vinyl-over-Foam Tut
Velocity's Fabric-over-Foam Tut



Goldy's VOF Tut
Cosplay.com VOF Tut
Differences Between Fabric Types (PVC family)


MJTrends - ships worldwide? - cosplay.com verified
Spandex World - ships worldwide - Trustwave verified
Sy Fabrics - ships to US/Canada - member verified
Stretch House - ships worldwide - store located in NYC
Fabuless Fabrics - ships to US/Canada - unverified
Spandex House -ships worldwide - unverified
Fabric.com - ships worldshide - VeriSign verified

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