Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club

Royal War College of Mandalore => Jadd Halls of Knowledge => Tutorials => Topic started by: Keely on Jul 19, 2018, 06:44 PM

Title: : Soft Goods Weathering
Post by: Keely on Jul 19, 2018, 06:44 PM
Tutorial: Soft Goods Weathering -OR - How to ruin fabric
Lead Author: Keely (;u=37491)
Photos: Kris Jasra (;u=539), Kal Revik (;u=22213)
Edited by: MMCC Education Team

Your soft parts are basically everything that you wear that ISN’T armor. While most Mandos will gladly cut, burn, ding and basically beat their armor and helmets to heck and back, many forget to the do the same to their soft goods! This guide will help you learn how to make your flight suit, vest, and the rest match the weathered look of your armor. Remember, this is a CRL requirement, so let's get to ruining that pristine fabric and leather!

Required Soft Parts Review

Before we start working on weathering, let's give a quick review of the soft part requirements. Soft Parts vary from costume era to costume era and you can find the specifications on the  Costume Requirement List (

Since the majority of kit builds are modern builds, this section will focus on those required soft parts, but the weathering techniques can be used for all builds.

All logos, recognizable symbols and lettering must be removed or covered from all soft parts

Optional Soft Parts

As mentioned in the introduction: All soft goods, whether required or option, must be weathered the same amount as the armor. More information about what these soft goods are can be found in Soft Goods 101 (

Paints & Dyes
Adding paints and dyes can make fabric look worn and stained.

Acrylic paints are great to use since they stay on in the wash. You can airbrush them, dry brush them, or dilute them and paint them on.

Dyes - You can spray, rub or dip with Rit dye.

Tea & Coffee - You can also use brewed tea or coffee to dye your garments but these will take quite a bit of time (and hot water!). You can also take a wet tea bag and dab it along areas you want to stain.

Spray Paint - Black, Brown, and Beige Spray Paint work well. Lay your item on the ground and spray a light mist over it, then rub it in with a paper towel.

Shoe polish, while not technically a paint, this works similar to one and gives a good look to most fabrics.

Chemical Weathering
Some materials, like leather and darker fabrics, need special chemicals to make anything show up.

Rubbing Alcohol helps take the shine off of leather.

Acetone helps take the dye out of the leather.

Bleach is good for darker fabrics and can be used diluted in a spray bottle or by dipping the garment in a diluted bucket of bleach. Start out subtle with this as it's nearly impossible to reverse and you have to be very careful, or you will end up with holes! Do be sure to use this in a well-ventilated area only as well.

Physical Weathering
Sometimes you just have to cut, hit and run over the fabric!

Sandpaper, Dremel with sander tips, and wire brushes are great to rough up fabrics and make small holes.  Rubbing on concrete can help as well

Scissors can cut rough edges into your fabrics, it's usually a good idea to sand around the edge after you've cut.

Rocks & Bricks - You can then take sharp rocks and maybe a brick and beat the fabric.

Fire – Pastry blowtorches or lighters are typically used. Literally set it on fire while trying not to burn the entire thing,

Car– Nope, we're not kidding! Run over it a few times with a car. This is usually done on heavy fabrics, like canvas, leather, etc

Other Techniques
When those fail, get creative!

Artist's Charcoal and/or Chalk are great but won't always stay on your garment after washing, so best to used on items that won't be constantly cleaned. These can be drawn onto the garment or crushed and then wiped on. You can even rub it on your hands and then mash into the fabric.

Charcoal/burned wood from the fire can be rubbed into the fabric

Oil/Grease can be used for realistic weathering. A good place to find this is the inside wheel well of your car.

Dirt and mud can be rubbed into fabric, but often washes out!

Additional Dark Fabric Tips
Black can be the hardest to show weathering on. This section will highlight some of the above techniques that work well on it.

To fade black soft goods, ask mentioned above, bleach in a spray bottle  is one option. You’ll get varied results based on whether you mix it with water, time you let it set before rinsing, whether you rinse or not

Or, try putting leaving it out in the sun for a few days, positioning occasionally to achieve a realistic fade.

Chalk is also a great option for darker fabrics

Examples of Weathered Soft Goods

Most pieces don't just use ONE type of weathering to make them look used. Below are some examples of well-weathered goods and the different techniques used on them.

Cape damaged with fire, blade and sandpaper/wall and blackened with spraypaint and charcoal

Cotton sash with spraypaint and coaldust. Leather kama with sandpaper scratches and burnt holes with spraypaint and coaldust.

Kama using scissors, wire brush, charcoal, car wheel well, fire

Flight suit using black wash paint, charcoal, car wheel well, driveway, chili


Summary Section

As you can see from the last example, you can use anything, even "chili" to weather your goods! Get creative and experiment with scraps to get the look you want.[/list][/list]

--MMCC Education Team--