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At Thread Lair not only do we offer exceptional fabrics and notions to our customers, but we also want to be a resource of information for costume designers everywhere.  The following tips will help you make the most of your purchase.


It’s always best to overestimate than to underestimate: 


Whether that means you cut a sleeve too short or your pattern didn’t account for that gusset, it’s best to have more material than you need than not enough. 

Test your patterns:


Even if you’ve made a similar garment before, it’s best to be sure than to have to start over.  For each costume we make we go through an extensive process of testing to ensure accuracy, fit, and durability.  It’s recommended that you create a mock up from scrap fabric before you cut into your expensive fabric.  You want to be sure that your final garment is exactly as you envisioned it and that it will be a cut above the rest when using our materials. 

Pre Treat your material: 

This principle cannot be overstated!  In our decades of experience it’s best to pre launder your fabric in order to shrink it before you ever make a single cut.  There is nothing more frustrating than to make your dream garment that fits you exactly as you want it, only to have it shrink in the washer or dryer. 

Fabric Care:

Most fabrics can be washed like regular clothing but for certain materials we recommend either dry cleaning or using one of dozens of home cleaning guides that can be found on the internet.  Plant based fabrics, such as Cotton or Flax/ Linen require different methods of care than Protein based fabrics such as Wool or Silk and it’s important that you know the proper methods to maintain them.  You invest a great deal of time and money into your work and you want to ensure that your garments will last.  With proper care our materials should give you years of service.  We even offer special care products for the fabrics we sell.  Be sure to check the Shop page.


We are often asked how much fabric is necessary to produce a costume?  This answer will depend on your budget, your project, and your patterns, but as a general rule we adhere to the following guidelines.  Please keep in mind that these will vary according to your needs.  Remember it’s best to have more than you need, than not enough.  

For each of the types of garments we make we offer the following estimates based on our experience. 

-Fitted/ regular shirt including Inner Tunics: 2-3 yards (Crinkled gauzes or fabrics with stretch may double this amount.)

-Oversize Desert Tunic with wide sleeves: 5-6 yards

-Fitted/ Regular Pants: 2-3 Yards

-Outer Tunics with Sash and Tabards: 10-14 Yards (Crinkled Fabrics and gauze types may require more especially sashes which are often cut on the bias.)

-Fitted Vest: 1 Yard (plus 1 Yard of Lining if necessary)

-Vests with Stole and Sash:  3-4 Yards.  

-Capes and Hooded Cloaks: 8-9 yards (Much of this will depend on height.)

-Hooded Sleeved Robes: 8-10 yards (Much of this will depend on height.)

-Leather Garments:  Remember that the square yardage of leather is not the same as with fabric.  Due to the organic nature of leather, sizes will vary and you may get more or less from one hide to the next.  If you're unsure please refer to the product information section for details or feel free to contact us with any concerns.

-Don’t forget to account for linings!  This may double the amount of fabric required for your garment.  Outer Tunics have lined sleeves and some versions require a lined skirt.

Tips and Tricks: FAQ
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