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Help with aging material

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Help with aging material

Post  Gazongola on Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:05 am

Ok, so my Halloween costume is Sweeney Todd. I need help. How do I age a white shirt to make it look old, grey and a bit manky?
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Angus McCarthy on Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:14 am

For colouring there's always the tried and true "soak it in a vat of tea overnight" trick. Even if most of the tea washes out enough should remain to give it that dingy look, and the acid in the tea will start to break up some of the fibres (especially if it's cotton). As for distressing the fabric, I'd suggest taking an old duffel bag you don't much care for anymore and toss in a handful or three of clean gravel along with the shirt. Close up the bag and let it tumble in the dryer for an hour or so.
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  HettyBattersea on Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:05 am

Have you tried washing it in hot water with a load of dark clothes?

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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Silas Morgan on Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:46 am

Tea staining works very nicely for distressing clothing (well light colored clothing...)
But Just tea alone will only change the color.... but it doesn't quite make it look "worn".....

I do it a little differently ..... (for a shirt) First I start with a bit of sandpaper or a file,or a rasp.... and rough-up the edges where it gets the most wear, the tips of the coller, the cuffs and a little bit at the shoulders........look at some of your worn out clothing to see where it gets worn out the most......

I soak the shirt in water....and then take it outside......dip it in a bucket of tea.then put it on a hanger, .. ... now splatter on some more tea.... some diluted India ink( black and brown)... and watered down acrylic paint (reds blacks and browns)... it will dry a little lighter than when it is wet, but don't overdo it..... you can also splash more water on it to make everything runny (or if you got a spot that had too much color) ... then add more ink and paint.... messy, but kinda fun......

If you want it really grungy.... get some of the soot from an oil lamp.... wipe it with out with a rag, and sprinkle some of the soot over the shits.... NOT TO MUCH.... now try to wipe it off... grunges up any garment really quickly....

Hey... I also play Pyrate..... we're suppose to look grungy and dirty......
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  The Juxt on Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:45 am

at work we use a variety of techniques to age shirts- the aforementioned tea stain firstly. followed by a gentle sanding here and there as mentioned by Silas, and then a light application of vaseline where ever rubbing would occur but wouldn't wear away the fabric- under the armpits, inside the collar band, inside the cuffs etc. you need to rub the vaseline in very well, but only use a little of it.
the final thing we do is reshape the fabric- get the shirt wet and hang it either on a hanger or a manakin if you have access to one. then tie small objects to the bottom of the shirt, or place small objects in the pockets if it has any. leave these weights in place until the shirt has fully dried, and it should give you a more worn in appearance. this also works particularly well with aging woolen trousers if you put stones in their pockets when wet.

one popular way of making a costume slightly ghoulish and evil is a very very light application of talc to the layers of clothing. it really does need to be a light application, and you'll want to rub most of it off again, just to leave traces of dust and grime. if you have access to it, fullers earth works a lot better than talc, or even use real dust from your vacuum if you're feeling hardcore. the dust can be fixed in place with a spray of hairspray.
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Gazongola on Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:28 pm

Ooh, I like Juxt's idea.
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Angus McCarthy on Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:53 pm

You know I'd never considered using sandpaper to wear away specific spots on a shirt. I'll have to try that myself sometime.
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Dusza Beben on Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:59 pm

All good methods!
The easiest method that I've ever found was to literally bury the garment in the garden for a few weeks. Be careful with natural fibers though as they will eventually be consumed by organisms in the soil. You have less control over which parts of the garment get attacked but the results are awesome. Great for ghouls and undead. This method does not work too great on synthetics like polyester unless it is something like a sweater.

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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Paul8v on Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:16 pm

That's a great idea! Might use that next time I have to monster a Larp!

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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Gazongola on Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:21 am

Thats not a bad idea. Mind you I have never monstered, don't do them sort.
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  pennydreadful on Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:23 am

I have made things look old and a bit rotted by doing the tea dying and then using a spray bottle with very diluted fabric dye or fabric paint in a light greenish gray color and a regular watered down black ish gray. It gives it a moldy look.
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Dusza Beben on Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:39 am

Paul8v wrote:That's a great idea! Might use that next time I have to monster a Larp!

Sometimes the old tricks are the best tricks 'eh?...

Wink

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Re: Help with aging material

Post  TehZorch on Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:27 pm

This method might be a little extravagent for us humble steampunks, but perhaps you can apply the same basic principal. For the Lord of the Rings movies they had to age a LOT of clothing quickly so they actually rented a cement mixer, threw in all of the clothes with a load of bricks and just let it go. It seemed to work well for them!
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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Dusza Beben on Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:30 pm

TehZorch wrote:This method might be a little extravagent for us humble steampunks, but perhaps you can apply the same basic principal. For the Lord of the Rings movies they had to age a LOT of clothing quickly so they actually rented a cement mixer, threw in all of the clothes with a load of bricks and just let it go. It seemed to work well for them!

An industrial dryer at a laundromat might work... Wink

Laundromat attendant, "What the "F" are you drying in there, BRICKS?"
You, "Funny you should mention that..."

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Re: Help with aging material

Post  Elisha Rush on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:47 am

Take a job in a machining and fabricating shop.

Sleep in your clothes.

Sleep outside with dogs for warmth.

Work as a welder or blacksmith.

Get a job restoring steam locomotives.

Never wash your clothes.

You will look and smell the part in no time. Razz

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Re: Help with aging material

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