Costume Musings

Vegan Costuming

We are often asked if our products are suitable for use by Vegans, so we’ve done a bit of research to help you navigate through these concerns. Keep in mind that Cosplay Supplies carries a wide range of products from numerous manufacturers, and it’s not always evident to us if something is 100% Vegan or cruelty free. If we haven’t included something in this list then the answer is probably “we don’t know” and it is up to you to decide if it’s appropriate. With that said, here’s a helpful guide to our most popular products.

Make-Up

We carry the top brands for professional/theatrical grade make-up and many of these companies have published their position when it comes to cruelty-free/vegan products.

Ben Nye
Ben Nye is cruelty free but not vegan. Their products are manufactured in the US. Unfortunately information on ingredients is not readily available on their website or catalog. To contact Ben Nye directly to inquire about products, call 310-839-1984.

Graftobian
Graftobian products are cruelty-free however they do not list ingredients on their website. A Graftobian representative sent a listing of their vegan products to the Cruelty Free Make-Up Artist blog. Their products are manufactured in the US. To contact Graftobian directly you can use their contact form on their website.

Most popular vegan Graftobian products:

Liquid Latex
Castor Seal
Pro Adhesive
Magic Blood Powder
Stage Blood
GlamAire Airbrush Makeup
F/X Aire Airbrush Makeup

Kryolan
Kryolan is cruelty free and has complete ingredient listings on their website (https://global.kryolan.com/) that you can reference before making a purchase decision. Their products are manufactured in Germany. Many of their products are vegan with the exception of  oil and wax based products and certain colors that may contain carmine as a color additive. When in doubt, or if it isn’t clear on the website, you can reach out to Kryolan directly at info-usa@kryolan.com.

Kryolan’s famous Aquacolor line has been confirmed to be mostly vegan (with the exception of specific colors that may contain carmine), and the Aquacolor Metallics are vegan.

Mehron
Mehron states that all of their products are cruelty free. All ingredients used in the manufacturing of their products are also guaranteed to be cruelty free and animal safe. However the line is not 100% Vegan as certain products do contain animal-derived ingredients. Mehron’s website labels any vegan products with their vegan stamp to make it easy for you to quickly find suitable products. Complete ingredient listings can also be found on their website (https://www.mehron.com).

Most popular vegan Mehron products:

Barrier Spray
Celebré Pro-HD
Liquid Latex
Paradise Pro Make-up
Paradise AQ Glitter
Professional Modeling Putty/Synthetic Wax 
ProColoRing Neutralizer
Velvet Finish Primer

Thermoplastics

We asked our manufacturers if their products were tested on animals, if third parties test on animals on their behalf, if their products contain ingredients derived from animals, and if anything contains animal by-products. We are still waiting on replies from some manufacturers and will update this section when we hear from them. It’s important to note that petroleum is involved in most manufacturing of modern plastics. Depending on your personal definition of veganism, we thought we would highlight that so you can make your own informed decision.

Fosshape does not test on animals or use animal derived ingredients/by-products.
Sintra does not test on animals or use animal derived ingredients/by-products.
Styrene does not test on animals or use animal derived ingredients/by-products.
Wonderflex does not test on animals or use animal derived ingredients/by-products.
Worbla does not test on animals or use animal derived ingredients/by-products. They also like to emphasize their use of renewable raw materials (i.e. leftover branches from production).

Footwear

Most of the footwear we sell comes from Pleaser USA (which is the parent brand for Demonia, Fabulicious, Funtasma, Pin Up Couture, Devious, and Bordello). In recent years they have really expanded their selection of Vegan footwear, and many popular styles now have a Vegan version. In terms of durability and comfort, Pleaser’s vegan footwear are just as good as their non-vegan counter parts. Use the keyword “Vegan” to search all the vegan options we have available.

Most popular vegan footwear styles:

Abbey – 02 
Aspire – 608 
Aspire – 609
Cramps – 201
Defiant – 100
Emily – 375
Swing – 103

Wigs

Almost all wigs we sell are made with synthetic fibers or human hair and are appropriate for Vegan use. Specific items like Crepe wool (used to create beards), or wigs made from yarn would not be Vegan friendly, and it is noted in the item description if someone thing is made from wool/yarn. Most synthetic compounds used for wig fibers do contain petroleum which depending on your preference and personal definition of veganism, may not be suitable for use. It is unclear if crude oil/fossil fuels/petroleum come entirely from plants or if there are ancient animals mixed in (the composition of petroleum is mostly from fossilized organic plant matter like algae).

Popular wig lines:
Blush Fashion/Cosplay Wigs
New Look Synthetic Wigs
New Look Human Hair Wigs
Sepia Wigs

Craft Supplies

Many of our general crafting products are manufactured in China. We aren’t sure specifically what can be classified as Vegan, so we will link you to the experts at Vegan Womble who have compiled a great list of brands that manufacture Vegan art supplies.

Vegan Art and Craft Supplies

 

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Potential new product: Varaform

Want to win some Worbla? Then read this post and answer the questions to be entered in our draw!

Here at Cosplay Supplies we’re always looking for new products we think might be helpful for the community. Sometimes we do private testing, sometimes we just dive in and carry something – and sometimes we need your input!

Which brings us to: Varaform!

Varaform is a thermoplastic that comes in 2 main forms – a light mesh and a heavy mesh. (There’s also a thin gauze sheet we’re not looking at for now.)

Varaform Heavy and Varaform Light

Varaform is used in the medical community as an alternative to plaster bandages for casts, and it’s been used for stage costuming for years to create large, lightweight costume pieces, especially under-structures for mascots and monsters.

Varaform Installation art

(Psssst: I have it on good authority Varaform is being used on the new Dark Crystal costumes!)

It activates at 160°F (71° C) and can be activated with warm water or a heat gun. It’s self adhesive, can be reheated endlessly, and incredibly lightweight: Varaform light is about 1/2 the weight of Black Worbla, and Varaform Heavy is about 2/3 the weight of Black Worbla.

Skeksis head made from Varaform and buckram. By Lydia Hanchett

What do we think it would be good for?

Mascot builders. Seriously – imagine being able to shape a head over a clay or foam base and then remove all that insulating foam? It gives you more space to cool and circulate air and removes a lot of the weight.

Varaform head covered with paper mache

Wings: When you need to build lightweight wings, and straight foam and wire alone won’t be enough, or when every ounce of weight counts, we think this material may be a huge help.


Vickybunnyangel used Varaform for these Star Guardian Soraka wings. The wings are covered in felt and feathers to hide the Varaform understructure. The wings weigh 2lbs on their own (which includes magnets), and are attached magnetically to a backboard made from Worbla’s Mesh Art, foam, and 1″ diameter rare earth magnets.

Horns: If they have to be big and quick! Casting your own horns does give you some of the best results, but if you don’t have time for curing, you can build an under structure quickly that can be wrapped in fabric Maleficent style or quick coated with an air-dry clay.

Build a base from tape and paper, wrap in cellophane.

Cover in strips of Varaform. Let cool, remove form.

Make a skullcap by wrapping your head in plastic and then having a friend help cast your head with Varaform strips. Don’t wear makeup on project day and hide face with something silly. Attach horns with strips of Varaform.

Wrap with straps of stretch faux leather. Glue lightly at overlap. Larger pieces used to cover the skullcap.

Time: 3hours total. Weight 13oz (0.8lb).
Ability to headbang: Yes.

A post shared by Amanda (@elementalsight) on

If you need a more organic horn, you can skip the fabric step and instead cover with an apoxie clay or air dry clay. We used Smooth-On’s Free Form Air which was a learning experience. It dries quicker than we expected and is more toxic than other clay we have used, so the skullcap was not quite finished smooth.

Time: 4.5 hours, not including cure time or paint drying. Weight: 1.6lb (27oz)

(Note: Yes, the horns are lopsided. This is the result of building fast, not careful. At least the clay method did help even it out 😛 )

One thing to note about the clay method is that you want to make sure you don’t push the clay through the mesh too far or it will shrink your headpiece. This happened with these horns and while I could fix it with some dremmel sanding, Free Form Air requires a proper respirator to sand and we don’t have one on hand at the office.

The clay through the mesh of the Varaform, especially at the edges of the skullcap, shrunk it juuuust enough to no longer fit.

Wigs and Hats: Similar to the horns idea, but if you needed to make a large wig, we’re thinking Varaform could be very useful for building the base to sculpt wigs onto for the ultimate in lightweight structure that won’t just be insulating and top-heavy. Varaform might also work well in areas where buckram or foam would be used in large headpieces to avoid relying on wire to provide stability. Gallery below is some examples of things we think Varaform might work well in.

Differences between Light and Heavy:

The wings and Horns were made with mostly Varaform Light, with the Heavy being used along the spine of the wing and for some reinforcement of the skullcap of the horns. I do think we could have used Light for both without issue, but for large things such as mascot heads or complex shapes where you don’t want a lot of overlapping areas, the Heavy might be the better choice, as the light will need more overlap to achieve the same strength as Heavy.

What we’re not sure about:

While we think this has potential, that doesn’t mean it’s without some disadvantages. We can think the pros outweigh the cons, but what we really need to know if you folks do. So, some considerations:

While it’s flexible, It’s about as brittle as Worbla. if someone were to crash into you/sit on your costume, it could break.

The Varaform Heavy mesh is harder to cut: if you have difficulties cutting hard plastics, you might need a friend or a lot of breaks if you’re cutting through a lot of this.

Varaform is messy. The adhesive is a bit reminiscent of white glue and plaster of Paris combined: it leaves a white powder over your work surface and hands, and needs to be cleaned up with water. Clean up is easy, but it’s a consideration to make.

Scraps are less recyclable than Worbla: because it’s a mesh, the scraps can be used to patch areas and smooth joins, but can’t be as easily repurposed as Worbla can be.

It needs to be worked over a form. Varaform is really really floppy when activated – you aren’t going to be able to shape this easily by hand for any complex shape. It’s going to require a form, whether that’s made from packing tape and paper, foam, clay, your body, or something else.

Price: Varaform is sold to us by the roll, and is roughly 40in/100cm tall. We’re estimating price (including shipping) to be around:
Varaform Light 40inx60in = $70
Varaform Heavy 40inx60in = $90

We’ll be offering smaller cuts as well, the Varaform Light should be close to Worbla’s Finest Art in pricing with Heavy around 30% more.

So what we would like to know is your honest opinion:


You can find our questionnaire here! Fill it out and you’ll be entered to win a medium sheet of Worbla – your choice of type! Draw will be held October 2nd!

Category: Cosplay, News, Varaform | Tags: | 19 comments |

Introducing two new products: Worbla’s Deco Art and Crystal Art!

We’re so excited to announce two new products to our lineup from Worbla: Deco Art and Crystal Art.


Worbla’s Deco Art is actually an older product – similar to friendly plastic, Deco Art was always too cost prohibitive to import to North America, but recent changes in packaging and shipping options means we can now bring it in for customers to see this alternative for quick and easy building.


Crystal Art is brand new, a plastic pellet that you can mold and form and even sculpt to a degree that remains clear and flexible when it cools. It’s a great alternative to resin casting when you need something clear and it needs to be fast, or when you can’t resin cast due to space, cost or health reasons.

When would you use Deco Art? Adding dimension to Worbla builds is the most common use, adding skulls, pommels, texture and decorative details to a Worbla base. You can also sculpt Deco Art on its own, or cast it in moulds to create quick hard plastic copies of a needed shape.

Above: Deco Art used with various molds.

Deco Art used to create raised detailing on a shoulder pauldron.

When would you use Crystal Art? As an alternative to resin casting, or when you need something translucent but flexible. Crystal Art will let you create small gems and stones, magic runes and organic looking crystal with ease. Larger pieces can be much more difficult to mold ‘cleanly’, as it can be difficult to evenly heat the pellets and prevent air from getting trapped, but it still can give you a product that will work especially when you need more of an overall effect than something to withstand closeup scrutiny.

Crystal Art molded and colored in a variety of ways.


Crystal Art casting process by Naruvien Art & Design

It’s important to note that neither of these products are suggested as a replacement for resin casting, just as an alternative when casting with resin is not the best option.

Deco Art and Crystal Art will be available in 4.4oz and 14oz packages, and can be found here on Cosplaysupplies.com

Interested to learn more about these products? Check out their product pages here!

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Now Available: The Book of Cosplay Sewing

Kamui Cosplay has created another book to add to her lineup, this time all about sewing!

The Book of Cosplay Sewing!
Are you a beginner when it comes to fabric? Have you never touched a needle and thread, but finally want to start? This is the book just for you! In 52 pages and over 220 pictures you’ll get easy step-by-step guides and detailed explanations about: Sewing by hand or with a machine, choosing the right fabric, sewing stretch fabrics, creating new or working with pre-existing patterns, sewing a mock-up, adjusting patterns, adding a zipper, lining, sewing gloves, leggings, boot covers and a dress, attaching armor to fabric and of course a lot of detailed pictures, tips and work examples!

Included in the book, which has 52, full color pages:


Introduction to tools, machines and materials
Sewing machine and serger
Choosing the right fabric
Three useful hand-stitches
Working with stretch materials
Sewing simple gloves with lycra (drawing a pattern on paper)
Sewing leggings with jersey (creating patterns from old clothes and working with a serger)
Sewing a dress with satin (working with store bought patterns)
Sewing a boot cover with faux leather (creating patterns with duct tape)
Attaching armor to fabric

It also covers these useful techniques:
Creating a mock-up
Adjusting patterns
Placing a zipper
Adding lining
Many more useful tips

As well as the following work examples:
Cleric (Aion)
Xena: Warrior Princess
Monk (FFXIV)

The Book of Cosplay Sewing is available at Cosplaysupplies.com! It retails for $28 but is only $22 if purchased with a Jumbo roll of Worbla!

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USITT – Let Your Creativity Soar!

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Can you get to St Louis? Interested in seeing products for stage and screen, and getting a chance to meet some Worbla Experts and see our products hands on? The USITT Conference and Stage Expo is March 9th – 11th and Cosplaysupplies and Worbla will be there!

From their webpage:

“USITT is the place where theatre and live entertainment production technicians, designers, managers and consultants meet. Where the industry learns about the latest technologies and methods available to them. Where people connect with each other and make a network that last their entire careers.”

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What does this mean for you? Well if you’ve wanted a chance to see and handle Worbla products live, we will have examples on display and will be doing live demonstrations for the whole of the show and allowing booth visitors to handle Worbla and see how easy it is to shape and use. If you’ve got a project you’re working on and need some advice, this is a great way to get some troubleshooting done as well!

Interested in attending and seeing us? We have free badges to the show floor we’d love to share! Email me at Amanda@worbla.com for more info.

USITT 2016 in Salt Lake City. Photo ©2016 Richard Finkelstein -
Want to learn more about the expo? Take a look at their website here for details, hours, vendor lists and much more!

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Heat Resistant Gloves – The Search is Over!

Cosplay Supplies is excited to announce a new product coming soon – Heat-Resistant Gloves for working with thermoplastics!

Gloves1

Plenty of people who teach or write about working with plastics like Worbla mention that you ‘get used’ to the higher temperature on your fingers (even me!) – and plenty of us use sculpting tools to help with fiddley bits or when things are too hot. One trick I always suggest is to dip your fingers/hands in room-temperature water to make working with hot Worbla easier, but sometimes you need things to be hotter than you can handle, or you have extra sensitive hands that just won’t ever be comfortable handling hot plastic – and of course, TranspArt, Worbla’s clear thermoplastic, requires an activation temperature that is too hot to handle – so you either have to activate it and let it cool to touch, use tools or water, or – as we suggest – use gloves.

The Problem:

Finding the right sort of gloves to use with Worbla can be tricky! Most work gloves have seam lines, fabric textures, or raised stitching – all things that can transfer onto your project. They can also be bulky and uncomfortable, and difficult to find in your size. Full leather gloves are often what people settle for – but the cost can be too high for something you plan to use in your workshop, and they can be difficult to find in the summer – or if you live somewhere where Winter Happens to Other People.

The Solution:

We’ve sourced Heat-Resistant Gloves that are thin enough you can still work with fine detail – even rolling Worbla ‘noodles’ – that are also completely smooth from palm to fingertip – no rough bumps or seams to get in the way of your smooth finish. The material is a bit like neoprene – enough to let you grip things without having a noticeable surface. All the while providing a great barrier for your hands against the heat!

Exclusive Launch at Anime North!

These gloves will soon be available online – but we’re doing an exclusive launch next weekend at Anime North! If you’re attending, drop by the Cosplay Supplies Booth in the Dealers Hall (V1) and you can buy a pair for yourself – or if you buy TWO Jumbo Worbla of any type, you’ll get a pair of gloves for FREE!

Great for most things but…

These gloves have been tested and work well with Worbla’s Finest Art, TranspArt, and Black Art, as well as Fosshape thick and thin, Sintra, Styrene, PETG and EVA foam. These gloves do NOT play well with Wonderflex, as the glue in Wonderflex just sticks to the gloves instead, and likewise are not recommended for Worbla’s Deco Art/Friendly Plastic/Polymorph as again, the plastic just sticks TO the gloves.

While these gloves are heat-resistant, they will not make you invulnerable. Please always use your heat tools responsibly and work in clear space to prevent injury.

Category: Cosplay, Crafts, News, Worbla | Tags: | 5 comments |

A New Book Approaches! Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles by Kamui

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Kamui Cosplay has revealed her newest book, and it looks excellent! If you’re looking for some advanced help in making your next gun or rifle – or even just tips and tricks to apply to your Worbla props in general – Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles will help you out!

The sixth in her current lineup of Worbla and Wonderflex Guides, Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles covers the following:

Tools and materials
References and scaling
Printing screenshot patterns
Creating your own blueprints
Working with EVA foam
Working with Worbla
Priming EVA foam

As well as the following extensive work examples:

Borderlands 2 – Miss Moxxi’s Rubi
Overwatch – Symmetra’s Photon Projector
League of Legends – Miss Fortune’s Shock and Awe
Heroes of the Storm – Master Nova’s Rifle

High quality print edition. Soft cover, 48 pages high quality full color print. Perfect as a gift or for browsing while you work!

Available for purchase here!

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Worbla Holiday Sale!

We’re putting our Worbla’s Finest Art and Worbla’s TranspArt on sale for the holidays! Take advantage of the discount and make something awesome – and remember Worbla.com is always looking for new content!

Need some inspiration for your next project? Take a look at these awesome pieces below!

Erza Cosplay used Transpart and Worbla’s Finest Art for her Heavy Luminescence Armor and Sword from Guild Wars 2

And used Finest Art for her beautiful dragons

Team Paraluna used TranspArt and Resin to make ‘glass’ slippers and Calypsen Cosplay used TranspArt to make a glowing rose.

This Monk from Diablo III by Littleblondegoth Cosplay was made using Worbla’s Finest Art

With Worbla the limits are often only your own imagination. You can see hundreds of other examples here!

Happy Holidays!

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All the way to Germany for Worbla!

This past weekend part of the Cosplay Supplies team were lucky enough to take a trip to Frankfurt, Germany – where we got to explore the town, meet some local cosplayers and of course visit the Worbla Factory for a tour!

While of course we can’t share all the details (new things are always being worked on, but the what and when are never finalized until we have something ready to ship) we wanted to give you a bit of an idea of what we did and learned while in Germany!

Shops:
Frankfurt is a very international town, with everything from local businesses to big chain stores surrounding their tourist areas. It surprised us to realize that even in such a busy city, everything closed early – many shops closing before 8pm, and everything but cafes and restaurants closed on Sunday! One of our favourite stops was to visit the only cosplay shop in Germany, MyCostumes.de .
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They have an excellent selection of Pebeo paints and mediums, as well as an in-house wig brand that comes in colours we’ve never seen before – especially the blue-green petrol mix! It was great to see their Lolita designs in person as well.

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Meeting Up and New Information:
We got to hang out with the wonderful Kamui Cosplay and her boyfriend, who took us to eat excellent food and show us what craft and hobby shops in Germany are like. One of the most eye-opening things was the fact that what Kamui calls Wood Glue would be called craft glue or PVA here in North America – so we’ve been using very different products! It makes sense though, considering I’ve found North American Wood Glue cracks and flakes, especially off of Worbla Black. We met up with Boris from Cast4Art to talk about Worbla and KobraCast and all the conventions Cast4Art attends every year. (It’s a LOT!)

We also found out Germany has VERY strict rules regarding photography in public spaces. While you can be a tourist and snap photos as you like, if you want to take photos with a model – like cosplay photography – you need to write to the government and get a permit. There went all my plans for an epic photoshoot down some of the pretty older streets of Germany for sure!

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The Worbla Factory!
Getting a chance to meet the people who process Worbla was a real treat! They have dozens of machines in a huge space and we got a chance to watch how the raw material gets processed all the way to a final sheet of TranspArt – plus, meeting with the people who do Research and Development. I can’t say what’s coming next (of course) but we have some really interesting things in the works I can’t wait to see come together! Want to see something really neat?

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This is one of the first runs of Worbla, before it was even Worbla. It’s a lot closer to Wonderflex in texture but in the brown we’re more familiar with.

We also got to see Worbla being die cut, up to 5 layers at a time!

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All in all it was an amazing trip and quite the experience. While we really only saw a tiny part of Germany it was still a great chance to meet new people and experience a place that’s different from home – even if they have so many of the things we’re familiar with, like Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Now it’s time to sleep off the jet lag and catch up on everything! Have a Happy Halloween everyone!

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Books on Worbla and Wonderflex, Giftwrap, and Upcoming Price Changes

Books!
We have three major updates for Cosplaysupplies.com! The first is that we are now stocking Kamui’s fantastic books on working with Worbla and Wonderflex to make props and armor, as well as a book dedicated to painting your finished projects.

armor
prop paint

These books are available for $28 each, but can be combined for a discount – 2 for $26 each, 3 for $25, and shipping is free. They’re a great resource if you’re just starting out with thermoplastics, and have a lot of tips and tricks even for the experienced cosplayer.

Looking for a bigger discount? We’ll be offering these books for $22 each with any Worbla Jumbo or Combo Jumbo order as well. The discount is applied automatically in your cart.

Looking for more information on Kamui’s books? Check them out here.

Price Change!
Due to manufacturing and shipping costs increasing, Worbla will be going up in price by 10% in December of 2014. If you’re looking to purchase for an upcoming project or as a holiday gift, now is the time to do so! Don’t forget we offer a discount for multiple sheets ordered, so if you have local friends consider a group order to help get the lowest possible price.

Still not sure how much to order or where to start on your next project? Don’t forget Worbla.com has a great collection of tutorials, images and videos to help you get started.

Gift Wrapping!
Purchasing Worbla to go under the tree? If you’d like gift wrapping for your order, add ‘please giftwrap’ in the comments of your purchase and we’ll send your Worbla festively ready for gift giving!

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