The Blog of The Bride of Sesshomaru

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Welcome to my sewing, historical reenactment, and CosPlay blog! Here on this blog you will find all of my random thoughts about sewing, the SCA, manga, anime, CosPlay, costume making, embroidery, sewing historically accurate Japanese costumes, and my fandom of Lord Sesshomaru whom I CrossPlay as.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Need Help With Making Lord Sesshomaru's Mokomoko... Any One Know What To Do?


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I've been making costumes for years, but this is my first time doing anything with fur fabric or a tail, so I'm a bit new to fur sewing. I'm making a Lord Sesshomaru costume, which is not a fur-suit per say, but does have some fur on it, namely he's got an 8 foot long tail, called a mokomoko, which I have to make.

Well, I had a few questions about how to go about making the mokomoko, and I figured, I'd ask you guys in case someone reading this knows anything about working with fur and tails and such.

First off, I'm making the manga version of Sesshomaru. The anime version has him wearing a 4 foot fur boa, but in the manga it was a 8 foot furry tail, and it looks quite a bit different in the manga from the amine. Here's a photo reference, of the version I'm making:





As you can see, it's HUGE. Because the tail is so long, he's got it pulled up through his kimono and than slung over his shoulder, and it still drags on the ground quite a ways. I need a lot of fabric.


I was wondering, if anyone could recommend where I can get the fur to use for this? I'm looking for something that looks like real fur, possibly an arctic fox tail look or a mongolian sheepskin look or alpaca wool or possibly yak hair . The pile is quite long and very fluffy and the color is a ecru or cream color.

I would prefer real fur, but only if it's sheared and not skinned. I tried Googeling for this, but all I could find was either skins (ICK!) or bags of sheared wool. I had heard that yak hair, mongolain sheep wool, and alpaca wool are sometimes sold knitted or woven into a fur fabric, used for making fur costumes in movies (the Grinch was said to be made like this, using yak hair dyed green). I would really like to find a place that sells this type of fur fabric, but so far none of my searches have turned up anything. Does anyone here know where this type of fur can be bought?


(P.S. I have a coat trimmed with Mongolian sheepskin [real fur] and it's a super soft, super fluffy 6" pile, with a "twisted" kinky "dreadlock" texture to it. This is what I am looking for...either the real thing, or a faux one that looks and feels like the real thing.)

If I can't find it, I'll settle for fake, but I want it to look real, and so far all the fake fur I've looked at, looks too "shinny" and well, fake. Do you know of a good source for fur that looks real?

Here is an anime shot, for color reference:



To get the look I amm seeking, I have been told to:
    Use wool. It's the only way you'll get that 'cotton candy' fluffy texture. Buy it in bags and then weft it and sew it to a backing. It will be a great deal of work (and a lot of wool) but it can be done.If you can buy it in ropes, it might be easier since wefting would be much easier and quicker. You could even just cut it and dip one end in glue. Let it dry and glue it to a frame. Quicker than separating and sewing. And wool puffs up a lot when brushed (because it's crinkled) so it's pretty forgiving about covering up mistakes.


I actually went to a local alpaca farm a few weeks ago, and that's what they told me too... they sell the wool in bags... it's oodles soft and wonderful, but, wow, that's a whole lot of work! I don't know if I could really do that... my patience might were thin before I got barely started!

Here's where I went, and this is a picture of the wool/color/texture they sell that I was looking at: http://www.trippinggnomefarm.com/herd_royal.html

I wonder, if I did do this, how durable cloth made like this would be? Have you ever tried doing this?

If I do make an attempt at wefting raw wool, and sewing it to a backing, than I'll probably use something that looks like these:





Most likely I'll end up getting the wool from a local alpaca farm, cause I'd really like to see it in person before buying it. No idea how many pounds I should buy though. Does anyone have any thoughts on wefting your own wool? If I go this road, I think the Mokomoko will end up costing about $500 just for the cost of the wool though.


Okay, moving on. I have a question about actually making the tail, once I finally find the fabric. I've heard people say that Sesshomaru's tail should be stuffed, to make it stand out more, like it does in the pictures. Looking at the two pictures above (these being the ones I'm using as my guide to make this tail), would you say I should do that or not? If so, what would I use to stuff it, and how would I keep the stuffing from shifting and bunching all into one end?


Secondly, I've been told that I should put a wire in the tail. On the other hand I've been told not to use a wire in it. I'm not sure wither I should use a wire or not. What would you recommend? Also, why would one want to put a wire in a tail? I'm not sure what the reason for doing this is. And if I should use a wire in it, what type of wire do I use? How do I put it in the tail? And how do I stop it from poking through the fabric?


Thanks!



What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!



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