Aunt Former Costume Designer strikes again
August 28, 2018 7:06 PM   Subscribe

My niece and nephew want me to make them Totoro costumes for Halloween. Yay! I found some gray and white French terry fabric on sale in the flat folds section last week. Yay! I'm increasingly dissatisfied with the white one and want it to be more like the gray one. Boo! Can you help me match this specific type of French terry?

Photo comparison. I know they're very similar. In a pinch, this white will be fine. But I am particular about strange things, and the gray swatch screams "Totoro fur" to me while the white one screams "towel," plus the smaller kid wants to be the little white Totoro so there will be a lot of it.

The gray is softer, a smidge heavier weight, the pile loops are smaller, and I assume it's a cotton/poly blend. The white is likely 100% cotton. They were found (as unlabeled remnants) at the Pacific Fabrics Outlet in Seattle. I've called their other locations, and will be checking them out in person because it turns out this level of pickiness is hard to articulate over the phone.

A light gray or ivory would also work. I've got time so online sources are fine. Many online fabric stores don't have pictures of both sides which is tripping up my searches. Mood is usually my go-to and bless them, they often include photos of the wrong side, but nothing there is quite right.
posted by doift to Shopping (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh P.S. I actually quite like this white fabric for other purposes so it won't go to waste if I can find a better, furrier option for the costume.
posted by doift at 7:15 PM on August 28, 2018

If it's 100% cotton as you suspect, you could try applying some heavily diluted brown and grey dye with a spray bottle. Build up some areas a bit more than others and sponge away some excess to get more of an unbleached look. Also I bet if you washed and dried it vigorously with a few tennis balls or similar that the texture would fuzz out into a softer feel. All things that take time but you'd be working with material you already have instead of going on a quest for something that might not be available.
posted by Mizu at 3:50 AM on August 29, 2018

I am obsessed with french terry and Koshtex is hands-down the best source I've found... detailed photos of both sides, plus fabric weight and stretch info. Sorry, I'm on mobile, so I can't figure out how to link to more than just the main store page, but search the shop for "french terry."
posted by Gable Oak at 5:01 AM on August 29, 2018

I second Mizu's idea of washing the white and see if it fluffs up, before abandoning it. I will also endorse Koshtex, though I haven't specifically ordered french terry from them, their cotton jersey was lovely.
posted by sarajane at 5:14 AM on August 29, 2018

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