I want to make a astronaut costume but I have no idea what fabrics I should use.

I would like fabrics that resemble rubber, shiny vinyl that has no texture, and fabric that is good for putting lights underneath for glow.

What is the name of fabric I should be looking for that would meet these criteria?

I 3d modeled this!

  • 1
    Are you looking for all three materials for different parts, or one of those materials for the whole thing?
    – fixer1234
    Oct 7, 2019 at 6:49
  • I don't really have a clear picture of your objective from the question, but did my best to get you started. It's hard to give you a good answer if we don't understand the question.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 7, 2019 at 17:25
  • 1
    @JamesHanvey you can use Arts & Crafts Meta to ask questions about how the site works. I think this is better than your previous question and much more focused.
    – Erica
    Oct 11, 2019 at 1:08

2 Answers 2


The question isn't well-defined, and your list of desired materials isn't clear in terms of how you envision using them. But based on the picture, I'll throw out some ideas to get you started. Perhaps you can use this to clarify your question. Recognize that anything that can't breathe will be really hot, even if it's cool outside. But a few ideas:

  1. You might get enough material for the entire costume from a plastic table cloth (or two). If you get a white one, you can color it with spray paint that's compatible with vinyl. An unlined, unpainted table cloth may be translucent enough to put lights inside (but they will add to the heat).

  2. A metallic look would be pretty cool. You can buy really cheap "space blankets" (one or two should be enough, like these). Any lights would need to be on the outside (maybe LED strips).

  3. If you need costume segments that will hold a simple shape that you can make from a flat material (like a cylinder or surface curved in one plane), you might want to look at drafting vellum, which you can get in large sheets or rolls. It's made from thin cotton fabric infused with a material like gelatin to make it translucent and stiff. You could put lights behind that. It has sort of a plastic looking surface.

  4. For a rubber look, you could use sheets of craft foam.

  5. You can make shaped sections using a lightweight fabric or gauze. Create a mold for the shape from any suitable material and put a thin layer of a release agent on it, like Vaseline. Stretch the fabric against it. Then infuse the fabric with either PVA glue (school glue/Elmers), or hot melt glue. Saturate the fabric with it. As you add the glue, work the fabric into the shape if it isn't flat. For hot melt glue use a heat gun to melt the glue into a thin liquid so it flows into a smooth layer and saturates the cloth. Let it dry or cool. Another method is to make a high concentration starch solution, soak the fabric in it until the fabric is saturated, then work the fabric over the form and let it dry.

    The fabric with either type of glue will be translucent. The starched fabric will look like the fabric. Any of these will retain the shape.

  6. I'm not sure if it fits with the look you want, but Tyvek can look pretty good. As long as it stays smooth, it has the look of Tyvek. But it will wrinkle and soften, in which case it will look more like cloth.

  • 1
    Space blankets are a very good suggestion. They are usually not much more than a thin transparent plastic sheet covered in extremely thin metal (we're talking nanometers here). Because of that, an LED can shine through the blanket if it's close enough to the surface. Might create a really cool futuristic look, but they tend to tear quickly.
    – Elmy
    Oct 11, 2019 at 11:16
  • Neoprene is an amazing suggestion! Though I have no idea if I can find it in white color. But seriously guys great suggestions. The responses from you guys was a complete mix of negative and positive. The first few comments I was considering taking my questions elsewhere but the next few answers came to the website's rescue, so now I have no idea what to do... I actually was considering asking on a cosplay site but I got some excellent answers here, thanks guys! Oct 11, 2019 at 12:14
  • Rather than LED strips, EL wire would be good for the bright green bits
    – Chris H
    Oct 11, 2019 at 12:37

The reflex thought which came to my mind when I saw your picture was neoprene. You might not be able to shape it exactly like in the picture (I am no expert, don't really trust me), but it has a very good chance to look alien ;)

  • 1
    That's an amazing suggestion! Thankyou. Oct 11, 2019 at 12:14

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