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FriarShaun
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I am sure this is on here somewhere but I couldn't find it. I am looking for a way to age cloth and make it look ancient for wrapping props and tricks. I am also interested in a convincing way to mummify props (hands, organs, small mammals. etc.)
mvmagic
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You can age cloth in many different ways. You could put it in a cement mixer with some rocks and just let it roll. There are dyes and inks you could soak it in. Normal artist acrylics that come in tubes work as well. Just put small amount in a bucket of water, mix well to get colored water and just soak them. If you don't have access to a cement mixer, you could use a steel brush or belt sander.

I have done mummified hands from plastic skeleton hands by covering them with latex-soaked tissue paper and cotton, painting with rubber mask grease paint, painting a layer of liquid latex on top and powdered the latex so it won't stick. Latex does deteriorate and becomes inflexible, but I guess that wouldn't be a problem.
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John Martin
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Fill your kitchen sink with warm water and tea bags. Soak cloth and then hang to dry. This will give you a great aged look.

All the best,

John
FriarShaun
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Mvmagic

do you have a pic? It the cotton moldable with the latex?
mvmagic
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I might have a pic somewhere, a traditional picture that is but don't have a scanner handy.

I have used cotton to build up tissue really. I've painted liquid latex on a skeletal hand and then stuck cotton (from a cotton ball) on it so it sticks, paint on more latex and so on, gradually building it up to whatever thickness is needed. I usually put some wrinkled tissue paper on top as the final layer before paint.

If you thoroughly soak a cotton ball in latex, it is moldable to a degree. You cant produce a sculpt like you could with clay of course, but it is a good and economical solution for general shapes. You can also use thread soaked in latex to make tendons or veins.

I recently made a hand that was burnt to crisp. For that charred look, I mixed sugar with black acrylic paint and glue and dabbed that on for a really neat texture.

Get some liquid latex (its cheap) and start playing with it. Its really very simple and trying it first hand will get you familiar with the process kinda quickly.
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amshake
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Another GREAT way to mummify something that doesn't need to be flexible is to use pantyhose and cover the item. Make slits in the hose where you want the flesh to appear torn, and then use roofing latex (big buckets, cheap) to coat. Paint to your desired color and poof. We've done entire skeletons this way in our haunted house.
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mvmagic
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Yes, pantyhose does work really well too. I've also done some over-the-head masks with pantyhose as a base.
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amshake
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I sense another possible haunter.. hehehe
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ERIC
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For staining I find coffee works better than tea
George Ledo
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Going back to "ancienting" (as opposed to antiquing Smile ) cloth, it really depends on the effect you want. If your audience is going to be up close, then the material wants to be more real than if you're working on stage.

Personally, I'd start with the type of fabric that would have been in use during the period in question. If we're talking Egyptian, then unbleached linen is appropriate. For the medieval period, a rough cotton or wool works. Then I'd throw it in the washer with hot water, soap, and bleach to soften it up. Maybe a couple of times. Then a soak in diluted tea; again, a couple of weak soaks work better than one heavy soak. Then maybe leave it out in the sun for a couple of days.

Then I'd start working on how the fabric was used or stored for centuries. Were the edges cut or just torn? Was it folded around a box or tube? Was it stored inside a box or sitting in a damp basement, or maybe in a dry cave? Did the sun hit it from one side more than the other? How much was it handled? Was it originally tied with string or rope? Did it come in contact with something that left an impression on it, like the shroud of Turin?

This is where you can give the material a history, which is far more interesting than just doing a random antiquing effect.
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mvmagic
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George offers valuable points to consider there. As a production designer he understands that there is more to things like this than "just" doing it. Having been involved with effects for almost 20 years now I know I should have talked about those things as well (sorry George! LOL) but "the do part" is just so appealing to me Smile As for the tea and coffee mentioned, I have used both on paper mostly but we have always avoided them when dealing with fabrics-mostly because they are organic materials and possibly might go bad (whether they actually do, I have no idea!)

The funny thing is that getting a worn look is easy but to make it look like its old and really used aint that simple. If its done wrong, it looks wrong. You might not be able to tell whats wrong with it, but you know it aint right either. I have begun to call the look "randomly natural" and that's the tricky part to replicate!
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Michael Taggert
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I agree with the tea dying on thefabric as I have used this before for period cuxtming to dull down the color. it is Very permanant and durable as a finish. no it does not break down as the dying agents are not the food part of this agent the stuff that will would cause damage is rinsed away leaving the tannens(SP) that do the dye work. I am also a fan of Gauze and latex for building the mummy parts latex is esily painted with scenic paint. yes scenic paints can be had in small quantities for a small amount of money and they are ususally super saturated with pigments so they go a LONG way but give you great color.
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George Ledo
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Quote:
You might not be able to tell whats wrong with it, but you know it aint right either.

Well, darn it, you put your finger on something I should have mentioned... Smile

This is so true. When an audience member looks at something that's supposed to be a specific item, but for some reason it doesn't look right, he or she gets distracted from the show just long enough to break the spell. It's what I call the "Look, dear, they made a fake telephone. Isn't that clever?" effect.

Granted everything on stage doesn't have to look real, but it does have to be in context with the rest of the show. For instance, the furniture in Disney's stage version of Beauty and the Beast doesn't look "realistic," but it is very much in character with the set, the costumes, and the personages. If a prop person placed a real kitchen chair in the show, it would stand out like... well... use your favorite expression. Or if I took a chair from B&B and dropped it into a Neil Simon comedy... well... it would certainly be an accent piece, but unfortunately you can't add a line to a script to justify why it's there.

And BTW, mvmagic, I get all excited about "doing it" too. Sometimes I gotta rein myself in before I get too far. Smile
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vpatanio
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I've "aged" paper by soaking it in coffee and then lightly burning the edges.

-Vinny
mvmagic
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Quote:
On 2008-02-26 21:20, George Ledo wrote:
And BTW, mvmagic, I get all excited about "doing it" too. Sometimes I gotta rein myself in before I get too far. Smile


That happens a lot! Smile A play called for an exploding wall clock and a vase. Having read the script I went to work and got the stuff finished in two days. Then comes a production meeting and the production designer starts talking about those two gags. I, all excited, said "oh I have built them allready!" The look on his face was priceless as he hadnt designed the set or decided on the colors. Well, they had to be repainted so in the end it wasnt a big deal but I have to admit that if he had chosen a totally different look for the sets, all the work I had done would have been wasted.

Also, there's the question of realism versus imagined realism. What I mean by that is that most people have a certain, usually subconcious idea or vision what a certain thing looks like-and that might not be realistic at all so a 100% spot-on realistic prop might end up looking wrong or fake. Whatever the case, everything should form a coherent whole-just like George says with his brilliant example of Beauty and the Beast.
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