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What's the best way to make burn marks on clothing? Answered

I'm putting together a pirate costume for a Renaissance Faire, and I was wanting to make some realistic looking burn marks on it, like bullet holes, fire damage, etc. Any suggestions?



Best Answer 8 years ago

I'd do both fire and controlled heat:

- Fire (using appropirate(sic :) precautions) on some scraps of the fabric you're using, so that you'll have a "model" of real fire damage to work from. If you know someone who does target shooting, ask them to shoot a fabric sample or two. If not, I'd suggest cutting a hole in the fabric sample and the holding it with the hole centered over a candle flame.

- Controlled heat (from a clothes iron, sautering iron, electric hot plate, etc.) plus black & brown fabric marker for the real costume you're going to wear. Fire damage causes, well, damage to the fibers of the fabric, and the last thing you want is for your costume to fall apart the first week of Faire.

If you use plug-in electrical appliances and can plug them into GFI outlets, you'll be that much safer.

Also, remember that natural fibers burn, but synthetics melt - not such a Renaissance look :)

Good luck with your costume.

The sturdiness of the costume isn't entirely an issue, since I'll only be going to the RenFaire for one day and all of the pieces came from Goodwill, haha, but thanks for the info!

Thanks for giving me Best Answer, and have fun at Faire! :)

Matches or a lighter. Do it leaning over a bathtub filled with water so you can stop the burning when you want.

You might highlight the burns by mixing black and brown artists acrylic paint and touching it up.

Here's a great pirate bandanna shape and tying link .  that I found yesterday.

Good idea! I'd probably prefer the lighter over the matches -- much harder to accidentally burn myself. Thanks for the link! I've always had trouble tying bandannas, so that should come in handy.


8 years ago


+1. Fire always makes it better.

Heat needs to be controlled, a "hot thing" may be better for you than a flame. I.e. heat a metal-stick. Otherwise go with Re' and a blow-lamp.