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Thread: White sequin/latex/spandex tail

  1. #1

    White sequin/latex/spandex tail

    SO! I got my first tail down, loved the experience of mermaiding and its really helping me get attention as an artist and underwater model here in Puerto Rico.
    I like my latex/neoprene tail, but its so heavy and clunky and it floats waaay too much for my liking.
    Iv decided to make a new tail, but with NO neoprene cuz thats whats turned my tail into a floatation device.
    I dont have the money right now, nor the studio space to make the silicone tail of my dreams (it will come though!)
    So im gonna try something different and much more lightweight.

    I thought of instead of using neoprene which 1. is expensive and 2. floats , im going with thick spandex.
    EVERYONE is getting into sequins, and they do look amazing, so, monkey see monkey do, im gonna try it too! XD

    Im going with a pearl white tail like my beautiful little friend here:

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    Why white?

    White animals have always facinated me, white reminds me of something mystic and magical, something rare, a creature of myth. White animals have always been portrayed as sacred and having special powers. I had a white cat that lived for 18 years and my hair is bleached white, im just kinda nuts like that.

    So this is the effect i want to achieve with the sequins and spandex (maybe a bit of latex thrown in the fluke and fins)

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    What online store for spandex do you guys reccomend and what is the thickest kind i can buy?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    You could try WWW.SPANDEXWORLD.COM
    "Silence is beautiful, not awkward. The human tendency to be afraid of something beautiful is awkward."

  3. #3
    If you want to make it thicker, maybe double up? Because spandex in general tends to be pretty thin.
    Mermaid Jewel

  4. #4
    I have a somewhat unrelated question...using the spandex sounds like a good idea. How do you think the same material would take paint? Also, your design idea is so pretty! I had a dream once that I was swimming with a tail very similar...wanted a white one ever since. Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleTreasure View Post
    I have a somewhat unrelated question...using the spandex sounds like a good idea. How do you think the same material would take paint? Also, your design idea is so pretty! I had a dream once that I was swimming with a tail very similar...wanted a white one ever since. Good luck!
    I believe LindseyLu painted a spandex tail before, I may be wrong but either way she is very talented with paint and I am sure she would be willing to help you out
    "Silence is beautiful, not awkward. The human tendency to be afraid of something beautiful is awkward."

  6. #6
    Yeah iv seen painted spandex tails and have painted spanxed bodysuits myself. The paint stays on well, there are various.fabric paints and acrylics that are good. I used folk art acrylic paint on some bodysuits that were black and the paint showed nicely. I might coat a thin layer of latex on the lycra though to make it thick and to get rid of the fabrics texture. Plus my fluke is going to.be latex anyways.

  7. #7
    Ok, cool, thanks for answering. It's mainly the texture of the fabric I'd be worried about with painting it. Would you be offended if I used this material idea for my latex tail I want to make? It's just that I don't want to float if the floating problem is that bad with neoprene.

    Back on topic: I would also check out SpandexWorld.com. Another post from some thread brought me here because I believe you said you wanted to use moleskin spandex. I found these on the website and they seem to fit with what you want: http://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/977 and http://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/978 They are $12 to $14 / yard.
    Supposedly these are thick and suitable for swimwear - you might not even need to line the fabric. The only thing is these are 4-way stretch so the tail might need to be sewn to a very tight fit.

  8. #8
    You really WANT to go with 4 way stretch if you can. You need the tail to have stretch horizontally, otherwise there are huge fitting issues. And with the two way unless they tell you the grain of the stretch, you could end up needing the fabric cut so the stretch is vertical, and that would be useless. That's why neoprin tails are baggy at the waist for most people, and most of them end up installing a zipper in the back to get it to fit right. They don't have enough stretch so if you can get your hips through the waist to get into the tail, the waist will be too big. Dealing with stretch is just the nature of the beast. Usually with spandex/lycra tails you need to sew them a little smaller than the measurements, or try it on and take it in after the initial sewing, to account for the extra stretch in the fabric. Also remember to use a stretch stitch when sewing- this is especially important with lycra because of how much it gives. A straight stretch won't stretch with the fabric so the thread will eventually break and the seams will give. A stretch stitch (like zig zag) will stretch with it so it will hold up much better.

    You CAN paint lycra with all matters of paints. Just be aware that if you paint the fluke, especially the very bottom of the fluke with acrylic paints it may create a huge amount of drag. Some people put holes in the bottom to help with that though. There are lots of threads on painting fabric tails, if not on here then you can always search Mer.Yuku.com as an archive.


    But yeah! Really looking forward to seeing your white tail! My first tail design was a white tail with a rainbow fluke and dorsal! Never got around to making it though. You don't see many white tails, but the ones I have seen look great!

  9. #9
    That's another reason I didn't like neoprene, it doesent hug my hips like I want it to and I'm going to add a belt inside because of this. Since I'm.a model I need my tails to hug my body tightly and not bag anywhere cuz its noticeable in photos and videos.

    But if anyone wants to use this idea I really don't mind, I like to help others with their costumes, that's why I document the processes of mine.
    I already bought the moleskin spandex, gallon of latex and several light shades of sequins (mostly white and pearl)
    Now to wait.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilonka View Post
    That's another reason I didn't like neoprene, it doesent hug my hips like I want it to and I'm going to add a belt inside because of this. Since I'm.a model I need my tails to hug my body tightly and not bag anywhere cuz its noticeable in photos and videos.
    I was talking about neoprin, not neoprene, just to clarify Neoprin is really horrid quality for anything to do with a tail IMO. So far, there is only one person I know who tried making a tail with the stuff and actually stuck with it as a material, and that's the Mertailor. He does it for cost reasons. Good neoprene has lots of stretch, and that stuff can hug every curve tightly! To get it as tight as you want it may take a few more minutes to put on the tail though. It can be very buoyant if you get it thicker though. You can get it as thin as 1.5mm. Since you were having such issues with the buoyancy I'm curious as to what thickness you were using!

    Also I am puzzled with your change becuase spandex is such a big downgrade from neoprene in terms of quality and aesthetics (realism, being able to see the legs and monofin clearly with spandex). Usually with neoprene and molded latex or silicone tails, the neoprene is used to save money. It allows you to get the thickness of the tail, which means a more aesthetically pleasing and realistic look that hides the legs and such, while allowing you to use less of the (expensive) latex/silicone. So to cast the the scales and fluke thin. I guess I'm trying to ask since you have experience making a molded tail, why not skip the fabric and just cast it thicker and make a plain latex tail? I hope I'm not coming off too haughty or anything :P

  11. #11
    I actually got my material from Joanns Fabrics and with their coupon, sometimes you can get it for 50% off--much cheaper than paying for shipping plus you get it right away!

  12. #12
    Ohhh neoprin, ok, iv heard bad things about it yeah.

    I got really thick neoprene, 3mm which was obviously a huge mistake, I also don't like how expensive it is and the companies on the internet charge me almost $30 in shipping which is another thing that put me out.

    This tail is going to be made out of lycra cuz of my $$, I don't want to spend $500 again, I can't.

    This tail is being made for a magazine that wants a bridal mermaid, so its also being made on short notice.
    I will make a full silicone tail eventually cuz I really hate using fabric for tails period, but just not this one. I have to move to FL, don't have the space for moulds, don't have allot of $$ etc.

    So this will be an experiment and a chance for me to make a new type of tail, sequin/latex hybrid.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Krystal Patrick View Post
    I actually got my material from Joanns Fabrics and with their coupon, sometimes you can get it for 50% off--much cheaper than paying for shipping plus you get it right away!
    I got my moleskin from spandexworld.com on clearance for $4.99 which is awesome! They also gave me free shipping which was a miracle cuz shipping to PR is always mad expensive cuz most idiots think this is a different country when its not :l

  14. #14
    Senior Member Rocky Mountain Pod Mermaid Dottie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleTreasure View Post
    ...using the spandex sounds like a good idea. How do you think the same material would take paint?
    My Spandex tail is painted. I made it in February, and it is now starting to wear very thin around the scales I painted on, but I wore it at least twice a month to a chlorinated public pool until June. So, in other words, it takes fabric paint well, but the wear and tear is really uneven, and if you painted the entire tail, you might end up with cracking. especially if it's a thick paint job.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Rocky Mountain Pod Mermaid Dottie's Avatar
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    You'll do awesome, Ilonka. You seem to have that mystical essence about you that allows you to succeed more than others do, sometimes.
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  16. #16
    Thank you dottie I hope so!
    I'm not going to paint directly onto the fabric, instead I'm going to coat on a thin layer on latex to hide the fabric texture, protect it, andthat will be painted on with latex paint. My current latex tail's paint has held up extremely well, only a few spots on the back of the fluke scrapped off a bit from rubbing on.the bottom of the pool I worked in last week. Other than that special fx latex is really durable and holds its paint well.
    Im also going to try fusing the sequin scales into the latex instead of sewing them one by one, if that doesn't work then they will be sewn (im not too exited about that part, I hate hand sewing)

  17. #17
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    Maybe try a polyester/lycra mix. It's a bit heavier but it is thicker! Just make the tail pretty tight. Hope this helped!
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  18. #18
    So now iv hit a big dilemma, I bought my spandex from.spandexworld.com, my purchase was $25.00 plus $8.00 shipping. They took four days to send me my spandex and they charged my $70 for the shipping! So my total was almost $100 Wtf!? Now my boyfriendcs visa balance is in negative thanks to those bastards and who knows when that stupid package will arrive! Omg I'm soooo pissed! Never buy from that company, bad customer service, they never even answered any of my emails!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilonka View Post
    So now iv hit a big dilemma, I bought my spandex from.spandexworld.com, my purchase was $25.00 plus $8.00 shipping. They took four days to send me my spandex and they charged my $70 for the shipping! So my total was almost $100 Wtf!? Now my boyfriendcs visa balance is in negative thanks to those bastards and who knows when that stupid package will arrive! Omg I'm soooo pissed! Never buy from that company, bad customer service, they never even answered any of my emails!
    I am sorry for what happened! That is quiet odd. I have always had good service with them, they even call me sometimes to let me know my order has been shipped. Have you tried calling them?
    "Silence is beautiful, not awkward. The human tendency to be afraid of something beautiful is awkward."

  20. #20
    That's awful D: Try calling them! If contacting them doesn't work out, dispute the claim with your bank, or your credit card company- tell them you did NOT approve that amount and were over charged. If you need to print out the receipt and send it to them as proof.

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