OK here is your chance to explain your best aging techniques. Other than just wearing them for months without bathing, burying them in the back yard for a few days, dipping them in tea and coffee, or all of the above, what is the best way to age clothing for performances.
Grime, sweat stains, and thread bear spots, for the most part.
Don't be shy tell us what you have done.
To get thread bare spots you can rub sandpaper on the parts of clothing to get this affect. (ie...pants knees, shirt collars....etc)
Good idea Vito. I have a pneumatic circular sander that would probably do the trick, on the edges knees and elbows for sure. Thanks for the tip.
My friend Jerry who is a movie costumer has all sorts of tricks up his sleeve.Remember when Nick Nolte played a homeless guy?Jerry tied the costume onto the back bumper of his car and piled on several bricks dragging it up and down back alleys in Hollywood.When the police stopped him he had to explain that he was aging an outfit.He then threw a big Barbeque and had all the guests wipe their hands on the outfit!When Nolte finally tried it on he said"Good lord Jerry ,this is really disgusting-it smells like old barbequed ribs!"
I have a few friends who have done that too their chaps, but not a bad idea at all. Not sure about the bricks but I may put a few short 2x4 boards on them, then tie them in knots with a rock inside and give them a whirl around the lake roads.
I was kinda weary of using food items, but BBQ sauce, little mustard, and maybe some soy sauce in strategic locations might do the trick.
I am making a prisoner outfit from the 1880's, complete with iron ball, chains, and shackles. We'll be using it in a show about a prisoner extradition/interstate rendition, and I want this guy to look like he spent 2 years in a prison colony, in Louisiana.
When I was a kid I saw some prisoners in the deep south working on road gangs.They were pretty grubby and nasty-roll that back 120 years and they were grubbier still!You'll have to post a photo of you here when you get that outfit done.
Very cool, the BBQ sauce worked great and since we were BBQing over the 4th there was plenty of hands to add to the staining of the material. When it dried it looked like people had been wiping something else on it (very gross looking if you know what I mean…)Then after that I drug the clothes for about a mile on freshly bladed dirt road (with red clay, brown dirt and white sand) on both sides, added water and drug it about twice that distance, hung and let dry. This weekend I will thread bare, with disc sander, a spot on a shoulder, an elbow, and a knee, and burn a few spots in it and fray it some in the burned spots, just to add a touch of the moth eaten look.
Add a 28 year old underwear shirt and some old military boots with holes in the soles, that are too worn out to wear regularly (I knew I kept them around for something), and I should look like somebody who spent the last few years busting rocks, "working on the chain gang".
It should win best costume if nothing else, but probably will not, since best usually means cleanest and neatest in these things.
I will get plenty of pictures, so you can see the final result. Thanks for the help guys!
I have no problem with that, but my situation is a bit unusual as you know. When they get to tired to wear to work I patch them up and wear them to living history events. Some of mine seem to get patches on the patches:
I hear ya! My clothes always have that well lived in look, and people always ask how I get that look?
By wearing them more than anything!
In this case though, I didn't have time to get them broke in properly.
So a brand new prison suit two days ago, looks like it's been to hell and back today. lol
So,do we call this new creation BBQued Threadbare Grizzly?The pun was just too silly to pass up!
The funny part was it smelled just like a bottle of BBQ sauce until I drug them around, and I guess the dust took out the smell.
Just call me grizzly prisoner # BR549. ;-)
Another thing for any budding new people, besides the clothes not having a "just walked out of the dry goods store" look, to do it right you have to wear them like they belong on you. This means you need to wear them a lot so you get used to how they feel and look.
As a young man I was told that if I ever went huntin' with a bunch of guys and one shows up with a new shotgun, that's pretty cool. If I went with another bunch and one guy had a new huntin' vest and new boots that's OK. Or, if I went with another bunch and one showed up in a new pickup that's super cool. BUT .... if I ever went with a bunch and one guy showed up in a new pick up with a new gun, a new vest, and new boots .............. stay behind him. To be believed you gotta look the part.
In doing my living history my clothing and horse gear has got to look "right". It has to be scuffed, worn, and even patched in just the right places, creased in the just right places, and just the right amount. The sweat that comes out of a spray can never looks right. I am fortunate in that I have the luxury of being able to wear and use my clothes and horse gear pretty much every day and in the manner for which it was originally designed. Not everyone can do that. Truth be known, I don't have much choice ....... I don't have any regular "street clothes" any more.
That being said, soaking it in tea or coffee does do a fairly respectable job of making cloth look old. It gets a dull tinge and looks sort of dirty but it doesn't wash out so you can still keep the clothes clean, just lookin' old.
A NOTE OF CAUTION:
You DO want to first experiment with some pieces of different cloth to find out how strong a solution to use on different types of material and how long to let it soak.
I know of no way known to make gunbelts, chaps, boots, gloves or any other leather "look" worn. It's pretty easy to make it look old and beat up but to really look worn you gotta wear it. This is because leather that is worn (and sweated in) becomes scuffed, stretched, and creased in just the right amount and in just the right places. Leather that is worn enough forms itself to the shape of your body. For those of you that live in an urban setting, the best way I know of to do this is to wear it while you're doing yard work and just put up with your "old west challenged" heighbors comments. You can speed up the process considerably if you do it in July and August when the temperature is between 110 and 115 degrees. Com'on ... how do you think they did it in the 1800s? You wanna look tough, get tough!