I’ve covered People’s Park and South Bridge Road in my last two features on cosplay materials, so today, we’re going to travel a little farther afield, as we hunt for bits and pieces suited to crafting hard parts and armor.
Today, we’re hitting Arab Street.
1. Getting there
Arab Street sits right smack in the middle of Kampong Glam, an area saturated with Muslim culture and heritage.
It’s closest to the Bugis MRT station (though it’s still a bit of a walk). You can also take bus services 2, 7, 12, 32, 33, 51, 63, 80, 107, 133, 145, 175 or 197, alighting at one of the bus stops nearby.
2. Here be Pleather
Tons of shops dealing in crafting accessories, costume jewelry parts and cloth dot Arab Street’s landscape.
Just like Chinatown, many of these shops tend towards the affordable, and if you’re any good at haggling, you’ll likely walk away with a decent discount.
And since we’re looking for hard materials, let’s take a look at Gim Joo first.
a. Gim Joo Textile Company Pte Ltd (90 Arab Street, S199786)
Any cosplayer making a pilgrimage to Arab Street – Singapore’s material Mecca, is likely there to visit Gim Joo Textile.
Gim Joo sells pleather in several colors and varying quality, at wholesale prices.
There’s pleather simulating matt, rough leather – the sort you’d use for an armored jerkin or cuir bouilli, as well as those of a sleeker, glossier variety for skin tight bodysuits and sheer dance wear.
Prices range between $10 to $15 a yard, with the better textures costing just a tad more.
If you’re looking for other fabrics, such as silks and satins, Gim Joo has a veritable selection of those as well.
b. C. Rashiwala Bros. (100 Arab Street, S199796)
Just several frontages away is C. Rashiwala, a shop carrying Swarovski crystals, jewelry settings, braids, tassels and sequins – ideal additions to any fantasy armor piece.
They also stock ready to sew on embroidery and filigree – perfect for those mage robes and arcane shoulder pads.
c. Sin Hin Chuan Kee Pte Ltd (796/798 North Bridge Road, S198766)
Not quite on Arab Street, but close enough is Sin Hin Chuan Kee, a massive store specializing in garment and sewing accessories, such as buttons, lace, ribbons and trim.
Their collection of buttons, perfect for cosplay and period/fantasy costumes, is impressive.
Additionally, they have masquerade masks, feathered wings, head bands with a variety of veils and other adornments and a small selection of costume jewelry and jewelry settings for sale.
The wings, especially, are a steal, and considerably cheaper than most other costume or masquerade shops.
d. Mash Shop (Stall #125, Golden Mile Food Center, Beach Road S199583)
And now, I will unveil another not so secret trade secret – where to pick up foam for crafting hard pieces – especially cosplay plate armor.
Just north of Arab Street is Golden Mile Food Center, more commonly known as the Beach Road Army Market.
There’s a shop on the third floor called Mash Shop, and that’s where you can get your hands on EVA Foam – in the guise of blue camping mats.
These mats are stiff enough, and thick enough, that they won’t fall to pieces from rough treatment, and they’re fairly capable of holding their shape. This makes them perfect for creating complex pieces such as basinets with dragons rampant, stiff shoulder pads with spikes, and ornamented cuirasses.
It’s not too expensive either, going from $12 to $14 for a large roll. And take it from me – that roll is gonna last you.
And that’s all for this months look at cosplay materials round Singapore, folks. If you want me to look out for something special, or to sniff out bargains on supplies you might actually need for your next cosplay outfit, drop me a note.
Who knows, I might just go hunt it down.
Until then, cheerio!