Jan 032012
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Working with Drum Wrap – imitating mother-of-pearl surfaces

Occasionally, when reproducing a costume, you have to use materials for parts of the costume that are, basically, more expensive than the entire rest of the costume.

Like, for example, when I was planning my Jamillia costume, the one thing that kept me from even starting on it for a considerable time (from 2005 to 2012, to be precise!) was the considerable cost of abalone shells, which are required for the headdress and which are really, really expensive:

Any substitute I could think of didn’t work. Painting didn’t achieve the correct appearance. And anything else, well, I couldn’t THINK of anything else.

Until, at the very end of 2011, I happened upon a material called drum wrap. That’s what you see on fancy drums – you know – the glittering, shiny stuff drummers use to make their drum sets look extra fancy. Here’s a Google link to some images, in case you’re not familiar with it – you should REALLY have a look at that link since it shows a large variety of drum wrap designs.

Still reluctant if that stuff was even remotely suitable for my project, I ordered a strip of it that would be enough for the headdress and some tests.
I was positively surprised when it arrived!

Drum Wrap by Delmar in „White Ripple“ – I ordered mine from STdrums, they offer pre-cut sizes so I was able to order just what I needed 🙂

That strip of drum wrap cost me just over $20, by the way.

I was a bit worried about how bendable it would be, if I would be able to cut it, and so on. No need to worry!

It’s about as thick as the the plastic that’s used for plastic yoghurt cups.

One of the people I talked to about the material when discovering it suspected that ‚it probably couldn’t be bent more than a foot or it would break‘. Well, Dirk, I don’t know how thick your fingers are, but…..

Drum wrap bending – well, I can bend it around my finger.
That, by the way, is as much as it can be bent before getting a permanent crease.
And while my hands are large and my fingers are thick, they’re definitely not „a foot“ thick, Dirk 😉

But here’s the coolest thing…

...if using a strong needle and a slow speed, you can even SEW THROUGH the drum wrap.
(I only did four stitches to see if it would work, but yes, it DOES work!)

In other words, I’m totally sold on drum wrap, and am very much looking forward to make my Jamillia headdress using it.
I plan to do more tests – like, for example, how bendable / manipulable it becomes when heated up – and will publish the results here when I’m finished with them.

But for the moment, I can definitely say that drum wrap will be my future choice of material when looking for unusual material surfaces 🙂

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  2 Responses to “Working with Drum Wrap”

Comments (2)
  1. I want to wrap a set of drums. Can you send me some samples and pricing. I am looking for the closest old ludwig gold glitter I can find. thanks, Terry

    • I am not selling or stocking drum wrap – this should be clear from my website – and am therefore unable to send out any samples or pricing.
      I have however given a link to the dealer where I bought my drum wrap; so this is probably where you should ask 😉

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