Here's how to make a perfect replica of the 1966 Batman cowl
We need these in the world. The original one turned purple.
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For cosplayers, crafting an exact replica of the iconic 1966 Batsuit is a harder puzzle to solve than one from the Riddler. But one dedicated Batman fan, Chuck Williams, cracked just how to recreate this classic piece of crime-fighting swag. Due to the vast amount of work it took, don't expand mass production anytime soon.
The original cowl worn by Adam West (well, cowls if you remember Batman's pink headgear sported in "The Contaminated Cowl") had a bunch of interesting features. For starters, the special silk-like materials used in the fabrication are a thing of the past. Underneath the fabric lies a fiberglass support. Once that mold has been made, the finishing process is a time-consuming, meticulous process that takes weeks to complete.
That fabric used in the original also had one major flaw. Exposure to the ravages of time and bright studio lighting turned the hand-dyed material from a dark blue to a strange shade of purple. You can see the effects of aging in the slideshow below. The gradual color change of the costume became clear as the Batman series moved into its third season in late 1967.
The costume is just about impossible to reproduce unless you're a superfan like Chuck Williams and his wife Lynne.
Batman would not give up even if the odds were against him, and the same goes for Williams. He walked us through the process of making his cowl. Take a look at this detailed copy, which is worthy of sliding down the Batpole. If you don't want to go through the process of making one yourself, visit WilliamsStudio2 on Etsy.
1. Chuck and Lynne first examined the original cowl to ensure authenticity. They took measurements and matches paint colors. You can see how the cowl has taken on an ironically Joker-like purple shade from studio lighting and chemical breakdown.
2. Next up was creating a shell sculpture and testing with fabric.
3. Then a corrected shell was made.
4. It was always good to keep a reference photo of Adam West in costume.
5. The shell was then painted and marked for trimming. This looks like an ancient Greek helmet in a museum.
6. A pattern was then made. The first pattern was made from off-the-shelf pink fabric, while the final would be done in a custom-dyed fabric. This is not the pink cowl from "The Contaminated Cowl," but their studio did make one of those, too!
7. They then had to find a new dye house to dye the fabric and keep it from fading like original. One catch: There was a large minimum order, so they ended up with two rolls of it!
8. The ears were hand sewn.
9. Chuck paints the "eyebrows" on the front of the cowl.
10. Fits like a glove!