I was asked to do an article on my opinion of fabric cosplays versus armor cosplays, so here it is!
Personally, I think both are amazing as you can do so much detailing in different ways. Fabrics can be used is so many different ways to get the details right, such as applique techniques, embroidery, dyeing, etc. You can get extremely creative to get what you want, and mix and match to get the textures you prefer as well. On my Kuja, I used crushed panne, brocade, tie-dyed quilter’s cotton, and much more to get the rich look I wanted. It’s all time-consuming, but worth it to get the details you want.
With armor, there are so many different things that can be used, such as foam, wonderflex, and vacuum forming, to name a few. You can get extremely creative with the materials to make what you want. Depending on what’s used, the detailing can get extremely intricate. On my Queen Beryl costume, for example, I used foam and floral wire with puff paint to get the detailing to look exactly how I wanted.
Needless to say, for me, there is no comparison. Both are awesome, both allow for plenty of creativity, and both are extremely time-consuming when you get more involved in the details. I don’t think any differently of either or, but look at the work put into the piece, and respect it.