HOW TO MAKE LATEX CLOTHES
(latexworkshops.com, hardcover £35 p&p)
Reviewed by Heidi Patterson of Essential Latex
Goldust, aka Latex Jim, is a London-based latex crafter and teacher whose newly published book How To Make Latex Clothes is a natural development from the online and in-person workshops he has been running for some years.
Like many a fetishist, he discovered latex in his teens, and grew to love expressing his creativity through the material. Self-taught, his methods were sound enough to land him a job as general manager of Libidex, Liberation and Radical Rubber for a couple of years.
Jim has been offering latex workshops since 2007, making them the first ever run in the UK, according to his website.
He’s very generous with sharing his knowledge on social media groups such as FetLife’s Latex Crafters group, and especially on YouTube, where he’s posted nearly 20 free videos detailing latex making techniques.
How To Make Latex Clothes is a boon for those of us who like having an easy to reference volume to help guide us. It pretty much fills the gap left in the market since Sian-Kate Mooney’s 2004 book Making Latex Clothes went out of print.
At £35, Jim’s book is also considerably cheaper than the going rate for Mooney’s tome, which can be found on Amazon with asking prices up to £2,794!
How To Make Latex Clothes introduces the newcomer to prepping, gluing and cleaning latex clothing, and teaches techniques which are the cornerstone of any well-made latex item.
Jim’s photographs and explanations on joining seams in particular are very easy to follow. I have to admit, using his technique has improved my own seams!
Jim is a supportive teacher, and the tone throughout this guide is very positive and encouraging. He reckons anyone can graduate to making block patterns, as it’s a simply a matter of following a recipe. So you can see he does a lot to demystify the process!
Checking out his video tutorials, I found, for example, that Jim’s zip insertion video was much more detailed than the instructions in his book.
I would have liked more illustrations of inserting and gluing a zip using a store-bought item, rather than one made using sliders and a soldering iron. In spite of the benefits of making your own zips, people starting out may not want to invest in such supplies before knowing how much latex crafting they’ll be doing!
One thing I liked in Sian-Kate Mooney’s book was that she included garment instructions to get someone started. Quite often I’d stumble across an outfit on a night out and recognise it as one of her lessons!
But it also gave her book some direction, and allowed a new student to utilise the skills taught.
Obviously a student at Jim’s workshops will be guided and inspired to make a bespoke garment — very successfully, judging from the website student galleries. But a learner starting out alone in a remote area of the world with just this book won’t have such a luxury.
How To Make Latex Clothes is a good guide for the right materials and supplies, which will benefit readers not located in the UK. But I would have preferred it a bit meatier, and for Jim to have added a chapter or two of his excellent tutorials.
The tutorial for making leggings would be a superb addition to the book. The printed section on pattern-making is extremely good, but the omission from the book of important instructions and illustration for taking measurements, all found on his website, is a surprise.
I also think adding a chapter on how to buy latex clothes, as covered by a page on his website, would be a great boon for readers. It could save people a lot of heartache by teaching them how to be better-informed consumers.
I reckon an expanded edition of How To Make Latex Clothes could be priced much higher than the current £35, and customers would likely not balk at the higher cost. Or perhaps the additional material I’ve suggested could form the basis of a second volume.
On the whole I am really happy about this book, even if I was left wishing that a bit more of Jim’s expertise had been transferred to print from his tutorial videos.
Whether for use in conjunction with his excellent website, or better yet, to take home with you after a session at one of Jim’s actual workshops in London (which I’m hoping to report on soon in person), How To Make Latex Clothes is well worth buying.
Below: examples of the clear presentational style found in Goldust’s book How To Make Latex Clothes
Published April 7, 2016
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