Fabric Skin vs Silicone Skin: Things You Need to Know

The eye of a reptile

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What is Fabric Skin?

Fabric is cloth or other material produced by weaving cotton, nylon, wool, silk, or other threads together. Fabrics are used for making things such as clothes, curtains, and sheets.

Fabric skin is defined as skin that uses fabric and cloth as raw material and applies it to a simulation model.

Fabric skin tends to be more comfortable than silicone skin because overall it is softer and breathable. Wear and tear on fabric skin can vary depending on the grade and the contents of the fabric. Fabric skin will not scratch as silicone skin may. Fabrics are unlimited in their colors and pattern selections.

What is silicone skin?

A grey silicone skin baby dinosaur

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Silicone is a type of synthetic polymer. It has a silicon-oxygen backbone, with “sidechains” consisting of hydrogen and/or hydrocarbon groups attached to the silicon atoms. The silicon-oxygen backbone makes silicone more stable than the polymers that have carbon-carbon backbones.

Silicone skin is defined as skin that makes use of silicone or rubber as the material to make the skin for simulation models.

Silicone has the property of being the most suitable for human skin, so many “simulation” human products have been born, such as artificial babies, artificial arms, artificial heads, dinosaur skins, etc.

What Are They Each Made of?


The silks of the clothes

Source by: Google Images

The fabric is a material made from continuous textile fibers, filaments, or yarns by various techniques such as weaving, knitting, and nonwoven. It is a cloth made by knitting or weaving together fibers.

What is fiber? Fiber is like a strand of hair. It’s very long and thin. Fibers can come from nature. Some common natural fibers are cotton, silk, and wool.

Fabric skin applied to dinosaur skin made of chemical fiber. Because the waterproofness of pure cotton textile fibers is too poor, and its weight is much higher than that of chemical fibers, pure cotton textile fibers are generally not used in the selection of materials for making model skins.

Fabric skin

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The designated fabric supplier of Only Dinosaur, a professional dinosaur manufacturer, is from Jiangsu and Zhejiang, which is known as the starting point of the Silk Road.

At the same time, this area is the most developed area for fabric in China and even Asia, so the quality of the fabrics provided by this area is the best and the most unique first choice.


Silicone skin

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The silicone materials used in dinosaur skin are all environmentally safe chemical substances that have passed strict ISO audits, mainly including glass silicone and diluent solvents.

The formation of the silicone skin is not templated but is snugly attached to a layer of gauze, which allows it to be set and thus waits to dry to form the final skin.

The pattern of the silicone skin is drawn in advance, and the silicone coating on the back will directly reveal the painted skin pattern.

A man is carrying a green baby stegosaurus

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

At the same time, the color of the silicone skin can be changed by adding non-toxic and harmless pigments to the diluent, or it can be made into a pure primary color, and the color can be sprayed after the final set.

In contrast, the acquisition of silicone skin is easier, because the composition of the modified skin is directly produced by the silicone coating, so it is only necessary to obtain the correct ratio of raw materials to obtain the silicone skin.

Although there is no designated supplier for the source of silicone skin, the procurement requirements of Only Dinosaurs are still the highest standard and must pass the terms of ISO certification to protect the personal safety of customers to the greatest extent.

Pros & Cons


The skin of the dinosaur costume

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

  • Texture
  • Reflection
  • Wrinkle

In appearance, the skin made of silicone will be more realistic, and the touch is more in line with real animal skin. Because material of silicone is more like an integral part of the muscle, which makes its folds, blood vessels, and other mechanisms appear lifelike.

The skin made of fabric is slightly inferior, far from human skin, because the material of the fabric determines that it cannot simulate real skin.

Fabric skin VS silicone skin

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

From the outside, compared to the silicone-skinned dinosaurs, the fabric-skinned dinosaurs are slimmer. This is because the material of the silicone itself is expansive, which is more obvious in the summer when the temperature rises. The silicone itself has a chemical property of thermal expansion and contraction. properties, while fabric skins do not.

Fabric skin VS silicone skin 2

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The second is that there will be a layer of transparent medium on the surface of the silicone skin, which will reflect the bright light and form a reflective phenomenon. While dinosaurs with fabric skins will not have this phenomenon.

The third is their wrinkling phenomenon. The wrinkling problem of the fabric is very serious, and the silicone is restorative, and it can return to its original shape even under high-intensity bending pressure, but the fabric cannot.


  • Costume
  • Puppet

Generally speaking, the silicone material is heavier than the fabric material, because the silicone material occupies a larger proportion in terms of the density of the material and the amount needed to achieve the effect.

Let’s compare two regular-sized dinosaur costumes from Only Dinosaurs, size: 4.0*0.7*2.2 M, tester’s weight: 55.9 Kg.

The weight of the two dinosaur costumes

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Subtract the tester’s weight from the total weight to get the direct dinosaur costume weight. According to the data, the weight of the fabric-skinned dinosaur is 15.7 Kg And the silicone-skinned dinosaur weighs 30.4 Kg.

Obviously, the same size, the weight of the fabric dinosaur suit is nearly twice that of the silicone suit, which will inevitably form a huge contrast in the wearing experience. So performers can easily wear the fabric dinosaur holster for long performances, even teenagers can wear it.

Comparing the weight data of the same two dinosaur puppets, we can draw the same conclusion, size: 1 M long.

The weight of the dinosaur puppets

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The weight of the fabric puppet is 0.8 Kg, yet the weight of the silicone puppet is 2.3 Kg, which makes big difference when a performer was holding them.

Touching Sense

The silicone skin feels good to the touch, and the texture of the material is very similar to that of the skin, so it can be confused with the real one. But it is not satisfactory as clothes or skin, because the material of silicone is similar to human skin, and the friction between skin and skin will cause sweat, so the feeling of wearing it on the body is naturally not as breathable as fabric comfortable.

Silicone skins can be given the touch of real skin texture details, while fabric skins can only have the texture of the fabric, which is due to the difference in the production process of each and the raw materials applied.

Silicone skin VS fabric skin

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

As can be seen from the picture above, the surface of the silicone skin has obvious unevenness, which is a good simulation of the skin of a real dinosaur. This is because the silicone is embedded in the foam and fits tightly with the foam.

But since the skin of the cloth is essentially “worn” on the dinosaur, it can be taken off, which leads to the texture of the fabric skin being determined by its cloth pattern, not the texture of the dinosaur foam.

However, the fabric skin is more stretchable and has a large range of motion when worn on the body. And it will not cause uncomfortable feelings due to friction with the body.

The neck of the brown giant dinosaur

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The fabric skin is more elastic. Compared with the tighter silicone material, the foam material inside the fabric skin will be well stretched, which is extremely beneficial to the performer, so the performance can be more vivid and vivid. Duration has also been increased.

Operating Sense

The operating feel is mainly composed of the following parts:

  • Operating handle
  • Exterior
  • Overall wearing experience
Mouth distance of the silicone and fabric skin

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

As shown above, when I am operating the handle of the dinosaur costume, I only need to use my two fingers to press the button on the mouth of the dinosaur to make the dinosaur open its mouth.

But with the silicone costume, I had to use all my five fingers to grip the switch so I could barely open the dinosaur’s mouth. Note that my hand strength is not weak, but even this can only barely open the mouth of the silicone-skinned dinosaur.

The eyes of the silicone skin and fabric skin dinosaur costume

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

When we hold the blink switch, the eyes of the silicone-skinned dinosaur cannot be fully closed, because its silicone eyelids shrink due to the decrease in temperature and cannot be fully extended.

In contrast, the eyes of the fabric-skinned dinosaur can be completely closed, because the change of temperature will not affect the fabric, and there will be no situation where the silicone will fall off and block the eyes or mouth. So is hand puppets.

Fabric skin trex and the silicone skin velociraptor

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The overall feeling of wearing them is like, for instance, the fabric-skinned dinosaur costume is like a T-shirt, it is very loose, light, and comfortable to wear.

But the dinosaur costume with silicone skin is like a winter coat, which is very heavy and inconvenient to wear. There is obviously a huge difference between the two.

In fact, for performances that require a lot of movement, I recommend the fabric-skinned dinosaur costume rather than silicone-skinned ones, because only in this way can the vividness of the dinosaur be reflected.


Let’s take a look at what partial fabric skins and silicone skins look like:

The materials of the costumes or puppets

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Once the silicone skin is installed, it cannot be removed. The fabric skin is like the clothes of a dinosaur and can be removed and replaced at will.

The foot of the dinosaur costume

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The wear resistance of the silicone skin is stronger than that of the fabric skin, so the soles and claws of the dinosaur leather cover will be coated with a silicone protective layer to prevent unnecessary wear and tear, and the silicone coating can also prevent falls.


Fabric skin VS silicone skin 3

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The silicone skin is relatively fire-resistant. The glass glue and solvent we use are flame-retardant materials and have a good heat insulation effect. Even if there is a fire around, there is no need to worry about heat injury.

In contrast, fabric skin is less fire-resistant. Moreover, its heat insulation ability is also poor. If it burns, the smoke will penetrate the fabric skin and cause suffocation. Therefore, it is not recommended to wear fabric-skinned dinosaurs to places with flames.

For waterproofing, the silicone skin is more waterproof. But both dinosaur skins were able to last a short while in light rain. The skin of the two materials is not recommended to be exposed to extreme weather for a long time, which will accelerate the aging of the skin and the depreciation rate of the dinosaur.


The dinosaur costume with fabric skin is easier to store because it can be freely disassembled through the zipper, but the dinosaur costume with silicone skin is not detachable, and storage must occupy a large storage space.

When we store silicone dinosaurs or fabric dinosaurs for a long time, we will encounter the influence of the weather, which may make the home humid or stuffy, and mildew is prone to occur in this environment.

The skin of a dinosaur costume

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Once the silicone raw material is mildewed, it will affect the performance of the raw material, and even when the silicone skin is produced, it is easy to deform or inelastic; in order to prevent this from happening, we need to keep the air in our home dry from time to time.

When parking the dinosaur, it must be placed on the bracket, so that the multi-stacked dinosaurs can be ventilated.

In addition to mildew, the fabric skin is more stable. After all, the silicone skin is a more direct chemical product, and it is more susceptible to external influences, so you must pay attention when storing it.

How to Tell Fabric Skin & Silicone Skin?

Fabric skin VS silicone skin 4

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

We can distinguish the fabric skin and silicone skin by:

  • The Raw Material
  • Appearance
  • Touching Sense
  • Weight
  • Operating Sense
  • Smell

The Raw Material:

Fabric skin is, in fact, made out of fabric, including man-made fabric and natural fabric. While silicone skin is made out of chemical elements including fiberglass glue and dilution solvent.

Appearance: The very first seeing these two skins, the silicone skin will be much more realistic while the fabric one is at a disadvantage. Besides, if you take a closer look at them, you will find silicone skins have a shiny surface, while fabric skins don’t.

Touching Sense: When you touch the silicone skin, you can feel the unevenness, just like the real skin texture. Touching the skin of the fabric, you will only feel the texture of the fabric itself.

A brown silicone skin baby triceratops

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Weight: However it is a dinosaur puppet or costume, the weight of the former is apparently heavier than the latter ones.

Operating Sense: Due to the heavy weight and raw materials applied, the silicone-skinned dinosaur is more difficult to operate than a fabric one. If you stay longer inside of the dinosaur costume, you will find that the fabric skin is more breathable than the silicone-skinned costume.

Smell: This is mainly because of the materials applied to the dinosaurs, the silicone skin will give off some pungent paint smells, some smells that are significantly different from normal air. For fabric skins, there are no such phenomena.

In Summary

The head of a brown triceratops dinosaurs costume

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Whether it’s a dinosaur costume, a hand dinosaur puppet, or an animatronic dinosaur, they all have fabric skins and silicone skins.

There is an old Chinese saying that you cannot have both the fish and the bear’s paw. Whether it is fabric skin or silicone skin, each has its advantages and disadvantages.

What we need to do is to customize suitable products according to our actual situation in order to maximize the benefits of the products, which is very important for the product end or the client. We will not be stingy with our suggestions, and we will not randomly make any promises to our customers.

Our duty is to solve the needs of customers. When customers ask questions, we will rise to the challenge. Our aim is customer first and service foremost!

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