How to make a ‘Dune’ Stillsuit

Everyone is talking about the sandworms and the spice, but the coolest thing Frank Herbert invented Dune—Even though he seemed to think it – it was still the same. Dressed by the inhabitants of the desert planet Arrakis, it still captures any moisture left in the body and recycles it back into drinking water. They were also very sick, all tubes and tubes and chest plates (wet dream of a cosplayer). Alang’s Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Tailoring, clothing designer Jacqueline West wanted the look of the images to reflect their ecological need. “It’s a prophetic book about a planet being robbed, like before, of its resources,” he said. “We wanted the suit to be made exactly as it would have been described by Frank Herbert.” Could such a thing work in the real world? Probably not – but it’s still cool to decide.

Masked Up

In the desert, grains of sand can penetrate the surface at the speed of skin damage. Herbert imagines a mask that covers everything except the eyes – they are protected by hoods – and filters out sand and other airborne particles. Even if the West version didn’t do the later functionality, it protected the actors from flying grit on the set.

In the Nose

on Dune, those wearing a stillsuit are instructed to breathe through their mouths and out of their noses, and any moisture from breathing will be captured by tubes attached to their noses. West’s version is not a handy breathing apparatus, he said, but “it should be put in the nose of the artists.” Just try not to smile.

Material Science

One of the challenges in the West is to design suits that look like they keep moisture but also don’t deter artists. To do this, costumers create a “fabric of the future” from layers of heat -melted heat combined with gift cotton and acrylic mesh. It never makes the main activities to survive in a stillsuit, though – the trapping of sweat and the release of salt (an idea to start with, because the point of sweat is to cool the body by -evapor).


Stillsuits store water wherever there is space and then use movement to move it around the body – even in real -life Western versions. To keep the artists cool while filming the hot desert of the Middle East, his suit has a pocket of water near the head and wherever it looks natural-thighs, chest, bicep, curls. “We put them wherever they stay in beautiful shape,” West said. “They have to look good.”

Perfect Fit

The stillsuits hug the body like a second skin. That’s why the West, in close collaboration with Villeneuve and many costumers, made mannequins for each artist and used them to create a suit of their exact size. “It’s set up to be amazing,” said Javier Bardem, who plays Fremen leader Stilgar.

Potty door

You can’t just whiz and poop on your stillsuit, it’s encouraged, because that’s your main source of recycled water. Ay, DuneThe stars don’t use their clothes as diapers (as far as we know). Not even NASA’s most advanced tech – the ISS’s Urine Processor Assembly – can do what Herbert described.

Body of Work

The human body is the engine of a stillsuit. Walking, running, breathing-Herbert envisions everything that can be energetically used to drive the reactions needed to recycle water. Unfortunately, this is pure fiction: Our bodies don’t get enough energy from the food and oxygen we eat to turn waste into drinking H2O.

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