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Home > Tutorials > Fosshape Tutorial > Basic Information

Fosshape
Instructions for use
Getting to know the product
 
Fosshape
 
The unique non-woven, heat-activated fabric. This soft, pliable fabric can be formed and shaped into fantastic permanent objects when exposed to steam, heat or dry heat.

It remains full permeable and breathable following heat activation, making it a safe and easy-to-use: ''Buckram'' replacement, without the mess.
Fosshape activates in the range of 212 - 265 F (100 - 130 C) with no long setting up time. Easily painted or decorated with a variety of artisan coatings and paints, Fosshape has superior strength and flexibility, yet is wonderfully lightweight and mildew resistant, You can produce headpieces, sub-structures, ornamental effects, masks, props and scenic materials.

Fosshape can be worked with a steam iron or costume steamer with or without molds. The level of stiffness is achieved by adjusting heat, time and pressure.
The material can be sewn and cuts with a knife or scissors. It bonds to itself and can be hot glued or stapled to paper, wood, cloth and Wonderflex.
 
Instructions for use
 
Cutting

Fosshape cuts easily with scissors and will not fray. Depending on the amount of heat and pressure applied, it can shrink over 30%, so you may wat to preshrink it before cutting.
 
 
Sewing

Fosshape can be sewn to itself or other fabrics. Great on its own as an outer shell surface for three-dimensional figures, it's also an ideal hidden stiffener or support for costuming.
 
 
Stuffing and forming

For lightweight props or character heads, drape and fasten Fosshape over a wire frame or armature, or stuff a pre-stitched form made of Fosshape with batting material.

Layering

Fosshape will stick to itself, but not to you and may be layered to achieve the required rigidity and density. A steam iron with hand pressure will create an adequate bond between layers and provides more surface smoothness.
 
Heating

With a gentle waving motion, apply heat with a steamer over the fabrics surface, allowing it to shrink around the form or stuffing. Keep your heat source 6-12 inches away from the Fosshape surface to start, then slowly bringing it closer maintaining the waving motion to better control the shrinkage factor. After steaming and shaping, remove the structural form or batting, depending on your requirements.
 
 
Decorating

Fosshape can be decorated with a wide variety of artisan paints and coatings - no primer needed- and can even be dyed. Decoration may be stitched or glued on. 100% synthetic, it will hold up well in humidity or rainy conditions.
 
 
Getting to know the product
 
- It is very important to understand what the product is capable of doing. And not to ask it to do things that it simply can't.

- You must experiment with the product in order to develop a relationship.

- It is not magic. However, If asked to perform within its capabilities it will do so beautifully.

- Because Fosshape looks like felt, we tend to think it functions like felt. It doesn't: Where felt will stretch, Fosshape will shrink.

- It will stretch, some, but with each stretch, you lessen the depth of the finished product and therefore weaken it.

- It can shrink substantially, depending upon temperature and application of the heat source.

- Fosshape will respond to dry or wet heat. I find the most successful way to control the product is using steam.
 
 
Next: How to build a Skullcap