Home > Millinery Supplies - Hat Making > Wonderflex and Fosshape

Let your imagination run wild...start with a mask to experiment with these products.
Wonderflex and Fosshape are remarkable heat activated materials that can be molded into shapes that harden to a solid state. Fosshape can be sewn and then heated to harden and Wonderflex can be stuck to it's self to build up layers. Make masks, hats (use fosshape instead of buckram), crowns and body armor! Order a small piece of each to experiment with! Watch this video to get ideas what you can do with Fosshape. Fosshape Video
See more information at the bottom of the page.
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Fosshape by the meter Fosshape 300, 114cm x 50cm Fosshape 300, 114cm x 25cm
Fosshape 300 Full Meters
Price per Meter C$25.00

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Fosshape 300 Half Meters
Price per Piece C$19.10
Fosshape 300 Quarter Meter
Price per Piece C$10.90
Fosshape 300 sold by the meter Fosshape 300 sold by half meter piece, 114cm x 50cm
Fosshape 300 sold by the piece, 114cm X 25cm. Great sample size to experiment with
Fosshape in black Half meter of Fosshape in black Quarter meter of Fosshape in black
Fosshape 400 Black Full Meter
Price per meter C$41.50
Fosshape 400 Black Half Meter
Price per meter C$26.99
Fosshape 400 Black Quarter Meter
Price per 1/4 meter C$17.99
Black Fosshape 400 sold in full meters Black Fosshape 400  Half Meter.  114cm x 50cm Black Fosshape 400  Quarter Meter...to experiment with. 114cm x 25cm
Fosshape 600, 1 meter Fosshape 600, 1/2 meter Fosshape 600, 1/4 meter
Fosshape 600 Full Meters
Price per Meter C$49.05
Fosshape 600 Half Meters
Price per Piece C$27.25
Fosshape 600 Quarter Meter
Price per Piece C$16.35
Fosshape 600 sold by the meter Fosshape 600 sold by the half meter piece, 114cm X 50cm Fosshape 600 sold by the piece,  114cm X 25cm. Great sample size to experiment with
Eighth sheet of Wonderflex Full Sheet of Wonderflex Half sheet of Wonderflex
Wonderflex - 1/8 Sheet
Per Piece C$16.30
Wonderflex - Full Sheet
Per Sheet C$67.80
Wonderflex - Half Sheet
Per piece C$43.95
Wonderflex eighth of a sheet 54cmX35cm Great Sample size to experiment with Wonderflex Full Sheets (109cm X 140cm) Wonderflex half sheets
109cmX70cm
Quarter sheet of Wonderflex
Wonderflex quarter sheets 54cm X70cm
   
 

WONDERFLEX – Frequently Asked Questions

§ What is WONDERFLEX?

WONDERFLEX is an extruded thermoplastic composite sheet. It is comprised of a unique synthetic polymer that when heated in the range of 150-170 degrees Fahrenheit (70-80 degrees C), will soften and activate a built in adhesive for molding and forming. A layer of polyester open weave scrim is located on one side for strength, reinforcement and stability. The other side is smoother to receive most paints and artisan coatings as required.

§ What can WONDERFLEX be used for?

It is truly only “limited by your imagination”. Theatrical scenery and set designs, various props, costumes, animatronics, crowns, helmets and headgear, puppetry, armor, masks, prototypes, modeling, mascot heads, displays, headdresses etc. etc. even taxidermy, custom interior auto repair, furniture restoration and as a quick repair patching item.

§ Who uses WONDERFLEX and where has it been used?

Artists, sculptors, prop masters, set designers, costume makers, mask makers, special effects persons and the like, have all discovered the wonders of WONDERFLEX. From high school and college theatres to Broadway to Hollywood, the use of new applications continues to grow. Successfully used in major theme parks worldwide, museums, opera houses, Halloween and haunted house attractions, Las Vegas venues, special events and even auto repair/restoration

§ How big are the sheets?

There are a few size options; check the website.

§ How thick or heavy is WONDERFLEX?

Thickness is about .039 inches (1 mm) or a little less than 1/16 of an inch, WONDERFLEX is really tough and versatile, so you can drill it, screw it, bolt it or staple it.

§ Is WONDERFLEX available in any other weights or thicknesses?

Although additional WONDERFLEX weights and thicknesses maybe offered in the future, only one WONDERFLEX product is currently produced. If you require more thickness, WONDERFLEX can be built up using heat and pressure to bond several layers together, for more structural support, stiffness or rigidity.

§ Is WONDERFLEX available in colors?

WONDERFLEX is available in the universal preferred color of white. Other colors and an opaque or transparent version are expected to be offered in the future.

§ Does WONDERFLEX replace other materials?

Most projects are of course unique and case specific with design and build phases critical to the end result. WONDERFLEX is desirable for long lasting/durable items and oftentimes the material of choice over fiberglass, sculptured Styrofoam, paper mache etc. WONDERFLEX can be used in conjunction with these or other materials such as FOSSHAPE as well.

§ Is WONDERFLEX the same as “Celastic”?

Although the end result after working with WONDERFLEX is similar, it is much safer, faster and easier to use, since no nasty solvents are required for activation, just heat. WONDERFLEX is often referred to as the “celastic replacement”.

§ Do I need any special tools for cutting WONDERFLEX?

No, a good pair of sharp scissors or utility knife work fine.

§ How do I activate WONDERFLEX to make the shape and form I want?

A wide variety of heat sources maybe used depending on the size of the craft or figure you are building. Hot water, conventional ovens or even a microwave oven all work fine. Most users prefer working with an industrial hot air gun with a flowing motion. Ahome hairdryer does not generate enough heat to provide adequate activation temperature, especiall with large pieces.

§ How much time do I have to work with WONDERFLEX after I heat it up before it cools off and becomes rigid again?

You have about 2-3 minutes of work or open time before it cools off and reverts back to its original stiffness. If you find it is becoming difficult to mold and shape as it cools off, just reheat. WONDERFLEX can be heated again and again.

§ Can I work with my bare hands and fingers with the heated WONDERFLEX?

Although when heated, the WONDERFLEX activates the built in adhesive, the adhesive does not readily transfer on to your fingers. Some people work with their bare hands for the best dexterity, but you must be careful not to burn yourself and it is highky recommended that you wear tightly fit, insulated gloves, especially when working larger structures or over longer time periods.

§ Can WONDERFLEX be used with positive and negative molds?

Yes, as it is well suited for both, as well as free forming. Use conventional molds or create you own. If sticking to your mold surface is a problem, you may want to utilize a layer of aluminum foil, release paper or spray on a non-stick release agent treatment like “Pam”, non-stick cooking spray etc. Depending on the mold configuration or size, you may want to cut the WONDERFLEX into smaller pieces or strips making seams using heat and applied pressure.

§ Is WONDERFLEX waterproof?

Yes, cool water has no effect and it’s OK if it “rains on your parade”. You can even use WONDERFLEX to build structures (pools, vessels) to hold water using adequate seaming/overlapping methods.

Will the heated WONDERFLEX stretch?

Yes somewhat, primarily in the bias direction, due to the reinforcing polyester scrim support. Use the stretch factor of the heated WONDERFLEX to your advantage to enable you to work in finer detail.

§ Can I achieve fine detail and delicate contours using WONDERFLEX?

With a little time, patience and experience the use of WONDERFLEX is truly “limited by your imagination”. Use traditional sculpting tools, a wooden tongue depressor, flat head srew driver, old spoons or whatever, to work more intricate areas. An ice bag or gel cold pack may help in speeding up the setup time or keep a newly formed area in tact while working an adjacent area with your hot air gun. Use a soldering iron or a hot glue gun as your heat source tool without the glue stick for working small confined areas and for seams.

§ Is WONDERFLEX suitable for outdoor applications?

Although some discretion is advised and every creation is case specific with respect to permanent placement, WONDERFLEX has been successfully used in outdoor theme parks and the like. In most applications use of proper coatings and paints will adequately help insulate and protect the WONDERFLEX from the sun.

§ Can I apply heated WONDERFLEX directly on the human body for forming or mask making?

Absolutely not, the hot WONDERFLEX will burn.

§ Is WONDERFLEX fire retardant or have an FR rating?

No, it will eventually burn if exposed to an open flame long enough in its raw form or untreated state. Various flame-retardants available on the market can be used to cover or coat WONDERFLEX. Check your local fire regulations and confer with your local fire marshal regarding your specific application and requirement.

§ How do I decorate or finish the surface of WONDERFLEX?

WONDERFLEX readily accepts most artisan paints and coatings. Acrylics, latex etc. brush applied or spray-painted. Foam coats, sculpt coats, gessos or most any artisan coating can be applied depending on the desired effect. Cover with decorative fabrics by applying spray adhesive or use hot glue.

§ What about the storage of finished WONDERFLEX based items?

Since WONDERFLEX is a thermoplastic it will soften when exposed again to the 150-170 degree F temperature range, so use prudence in your selected storage location. Finished items should not be stored in outdoor metal storage trailers in direct sunlight or in the trunk of your car in summer months where activation temperatures maybe reached.

FOSSHAPE – Frequently Asked Questions

§ What is FOSSHAPE?

In its non-activated state, FOSSHAPE looks like a white pliable felt, but it’s a whole lot more. FOSSHAPE is a unique nonwoven fabric, comprised of a low melt synthetic polyester fiber that when exposed to varying degrees of heat (200 degree F range) and pressure, you can create a multitude of crafted items.

§ What can FOSSHAPE be used for?

For most anything…. from costuming use to making lightweight, three-dimensional structures and crafted items.. Great for props, millinery, crowns, mascots, puppetry, skull caps or wig supports, helmets, light weight armor, fairy wings, artistic sculptures, museum mount making etc. Use it for a hidden stiffening aid or by itself for a fully self-supported structure. It’s truly “limited by your imagination” for producing those “one of a kind” items.

§ Who uses FOSSHAPE and where has it been used?

Artists, hat makers, milliners, mask makers, stage crafters, prop masters, set designers, museum mount makers and the like all use FOSSHAPE. From Broadway theatres to theme parks, Las Vegas and even Cirque de Soleil have all found a multitude of uses for this most versatile, easy to use, heat-activated fabric.

§ What are some of the attributes of using FOSSHAPE?

FOSSHAPE is durable for indoor or outdoor use, extremely lightweight and even breathable. Saves valuable time and labor during the construction process, since no messy additives or drying/setup time required. If your finished figure, craft or project gets wet, no problem, as it’s all synthetic and not affected by humid conditions or water, so it’s OK if it “rains on your parade”. It’s even mold and mildew resistant.

§ Does FOSSHAPE replace the use of other materials?

Most projects are of course unique and case specific regarding proper construction material selection. The design/ build phases are often critical to the end result. FOSSHAPE saves time/labor, without the mess over conventional materials like buckram, paper mache and even sculpted foam.

§ Is FOSSHAPE the same as buckram?

No, it’s a vast improvement. Costume professionals often call it “the buckram replacement”. No long set up or drying time required, just heat activation. Unlike buckram, FOSSHAPE does not fall apart with body sweat or in humid/rainy conditions.

§ I heard that both FOSSHAPE 300 and FOSSHAPE 600 are available. What is the difference?

FOSSHAPE 300 is the medium grade, which weighs 9.0 oz/yd2 (300 grams per sq/meter) with a thickness of about .150” (about 4 mm) in the non-activated state. FOSSHAPE 600 is a heavier grade, which weighs 18.0 oz/yd2 (600 grams per sq/meter) with a thickness of about .250” (about 6.5 mm) in the non-activated state.

§ What tools do I need to heat activate FOSSHAPE?

Although dependent on what your specific craft or project maybe, most people use an industrial hot air gun, fabric/costume steamer and or conventional steam iron. Oftentimes the combined use of these tools is best. For small delicate areas a hair flat iron is oftentimes most useful. A home hair dryer does not generate enough heat to be effetive for proper activation.

§ Can I cut and sew FOSSHAPE?

Yes, no problem. Easily cuts with scissors and does not fray or ravel like woven fabrics.. Cut out patterns, sew together then heat activate. Sews well on conventional sewing machines and even in the slightly heat activated form.

§ How do I activate the FOSSHAPE?

With a flowing motion use an industrial hot air gun about 6-8 inches away from the fabric surface. Work slowly and methodically, as the FOSSHAPE will continue to become stiffer, denser and continue to shrink in with additional heat. Before starting your project, experimenting with a small piece is highly recomended to see what FOSSHAPE can and can’t do. Practice and learn to understand the material. If not careful, you can actually melt or burn through creating a void….especially with the use of a hot air gun. Work carefully and methoically as you cannot reverse the process. The use of steam heat from a fabric or costume steamer is a bit more forgiving and a gentler heating process, so most often the tool of choice. Use a steam iron to obtain a denser or smoother surface. Increasing steam heat along with repetitive pressure will increase rigidity and surface smoothness. As with any heat sources use common sense, caution and prudence as to not burn your self and keep away from flammable materials.

§ Does FOSSHAPE shrink when I heat activate it?

Yes. An increase of heat (time and temperature) will yield increased shrinkage. Depending on your heating technique, it will shrink in the range of 30% or more. The shrinkage factor is how FOSSHAPE becomes stiff or rigid, so use this to your advantage. Practice to learn and understand “the power of FOSSHAPE”.

§ What about pre-shrinking FOSSHAPE?

Considering the shrinkage factor and depending on your creation, you may want preshrink a little with a hot air gun or fabric steamer prior to cutting. You may want to pin, tack or staple a yard or more to a flat hard surface like a 4’x 8’ sheet of plywood to use as a work surface. FOSSHAPE is still sewable, providing it does not see too much haeat and pressure.

§ What about working over a hat or head block?

FOSSHAPE is great for making a “skull cap” or wig support base or even complete hats Cut your pattern large enough to allow for shrinkage and finish trimming. You may want to pin or tack the edges of the FOSSHAPE to better hold it in place. Stretch and pull by hand while providing heat /pressure with a fabric steamer and or steam iron. With enough pressure applied using the iron, you can even add layers for more rigidity. Make yourself a pattern, cut, sew and work over a conventional wooden hat block. Remember to allow for shrinkage …..you can trim with scissors upon competion. Wire or edging may or may not be required for added stability.

§ Can I use or form FOSSHAPE over a wire support or armature?

Yes, a great application for large mascot heads and the like. Cut and sew panels, then place over your form, anchoring appropriately. Then apply heat and let it shrink over the form for a lightweight, breathable structure. Finish paint or coat and decorate as desired.

§ What about making a free standing or self-supporting structure with FOSSHAPE?

Yes, especially when something lightweight is most desirable. As an example, if you were making a replica of a 4 foot oversize human hand. Cut out two patterns (make them larger to allow for the shrinkage) of the hand. Sew them together around the outside edges of the hand and fingers, leaving the bottom open, in a sock like configuration. Turn the sewn configuration completely inside out so the stitching is in the inside. Stuff the sock-like hand figure full, with loose polyester fiberfill or pillow stuffing. Finally, heat activate the outside surface with a fabric steamer or hot air gun allowing the FOSSHAPE to shrink up against the stuffing, until it becomes stiff and rigid. You can remove the fiber stuffing and have a durable, lightweight, hollow structure now suitable for painting or decorating.

§ Can I place FOSSHAPE directly on the human body then heat for forming or mask making?

Absolutely not, the hot FOSSHAPE and heat source will burn you.

§ Is FOSSHAPE fire retardant or have an FR rating?

No, it will eventually burn if exposed to an open flame long enough in its raw form or untreated state. Various flame-retardants available on the market can be used to cover or coat FOSSHAPE. Check your local fire regulations and confer with your local fire marshal regarding your specific application and requirement.

§ How do I decorate or finish the surface of FOSSHAPE?

FOSSHAPE readily accepts most artisan paints and coatings. Acrylics, latex etc. brush applied or spray-painted. Foam coats, sculpt coats, gessos or most any artisan coating can be applied depending on the desired effect. FOSSHAPE can also be dyed using cold or warm water dyes. It’s most effective with light or pastel colors