Farthingales Tips for Working with Fosshape

Farthingales Tips for Working with Fosshape

Working with Fosshape

by Farthingales

Fosshape is a non-woven, heat-activated fabric. It feels like thick felt and is soft and flexible but with the use of heat and/or steam it can be formed and shaped into solid shapes.

It’s a great alternative to ''Buckram'' because it becomes it maintains its shape but remains breathable.
Fosshape activates in the range of 212° - 265° F (100° - 130° C). It can be painted ( I prefer spray paint as it can absorb a lot of paint and get heavy if the paint is brushed on). Fosshape is surprisingly strong when set but is lightweight, which makes it a great option for masks and hats.

You can use a steam iron, vertical steamer or heat gun (I’ve had my best results with a vertical steamer from my local thrift shop). The Fosshape gets stiffer with more heat, time and pressure, so working with molds is advantageous but not and absolute need.

Being an experienced seamstress, I love the fact that Fosshape can be sewn and cuts easily with a scissors and, like felt it does not fray. Best of all it bonds to itself …and not your iron!

Instructions for Use:

  • Cutting: Use scissors or a matte knife. 
  • Shrinkage: Fosshape can shrink up to 30%...so cut your pieces larger than you need 
  • Sewing: You can sew Fosshape by machine or by hand. I prefer to use a machine zigzag stitch and butt the edges together, rather than sew a standard seam which would create more bulk – but it means being very careful when steaming or the seam can separate. 
  • Forming: You do need to support the shape – steam the Fosshape over something and use gloves to protect your fingers from the heat of the steam 
  • Layering: Fosshape will stick to itself when heat is applied, but will not stick to you or your iron. This characteristic allows it to be layered achieve the required rigidity. A steam iron pressing the Fosshape against a hard surface will create a very smooth hard surface that will look nothing like the felt it resembles prior to heat and pressure. 
  • Heating: Keep your heat source 6-12 inches away from the Fosshape surface to start, then slowly bringing it closer. Move the heat source around so it’s not foc back and forth to keep the shrinkage uniform. Let the item cool – while it’s warm if can still be shaped. 
  • Decorating: Fosshape can be painted - no primer needed- and it can be dyed dyed. Decoration may be stitched or glued on. 100% synthetic, it will hold up well in humidity or rainy conditions.

For more information see our  PDF downloadable book:


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