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Fosshape: The Moldable Fabric

Fosshape is a material that, I feel, not enough people are talking about. What is it? Where can you get it? How the heck can you use it? Fosshape is a light weight felt-like material that, when heated, can maintain gravity defying, complex shapes. It is very popular in hat and mask making, and is used as a fabric stiffener as well. It has also been used as a base to make armor and forms for large complex wig styles.

Fosshape types:

  • Fosshape 300®: Thin for delicate details and lighter weight needs

  • Fosshape 400®: For medium weight projects and used as lining in sewing projects

  • Fosshape 600 ®: Strongest, thickest and most durable of the Fosshape line. Used for structural applications.

Uses:

  • Garment stiffener: Before being heated, it is flexible and easily sewn together. It can be used to create gravity defying fabric effects.

  • Wig Styling: Because Fosshape is light weight and easily manipulated into complex shapes, it can be used to help style wigs into gravity defying shapes.

  • In Hats: Milliners often use Fosshape to help create hats. The fabric's ability to stiffen and maintain complex shapes makes it ideal for headwear.

  • In Masks and Fursuits: According to several Youtube videos, Fosshape is the perfect material for fursuit construction, It has high airflow and low weight.

Construction:

  • No Sew: Fosshape will stick to itself when heated, but not other things. This is great if you want to avoid sewing or need to thicken your project.

  • Sew: Pre-heated, Fosshape has a consistency very similar to felt or very thick interfacing. It is easily sewn together or sewn into a garment.

Heating:

As stated before, Fosshape will harden once heated. When it's been heated it will lose a little of it's fuzzy quality. You can use either a Heat Gun, an Iron or a Fabric steamer to stiffen the fabric.


How you heat Fosshape will contribute to the final texture of the fabric. If you iron the material it'll have more of a leathery texture, whereas steaming the fabric will smooth it out more.


If Ironing I suggest using a piece of paper (Ironing paper preferably) between the fabric and the Fosshape to avoid the fabric clinging to the iron.


When heating Fosshape as a complex shape you'll want use a mold to help it hold the shape as it cools. You can do this without using a mold, but the results will be less precise and it'll be so much more frustrating.



Watch Out For Shrinkage!

Fosshape can and will shrink when heated (approximately 15%), Make sure you test the material and cut your pieces a little larger than needed. (Fosshape 600 seems to have less shrinkage than the lighter versions of the material)


Painting:

Fosshape comes in white (Except 400 which comes in Black), the material is incredibly easy to paint. In fact, you can use most paints with Fosshape! Spraypaints, Fabric Paints, and Acrylics are commonly used.

After being steamed, Fosshape still has a little bit of a fuzzy texture. To lessen this I suggest using Gesso or other thick sealants to help smooth the fabric before painting. If you're uneasy about how the finished product will come out, I recommend you heat treat and experiment with a few scrap pieces until you get the finish you want!


Distributors:

You can purchase Fosshape at a variety of online suppliers, to include Wonderflex world (The company that produces the product).

  • Craft Cosplay Supply: Craft Cosplay supply has a Fosshape starter kit! for $60 you can get everything you need to work with the material and about a yard of Fosshape 300.

  • Cosplay Supplies: Cosplay Supplies only carried 300 and 600 and sell in increments of a quarter yard.

  • Coscom Cosplay Supplies: Coscom sells all three kinds of Fosshape and in various lengths. Perfect for larger projects!



 

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