Fosshape is a mouldable material for producing custom shaped costumes, mounts, supports and displays, it can be easily formed with wet or dry heat.
Fosshape is an Oddy passed specially engineered polyester material that is similar to a thick felt in a raw state. The product, when applied with wet or dry heat, shrinks about 25% and can be easily shaped over a form, it retains its shape once cooled, making it ideal for low-cost costume mounts. Fosshape 300 is the medium grade, which weights 300 grams per sq/meter with a thickness of about 4mm in the non-activated state. Fosshape 600 is a heavier grade, which weights 600 grams per sq/meter with a thickness of about 6.5 mm in the non-activated state. This truly versatile product could have a number of useful applications for mountmaking and conservation.
- Fosshape is suitable material for producing conservation costume mounts and can be easily formed with a wet or dry heat.
- Durable for indoor or outdoor use, extremely lightweight and even breathable
- Saves valuable time and labour during the construction process, since no messy additives or drying/setup time required
- It’s all synthetic and not affected by humid conditions or water, mould and mildew resistant
Sold by the metre
6164-0301 Fosshape 300 - 45" (1143mm) x linear metre
6164-0601 Fosshape 600 - 45" (1143mm) x linear metre
- What are some of the beneficial features of FOSSHAPE?
FOSSHAPE is durable for indoor or outdoor use, extremely lightweight and even breathable. Saves valuable time and labour during the construction process, since no messy additives or drying/setup time required. It’s all synthetic and not affected by humid conditions or water. It’s even mould 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 acrylic sheeting and sculpted foam.
- I heard that both FOSSHAPE 300 and FOSSHAPE 600 are available. What is the difference?
FOSSHAPE 300 is the medium grade, which weighs 300 grams per sq/meter with a thickness of about 4 mm in the non-activated state. FOSSHAPE 600 is a heavier grade, which weighs 600 grams per sq/meter with a thickness of 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. Often the combined use of these tools is best. For small delicate areas, a hair straightening iron is useful. A home hair dryer does not generate enough heat to be effective 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 addi-tional heat. Before starting your project, experimenting with a small piece is highly recommended 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 methodically 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 smooth-er 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 yourself 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 is the best way to learn how to use 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 can still be sewn providing it does not see too much heat and pressure.
- 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.
- How do I decorate or finish the surface of FOSSHAPE?
FOSSHAPE readily accepts most 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.