Loading...

Six of the Best Thermoplastics for Millinery

///Six of the Best Thermoplastics for Millinery

Six of the Best Thermoplastics for Millinery

  • Fosshape 400 Thermoplastics for Millinery

Thermoplastics for Millinery

Some of the newest and most versatile materials for millinery are thermoplastics. Often used in the theater and cosplay worlds, thermoplastics are plastic polymer sheets which can be softened using heat and then sculpted. Whatever shape you create then hardens into a strong form when cooled. Initially, working with thermoplastics may seem intimidating. With practice and some creative thinking, however, knowing how to use these modern millinery materials can be a great addition to your skill set for creating headwear.

Working with thermoplastics will speed up your blocking time and give you a wide variety of creative options for making trims. By blocking your hat base using a thermoplastic, you eliminate the use of water and drying time. The plastic will cool and harden in a fraction of the time that wet felt or straw would. On top of this, you can create a whole range of effects using thermoplastics that are simply not achievable with more traditional materials.

There are a wide variety of thermoplastics on the millinery market and each has its own characteristics and best uses. Despite their differences, however, they can all be formed using a heat gun or hand steamer.

Here is a brief overview of six of the best thermoplastics for making hats, headpieces and fascinators.

Fosshape

Known as a buckram substitute, Fosshape creates a strong, breathable and water-resistant foundation. It starts out soft, like a thick felt, and can be cut with scissors or sewn without fraying. No additional stiffener or drying time is required when working with this thermoplastic, but it can shrink up to 30% when heated. Fosshape is available in 300, 400 and 600 gram per meter density and gets thicker as the density increases. The image above shows black Fosshape 400 from American millinery supplier Humboldt Haberdashery.

Wonderflex

Wonderflex comes in hard sheets and sets very hard. It becomes sticky when heated, so it bonds to itself and fabrics to create rigid shapes. It has a ‘wrong’ side, which is a polyester reinforcing mesh. You need sturdy scissors or a utility knife to cut it. It can be reheated and remolded, as well as primed and painted. To learn more about how to use this interesting thermoplastic, try Carrie Jenkinson’s Wonderflex Spirals project.

Worbla

Worbla is the brand name of a line of thermoplastic products. These sheet plastics come in a range of colors and textures, as well as transparent and pellet forms. For millinery, some of the brands’ most commonly used thermoplastics are:

  • Worbla’s Finest Art (brown)
  • Worbla’s Black Art (black)
  • Worbla’s Pearly Art (white)
  • Worbla’s TranspArt (transparent)

Plastic Fantastic

Originally developed as a casting bandage for the medical industry, this perforated, grid-like plastic sheeting can be stretched and shaped to achieve unique sculptural effects. Plastic Fantastic has holes which form a mesh when stretched, so it works well for creating veils or layering over fabrics.

Crystoform

Crystoform is a crystal-clear thermoplastic material that can be painted to create dazzling plastic flowers and bows. It takes more heat to soften and cools harder than some other thermoplastics.

HatBondCM

Recently developed and introduced by Australian millinery thermoplastics expert Carole Maher, HatBondCM is great for hat making because it is very thin and very sticky. This allows it to bond fabrics on both sides. The thinness also keeps it soft for molding and stops it from showing through when cooled. It is great for making flower petals and other lightweight details.

This is just a quick overview of a few of the most popular thermoplastics in millinery right now. Of course, the best way to learn about these materials is to use them. Chances are, you will find you like working with some more than others. Whichever thermoplastics you prefer, however, you are sure to find that they are a great tool for developing your own unique styles and creations.

Thermoplastics Projects

Click HERE for all Thermoplastics Projects.

About the Author

Amy Fowler

Amy Fowler is the creator of the bespoke, California-based ‘Millinery by Amy Fowler’ label. In 2014, her love of hat making and desire to expand her skills and studio inspired Amy to start her own millinery supplies business, Humboldt Haberdashery.

August 2019 HATalk Give Away: $150 Gift Card to M&S Schmalberg

HATalk is very excited to be giving away a $150 gift card sponsored by M&S Schmalberg to a lucky HATalk e-magazine subscriber! To be entered into the give away, you simply need to have an active HATalk subscription which gives you instant access to the monthly e-magazine, entire back issue library of HATalk e-magazines, and the growing collection of step-by-step millinery projects to help you create beautiful hats and headpieces right from your home!

Click HERE to begin your free trial to ensure your entry into the give away.

About M&S Schmalberg

M&S Schmalberg is a 4th generation, family owned company. Their flowers, hand-made in our New York City factory, have complemented the apparel, bridal, accessory, millinery and home furnishing industries for over 100-years. M&S Schmalberg flowers have been featured in countless magazines and on the runway all over the world.

Click HERE to view a gallery of their hand-made flowers.

HOW TO ENTER:

1) If you are not already a HATalk Subscriber, then begin your free trial HERE to enter.

If you are already a HATalk Subscriber, you don’t need to do anything. You will automatically be entered unless you ask to be removed from the Prize Draw.

2) Anyone who signs up for a free HATalk trial between 1 August 2019 and midnight (GMT) on 31 August 2019 will be entered into the M&S Schmalberg Gift Card Prize Draw. No purchase is necessary – even if you decide to cancel your HATalk subscription before the end of the free 7-day trial, you will still be entered into the Give Away Draw.

You can view all M&S Schmalberg products on their website at www.customfabricflowers.com.

Terms & Conditions:
Prizes are not redeemable for cash and cannot be resold, transferred or exchanged. The stated cash values of non-cash prizes are approximate and subject to change. The winner will be announced on social media on 1 September 2019. The Prize Draw winner will be contacted by email. They will have 3 full days to respond with their full postal address. If we do not receive a reply in that time period, we reserve the right to hold another Prize Draw to choose a new winner. International entries will be accepted. Anyone who has an active HATalk subscription or subscription trial between 1 August 2019 – 31 August 2019 will be entered into this Prize Draw. No purchase is necessary. Subscriptions may be cancelled during this period without affecting eligibility. If you have a HATalk subscription and do not want to be entered into the Prize Draw, please email us at mail@hatalk.com so that we can remove you from it.

Learn to Make Beautiful Hats and Fascinators

HATalk has the largest online library of step-by-step millinery projects in the world. Begin your FREE trial today and get instant access to:

  • All step-by-step millinery projects
  • Hints and tips tutorials
  • A new monthly issue of HATalk e-magazine, a digital publication for hat makers and enthusiasts loaded with great content
  • Access to the entire back issue library of over 160 issues of HATalk e-magazine (download them them all today if you’d like!)

HATalk projects and e-magazines are great for both beginners and expert makers. There is something for everyone and the project library is always growing.

Click HERE to begin your no-risk FREE Trial!

We are sure you will absolutely love being a HATalk subscriber. And, even if you don’t, it won’t cost you anything to find out.

By |2019-05-16T12:59:21+00:00April 17th, 2019|Categories: Hat Making Materials, Millinery Supplies|Tags: , , , , , , |

Leave A Comment