Is there a substitute for antron fleece?

Goochman

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I looked through the forum and didn't see anything on this, I apologize if it's posted somewhere else.

I'm extremely new to puppet building. I've done a lot of research online about supplies and such and all I hear about is Antron Fleece and how amazing it is. I've also read that it's not available anymore. Guess I'll never know what I'm missing right? I was wondering what you folks in puppet making land were using instead?

Thanks for any info!
:scary:
 

Greenlantern999

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Hey bud! I am pretty new to puppet making as well, so far I have used Polar Fleece for the most part. It works pretty well. Also Antron Fleece is still out there it is just kind of rare, and they did stop making the original Antron Fleece but there is a new Antron Fleece on the market. I hope that helps and happy building!
 

D'Snowth

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I've said it before, but I'll happily say it again...

I love using polar fleece for my puppets: most people keep looking at the cons of polar fleece (not as fuzzy, so it doesn't do as good a job at hiding seams, especially on cameras with close ups). However, there's a lot of pros to polar fleece as well: the fabric is rather fuzzy as well, and it does do a passable job at hiding seams (particularly if you use the Henson Stitch method); it's readily available at almost any fabric store, nearly all-year long; and it's available in a wide variety of many different colors and shades. I really don't see the fuss over the "cons"... not all puppets are meant to be "perfect", the audience doesn't care if they can see the seams or not, they KNOW they're puppets... what they care about is if the puppet has a character and a personality: that's what makes the puppet seem life-like to people, not how believable the puppet LOOKS, but how believable the puppet behaves. I can tell you from experience, my first puppet was SO cookie-cutter, and very unprofessional-looking, yet little kids, and even a grown man, were drawn to it, and coversed with it like it was real, and I was completely invisible.
 

Goochman

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thanks! Maybe I'll try polar fleece to start off with and see from there. One of my biggest concerns was seams and stitching. Do you happen to know of any links to the henson stitch so I can take a look? Also another question since you guys are so awesomely helpful... What type of contact cement do you use? Also, is 90ppi reticulated foam really the best? I found a supplier of it but it's pretty expensive, any other options you think would be good?

thanks again!
Chris
:scary:
 

Melonpool

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I would fool around with lower-end materials to start with and try some of the Project Puppet patterns. Any good half-inch upholstery foam will work -- in fact with it not being as expensive, you may be more willing to take chances than with the "good stuff." I can guarantee that your first puppet is not going to be something that you'll want to last for 5-10 years -- but you will learn a lot by doing it.

A lot of people think that the thing that makes Muppets (and other puppets) professional are the materials that they use. That's only part of it. I'd say 50-70% of it is the skill that goes into building the puppet -- and at the end of the day it's not going to matter if you used felt or Antron, Hot Glue or Barge Cement, Upholstery or Reticulated Foam as much as what you do with it.
 

Animal31

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I would fool around with lower-end materials to start with and try some of the Project Puppet patterns. Any good half-inch upholstery foam will work -- in fact with it not being as expensive, you may be more willing to take chances than with the "good stuff." I can guarantee that your first puppet is not going to be something that you'll want to last for 5-10 years -- but you will learn a lot by doing it.

A lot of people think that the thing that makes Muppets (and other puppets) professional are the materials that they use. That's only part of it. I'd say 50-70% of it is the skill that goes into building the puppet -- and at the end of the day it's not going to matter if you used felt or Antron, Hot Glue or Barge Cement, Upholstery or Reticulated Foam as much as what you do with it.
Wow, I so wish MC had a "like" button!

Well said!
 

Puppetainer

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First off..WELCOME GOOCHMAN! As you've already discovered this forum is a GREAT place! As my cohorts have proven with all their great advice. The funny thing is I first read your post but didn't have time to respond right then. I thought of all the things I wanted to share and figured I'd pop back later and do that.

So here I am popping back and seeing that the gang has pretty much said ALL the things I was going to say! In fact I was pretty amused that the link Adam shared was EXACTLY the one I thought of when you asked about the Henson stitch. That's where I learned it.

So I guess I'll just reiterate what's already been said. Antron is great but polar fleece does a fine job too. The majority of puppets that I've built (including the one I'm working on right now) have been made primarily with regular old polar fleece. Most of the seams I sew are done on my sewing machine, but there are still quite a few occasions when I use the Henson stitch. Attaching facial features, attaching hands to arms, etc. I STRONGLY agree with the idea of hitting Project Puppet for patterns, tips, etc! They're a SUPER resource for a beginning puppet maker.

As for contact cement I use DAP Weldwood Nonflammable Contact Cement. I believe I bought it at Home Depot. Honestly though most of my gluing is done with Hi Temp hot glue. Once I learned (again from Stiqpuppets) the simple technique of letting the glue cool for about 20-30 seconds before pressing any fleece down on it hot glue became my favorite bonding agent. I also wear a pair of heavy cotton work gloves to prevent burning the heck out of my fingers.

Again welcome and have fun making puppets!
:big_grin:
 

Animal31

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Wow you guys are great with the replies... fast too!

Adam thanks for that link, I found the same one a little while ago and have watched a lot of that guys other videos recently.

I was looking at joanns fabric, well because they're very local to me. How well do you think this would work?

http://www.joann.com:80/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?pageName=search&flag=true&PRODID=prd18849

:scary:
I think it's the blizzard fleece that I bought? A little fuzzier and hid seams very well when they were picked at. You're actually in my area, there is one in Hanover right off the highway, or further down 24 in Taunton. Right on 44..........


Hope that helps
 
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