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Buck-Beaver

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I use hot glue for everything, never heard that before? I have also heard contact cement will turn brittle after time and loose it's seal, but then again I don't think it matters one way or the other as everything crumbles in time.
Sorry, I don't want to sound rude, but I have to debunk this.

There are pros and cons to contact cement and hot glue, but contact cement (assuming it's fresh and properly applied) absolutely will not turn brittle and lose its seal. I have been building puppets for almost 20 years and I have never seen that happen. The foam in a puppet is more likely to break down and crumble long before the contact cement does. If you use contact cement and that happens, you're doing something wrong.

Contact cement is a much superior adhesive to contact cement when building foam puppets. It's stronger, dries thinner and is more permanent. The trick is knowing how to apply it properly and making sure that it cures (dries) properly.

The drawback of contact cement is that it is extremely toxic. You need to use it outdoors, or in a very well ventilated area and you should always use a proper respirator and gloves. It should never be used in a basement (there is a minor, but serious safety risk if a lot of fumes come in to contact with a furnace) and using it an indoor room in a house with just a fan or a small window is a good way to shorten your lifespan and/or your family's.

Hot glue is much safer, although it's not non-toxic either - you're essentially melting plastic when you use it. The risk associated with it is much lower and a respirator probably isn't necessary unless you use it everyday, all the time. Hot glue is not as good or permanent an adhesive as contact cement. You can get much cleaner (thinner, harder to see) seams with contact cement than you can with hot glue. Hot glue is thick, difficult to control unless you keep it at exactly the right temperature (which most glue guns don't), there is always a risk you will get burned. It can also come apart if it gets hot enough, although to be fair I have only heard of that happening in hot climates like Arizona and Mexico.
 

yalaurie

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If you are looking for yardage of dyed antron, my shop carries it. We are just starting it up so there are only a few colors so far, but check back. If you need a certain length or color, shoot me a message.

http://www.dewey-street.com
 

cjspiteri

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hi there, and i think just about everyone gets there "Antron Fleece" from G A Stage..... Kathy is the nicest person in the world..:smile:
Is "Antron Fleece" the branded name or a generic term for it? I have been trying to locate it where I live (Thailand) and have had zero luck. I get shown everything ranging from felt to what looks like old sheepskin carpets. The translation in Thai is sheep wool Antron, and most people ignore the Antron part. My apologies if this is not the place to ask this (not following thread topic).
 

The Llama

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Is "Antron Fleece" the branded name or a generic term for it? I have been trying to locate it where I live (Thailand) and have had zero luck. I get shown everything ranging from felt to what looks like old sheepskin carpets. The translation in Thai is sheep wool Antron, and most people ignore the Antron part. My apologies if this is not the place to ask this (not following thread topic).
That's a good question. Actual Antron Fleece, to my knowledge, is no longer made. The company that used to make it was bought out by Pepsi. What most people are talking about is similar in texture to the original formula. It's a very dyeable synthetic fabric with a very high pile. This makes it Ideal for hiding seams.

This fabric is not cheap. It will cost you about $18 / yard. Only a few online stores carry this. Because Disney is the main purchaser of this fabric for costumes, the supply varies from year to year. There is only one mill that makes this material. Usually they only do one run of this fabric per year.
So far the most consistent online source I have personally found is Out of the Box Puppets.
 

Buck-Beaver

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Is "Antron Fleece" the branded name or a generic term for it? I have been trying to locate it where I live (Thailand) and have had zero luck. I get shown everything ranging from felt to what looks like old sheepskin carpets. The translation in Thai is sheep wool Antron, and most people ignore the Antron part. My apologies if this is not the place to ask this (not following thread topic).
This can be a bit confusing. Antron® is actually a brand name for a type of synthetic fiber that's used (at least today) primarily to make carpet. It's a type of Nylon 6-6, which is a common material used to make synthetic fabrics.

The original "Antron Fleece" that was used for many years to make puppets and mascots has not been manufactured for about a decade. You will not find it for sale anywhere unless a company or builder has a old bolt of it stashed away somewhere and, if they do, they are unlikely to part with it because it is impossible to replace.

The current "Antron Fleece" is not the same fabric, but it is similar and was developed as a replacement because the original type of fibre used to make the fleece was abruptly discontinued (I've heard the Pepsi story too, but I've also been told that is untrue...ultimately it doesn't matter). I have not used the newer fleece because I still use the original fleece, but my understanding is that the "new fleece" is not as good in terms of the way it takes dye and its pile (again, ultimately this does not matter because you can't get the old fleece).

You are extremely unlikely to find Antron fleece sold retail anywhere because it is a specialized material manufactured for specialty purposes in small quantities. As Llama mentioned, it is only made by one textile mill and anyone selling it online is either buying it wholesale from that mill or through a distributor/intermediary that buys it from that mill. Trying to find it locally is probably a waste of time. If you need it, just order it online.

Also, I hate to say it, but $18 USD is not expensive for quality fabric. Lots of of high quality textiles cost $20-$80+ per yard/metre!
 

Buck-Beaver

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So, I read somewhere that using hot glue on foam caused it to deteriorate faster over the years, making the breakdown bits breathable and toxic, especially to children. Is this correct? I'm nearly ready to start building again, but now I'm thinking about the contact cement option.
I use hot glue for everything, never heard that before? I have also heard contact cement will turn brittle after time and loose it's seal, but then again I don't think it matters one way or the other as everything crumbles in time.
I realize that these are old messages in the thread, but I wanted to dispel some misinformation.

Hot glue does not bond permanently. If you heat enough after it dries it will become soft and "unglue" itself. I have never heard of a chemical reaction between foam and hot glue that would cause the foam to deteriorate. All foam eventually breaks down, but that normally takes 10-20 years or more. Foam usually deteriorates much faster if it is regularly exposed to sunlight.

I have also never heard of contact cement turning brittle and losing its seal. Usually if contact cement does not hold permanently it is because the glue was either old, exposed too much air before it was used (this happens if it sits for a long time in a mostly empty container) or the glue was not used properly.

Both hot glue and contact cement are toxic. Contact cement is considered more toxic because it contains carcinogens. If you use contact cement without a proper respirator in an area that is not ventilated you risk developing cancer. Most people do not realize there is also risk associated with using hot glue in an unventilated area without a respirator (you're essentially melting plastic), but I'm unsure how strong the link between cancer and other problems and the chemicals used in hot glue is.

Neither adhesive should be used in anything given to children (this is one reason why puppets made for retail are typically sewn and not glued). If you need an adhesive for a puppet made for a child, consider using Weldbond or another PVA (white) glue that is non-toxic. Always read safety instructions and material data safety sheets for any compound you use.
 

Rooimier

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Sorry, I don't want to sound rude, but I have to debunk this.

There are pros and cons to contact cement and hot glue, but contact cement (assuming it's fresh and properly applied) absolutely will not turn brittle and lose its seal. I have been building puppets for almost 20 years and I have never seen that happen. The foam in a puppet is more likely to break down and crumble long before the contact cement does. If you use contact cement and that happens, you're doing something wrong.

Contact cement is a much superior adhesive to contact cement when building foam puppets. It's stronger, dries thinner and is more permanent. The trick is knowing how to apply it properly and making sure that it cures (dries) properly.

The drawback of contact cement is that it is extremely toxic. You need to use it outdoors, or in a very well ventilated area and you should always use a proper respirator and gloves. It should never be used in a basement (there is a minor, but serious safety risk if a lot of fumes come in to contact with a furnace) and using it an indoor room in a house with just a fan or a small window is a good way to shorten your lifespan and/or your family's.

Hot glue is much safer, although it's not non-toxic either - you're essentially melting plastic when you use it. The risk associated with it is much lower and a respirator probably isn't necessary unless you use it everyday, all the time. Hot glue is not as good or permanent an adhesive as contact cement. You can get much cleaner (thinner, harder to see) seams with contact cement than you can with hot glue. Hot glue is thick, difficult to control unless you keep it at exactly the right temperature (which most glue guns don't), there is always a risk you will get burned. It can also come apart if it gets hot enough, although to be fair I have only heard of that happening in hot climates like Arizona and Mexico.
Hi Buck Beaver, you seem to be quite a knowledgable guy, can you help me? I am a puppet builder based in South Africa. Any idea where I can buy reticulated foam online, closer to home than the US?
 
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