Wonderflex® is a thermoplastic - a type of plastic sheeting which can be softened and shaped under low heat to mould and form sculptural shapes. It sets hard and strong. It also becomes sticky when heated, so it bonds easily to other fabrics and surfaces.
Wonderflex® contains three elements:
A smooth white polymer surface on the 'right' side, which can be painted or sprayed with Design Master®
A polyester mesh on the 'wrong' side, which works as a structural reinforcement
A heat-activated glue, which makes Wonderflex® stick to other surfaces. This makes it perfect for moulding over hat blocks and other shapes.
Wonderflex® becomes shapeable at temperatures around 70-80ºC (150-170ºF).
It can be activated under dry or wet heat, so you can use a hairdryer or heat gun; an oven or microwave; a steamer, or immersion in hot water. Heat guns are the most popular method as they allow the most control. However, Wonderflex® should not be exposed to an open flame.
After heating, Wonderflex® will remain soft for about 2-3 minutes before it sets into shape. It can also be reheated and remoulded, so if you're not happy with the shape you've created, heat it up and try again!
Wonderflex® can be easily cut with good scissors or a utility knife.
It can be stretched while retaining an even thickness, because of the woven backing. As with most other millinery materials, it should be stretched on the bias.
If you are painting or spraying Wonderflex®, we recommend you use a primer (such as Gesso) or sand the surface before applying colour, because this material can have quite a rough surface after shaping.
Below are some of the stunning pieces that we have created with Wonderflex®. Click the photo to view the image in full size.
One of our friends used Wonderflex® to build a mask in the shape of a horse head. You can see his process in the pictures below - he first created a wire mesh 'skeleton', then coated this frame in Wonderflex®. Once cool, the thermoplastic is easily removed and the mould can be used again!