Worbla ® Thermoplastic is a unique molding material which initially resembles stiff plastic sheeting. It is great for masks, costumes, millinery, castings & hand molded sculptural pieces. When heated it becomes soft, allowing it to be molded and shaped by hand or on a mold or block. Once cooled it retains the molded shape. This process of heating and cooling can be repeated until the desired shape is acquired. Worbla ® does not contain any scrim and hence remains easy to tear and pick apart once heated. This thermoplastic is in the heavier range and in therefore suitable for costume items and masks as well as hats. The sheen side contains glue and will adhere to other Worbla ® sheets when heated. The sheets can be finished with paint/sprays/etc but it is recommended that the surface be sanded before any finishes/paints are applied.
Worbla ® makes for an excellent blocking material alternative to buckram. The surface is capable of streching, molding and tearing like putty once it has been heated (see below for heating instructions). Molding can be done using tight insulated gloves and can also be done with bare hands once it is cooled to an acceptable temperature although care must be taken not to burn oneself.
Worbla ® has a 'smooth' and 'sheen' side and when heated, the sheen side becomes sticky enough for other materials such as fabric, leather and straw clothes to stick to its surface. This 'stickyness' allows the Wonderflex to stick to itself. Similar to Fosshape ®, Worbla ® can be sanded, hand painted, spray painted, and coated with other finishings.
Heating is recommended using either industrial hot air guns, boiling water or a conventional oven as these are all capable of breaking the 90 degree celcius threshold however care should be taken to avoid overheating with excessive temperatures as this may cause the material to burn. Hair Dryers and Irons can also be used but may take longer to heat the sheets. Small areas can be sculpted using a soldering iron or hot glue gun as a heat source (particularly useful for seams). Worbla ® remains pliable for approximately 2-3 minutes after heating but can be reheated as many times as required to achieve the perfect mold. To prevent it from sticking to the mold, it is recommended to use some form of non-stick barrier such as aluminum foil, baking/release paper or cooking spray.
Other applications for this material include theatrical scenery and stage props, models, headgear, armour, cosplay & costumes and even as a convenient light structural repair item. It is denser and heavier than Fosshape ® and hence is more suited for applications requiring durability. Worbla ® can be cut with scrissors/stanley knife, stapled, drilled, bolted and put through a sewing machine.
This product consists of natural renewable raw materials. It features a low melting point of approximately 90 degrees Celcius. When heated above this point, Worbla ® becomes activated (able to be molded or blocked) and like all thermoplastics, will retain its molded shape once cooled. It is water and mildew resistant meaning that any application of water will not result in loss of structure or integrity (unless the water causes it to exceed the 90 degree celcius temperature threshold). It leaves none of the mess associated with other molding materials such as buckram and paper-mache. It is non toxic however friendlier plastics would be recommended for mouth pieces over Warbla.
PLEASE NOTE: When heated, Worbla ® should not be applied directly to bare skin as burns may occur.
More information can be obtained from Worbla ®.