What is the best way to pattern, cut, sew NFT performance fur fabric?

The best way to approach constructing with NFT performance 4-way stretch fur fabrics is to treat it like Lycra (think swimsuit material) with a nap. When constructing a suit, keep in mind you cannot flip the pattern to save space or you will end up with EG: One leg with the fur direction flowing down and one leg with the fur direction flowing up.

The best way to cut NFT performance 4-way stretch fur fabric is from the back so that you do not cut the fibers.

You can sew NFT performance 4-way stretch fur fabric with an over-lock machine, zig- zag machine, specialty chain stitch machine or by hand. Use the method you are most comfortable with using.

NFT performance 4-way stretch fur fabric is ideal for costumes or projects with movement because it does not have to be patterned or constructed “baggy” or loose to allow for movement as you would have to do with a non-stretch material. NFT 4-way stretch backing is made to move with the body, or with the animatronic movement, so the backing does not pull as the movement takes place. It is best to pattern, cut, and construct NFT 4-way stretch fur fabric in its relaxed (unstretched) form to allow maximum movement in performance. If it is stretched when patterned and constructed, this takes away the integrity of the 4-way stretch backing.

Can I dye NFT fur fabric? If so, how?

Modacrylic fiber is a hard fiber to over dye. Because it is a synthetic fiber the dyes needed are all solvent based, not water based.

The best way to color or tint Modacrylic fiber is by airbrushing, painting, or staining with a Solvent based dye or paint.  Some good products to try would be Pantone Ink or Taxidermy Paints. It is, however, very difficult to go dark or black. White fiber will never go black, but can be stained or painted up to a few shades darker in color. Dyeing the Modacrylic fibers is topical – it will never be permanent. The color will only coat the outside of the Modacrylic fiber, so over time this will fade with normal wear and tear.

We at NFT work with a specialty dyer that can custom dye Modacrylic fibers before they are made into performance fur fabric to match your custom color request. Custom color matches are made to Pantone call outs from the Uncoated or Coated series.

You can dye fur fabrics made from Natural Fibers. The type and method of dye varies on the type of fibers and your dying comfort zone. The fur fabric has to be pinned out to air dry (like you would a wool sweater), which helps reduce the amount it will shrink. Even with pinning out the fur fabric to air dry, it will still shrink some. If you use hot water (150 degrees Fahrenheit) to set the dye your goods will shrink. NOTE: Do not use dry heat ever!  

Can you curl / style NFT fur fabric?

Yes, but never use dry heat! You must always use steam heat on Modacrylic fibers. The Modacrylic fibers will melt or crinkle if dry heat (like a curling iron) is used.

To achieve curls, you can set the fibers in rollers and apply steam heat. Let the fiber fully cool and air dry before removing the rollers. The Modacrylic fibers will memorize that shape. You can return to its normal state by applying steam heat and brushing the fur fabric to straighten.

To get a matted look:  

To get a matted look in your fur fabric, you can do a few things. 

You can wash the fur fabric in a non-agitating washing machine and then tumble dry using air only (not heat) with tennis balls. This will help the hair clump up but it will still be brush-able. Drying it will cause some shrinkage but as long as you only use air it will stretch back out to the original size. If you use even a slight amount of heat, our fur fabric will shrink and may not stretch back out.

You can use a spray bottle to make the fibers damp, creating wet clumps of hair, and style so it is matted looking. Then, use steam heat to set the look. Remember, do not use dry heat!

You can use hand sanitizer or a similar product to coat the fibers then style and let dry. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer will evaporate. This can be easily brushed out and re done, but also causes the retention of more dust. Be sure to upkeep your performance fur fabric by brushing with a pin brush to help get rid of dust build up.

You can also style the fibers in the look you desire and use a flexible clear coat to set. This, however, is not easy to change once sprayed. You can use regular hair products like styling gels or hair spray but these products will have to be washed out completely or they create build up and collect lots of dust which weighs down the fibers and fur fabric.

Is NFT fur fabric washable?

The best way to upkeep your NFT performance fur fabric is to brush it after each use to keep dust and dirt from settling into the fibers. You can spot clean by spraying a mixture of water and mild detergent onto the fur fabric, wiping off with water, then brushing and letting air dry.

You can also wash NFT performance fur fabric - but never apply dry heat or the backing will shrink and the fibers will kink up or melt. You can wash our fur fabric in a non-agitating washing machine or hand wash in cool water with a small amount of mild detergent or mild soap. ALWAYS let the fur fabric air dry. The fur fabric will shrink down (think panty hose) but will stretch out to its original size as long as it was not dried with heat. Be sure to brush the fibers while still damp to avoid matting. If washing any fur fabrics made with natural fibers, be sure to pin out (like you would a wool sweater) while the fur fabric is still wet and let completely air dry, otherwise the backing will shrink and not stretch back out.

What is the best brush to use on Nft fur fabric?

The best brush to use is a pin brush, such as PSI Large Pin Brush (model 25250). Do not use a comb or anything with pins too close to one another or you will rip the fibers out from the backing and/or damage and tear the fibers.