Covering The Foam With Fabric
Construction did not progress in the order outlined in these pages, but as multiple projects over the same time period. Framework support had to be complete before adding foam, and any foam section had to be complete before adding fabric.

 


I use spandex fabric when possible, because it stretches two directions, while most knits only stretch in one direction. This allows for a smoother, more uniform covering (without wrinkles or additional seams to take up the slack.) To begin covering, a piece of fabric is cut out large enough to cover a section of foam. The fabric should extend out past the edges to allow extra material to stitch to, or to fold under when meeting another piece of fabric. Seams tend to follow the depressions or channels cut down into the foam. A curved carpet needle allows stitching down through the foam, or, if the ridge is narrow, completely under the ridge of foam and out the other side in the fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When working near a joint or an area of stress, additional stitches are added, and knots are placed every 4-6" to prevent unraveling if the thread breaks. When I can get it, I use a heavy nylon beading thread, or when that is not available, or color matching is required, general purpose upholstery thread can be used. Regular cotton or polyester thread will not take the stress, and will usually break within the first couple of stitches

Where sections of the fabric meet, the new piece of material is folded under then stitched to the previous section(s). The soft sculpture fabric approach works well on the open areas around the finger joints, by stretching across and concealing the hinged opening. It also creates less bulk than a layer of foam.

 


Inside of the lower jaw inside the mouth, I used black velvet although more spandex covers the roof of the mouth. There is a small round opening covered with fiberglass screen in the top of the mouth to allow air flow up into the head cavity. A computer fan, and all of the LEDs used in the teeth and eyes are connected to a 12v battery mounted in the lower back framework.

 


Another fiberglass screen opening is located below the chin, allowing the wearer to see the floor.

 

 

 


Eyes were made from two halves of a round plastic ornament, hot glued in place, then spray painted black on the inside. Additional black rubber was sponged around the eye sockets to blend in better. Small holes were drilled and 3mm yellow LEDs inserted.

Teeth were made from pieces of clear polished acrylic, hot glued into the foam. Two blue LEDs were placed under each tooth to give a pale blue glow in dim lighting conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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