Worbla’s Kobracast Art is a bit of an unknown compared to most of our other products, and we’re looking to change that! If you think you might be interested in helping us do so, please read on!
What is it?
Worbla’s Kobracast Art is a thermoplastic, like the rest of the Worbla line, that is activated with heat (70C or 160F) to become easily shaped, and holds its shape when cool. A few factors set Kobracast apart from the rest of the line: it is very thin, very sticky, can be easily sewn by hand or a machine, and is tricky to work with freeform because it is so thin and sticky.
As a result, Kobracast is often used as reinforcement for foam or paper builds, but it also is excellent for use with fabric manipulation and sewing, which is what we really want to focus on next.
Tricky to use?
Kobracast when heated becomes very sticky and pliable, so the way it is most often shaped with sewing is either by first laminating it between two layers of fabric, or by shaping it over something that has a protective layer such as plastic wrap or a heavy duty mold release. Fabric therefore needs to be capable of taking the heat necessary for laminating, and if using a shape to mold it over, that shape needs to be very carefully protected to prevent sticking.
It’s not often shaped by hand freeform or used as a sculpture element without an additional material giving it body.
What sort of uses?
Collars, cuffs, hats, bags, shoe modifications or lightweight armor – we think there a lot of possibilities! We’ve done up a series of examples and videos to give you a starting point to reference, and we’d love to see what you think you could do with it!
What’s neat about Kobracast is that it acts a bit like interfacing – it adds body to fabrics – but it has memory that allows you to do things like permanently set pleats, or ruffles, or other specific shapes that can take a beating without taking damage the way most other structured materials might, and that can be easily ironed back into shape as needed. Kobracast is also waterproof and can be washed with cold water, making it excellent for areas where sweat might be a concern!
How to heat?
We usually use an iron at medium/high settings with a teflon plate. If we’re ironing only one side to fabric, we use parchment paper to prevent it from sticking to anything else.
We have also used a heat gun for heating more complex shapes on forms (like hat blocks) or for targeted curves (like the witch collar example). We do not suggest a hair dryer for shaping, as the max temp output for those is only 140F and it will take quite a bit of time to activate.
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What We’re Looking For
If you think you have a project that might work well with Worbla’s Kobracast, we’d like to supply you the Kobracast in exchange for photos of your final project and a writeup or tutorial of what you’ve done and how you’ve done it. We have a form you can fill out here! Please feel free to share this page with anyone who might benefit as well! We’re open to folks in Canada and the United States. If you have questions, contact Lenore@worbla.com!