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Dyeing the foam Posted by tsu on Nov 02, 2008
Hi guys,

I'd like to ask you for some advice - I didn't find any exact answer on it, but if it was somewhere, I'm sorry for repeating the topic.
If you go to dye the polyfoam, how do you do that? I suppose there is a different method than dying the fabric, for instance antron fleece. How long do you keep the foam soaked into hot water mixed with a dye (I use Rit dye)?
I have problems with the foam to be dyed. After I pulled it out the water (even after a couple of minutes), the color has rapidly faded away. Maybe not completely, but I can see the original color of my foam...
Maybe the problem is the color of my polyfoam too - I've got a light blue one.

I'm new on puppetry, so sorry for asking about maybe very obvious thing...

Iza
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by lovable puppet pals on Nov 02, 2008
Well, from my experience so far, polyfoam does not dye well.  You will have to use the more expensive reticulated foam.  You can purchase it from here:
http://www.foamandfoam.com
Choose the EZ-Dri outdoor, open cell foam.  It runs about $27 for 1/2"x54"x72", but it's worth the cost!
Hope that helped some!
Sara
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by StiqPuppet Productions on Nov 02, 2008
I could be the light blue issue you need to find the light yellowish/beigy one to dye.  I have not used the light blue foam but it sounds like unless you are doing black or a brown you will have a problem covering that colour up. 

FYI It will always be lighter when you pull it out of the dye water and remove the water from the foam.  If you want it brighter you need to remove the foam and add more dye stir and put the piece back in until you are happy with what you have.   It will always dry a little lighter than what you see when all the water is rung out of the foam.

I hope this makes sense and work's for you.....

Daryl H
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by Chris Arveson on Nov 02, 2008
Iza,

You don't need to apologize for asking questions. Chances are good there are others who have similar questions. I have been working on different ways to make a hat for one of my characters, and have come to the conclusion that I need to make it out of dyed foam. So you are asking the questions that I was getting ready to deal with.
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by lovable puppet pals on Nov 02, 2008
So, Stiqman, do you dye polyfoam and it works for you?  Just curious about that one. 
Sara
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by Billy D. Fuller on Nov 02, 2008
Daryl is correct the more concentrated the dye bath the more vibrant the color. It does help to use whit foam or the yellowish tint foam. If you are using blue foam you use dyes like navy, golden yellow might make green. Blue and red makes purple. The longer you leave it in the dye the darker it gets.

Billy D.
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by tsu on Nov 02, 2008
Thanks guys!

@lovable puppet pals ---- as for reticulated foam: as I'm newbie on puppetry, and I'm in Poland, purchasing expensive foam and paying for postage additionally, wouldn't be good for me I suppose. Especially when I work by trial and error initially and will dye the foam just for now, for my "test" puppets. While I'll feel myself comfortable enough to start with "real" puppet, I'll cover the mouthplate in felt or other fabrics.
But I'm not saying I will never try to work with reticulated foam (never say never, right?). But temporarily I need to learn how to create a puppet at all. And for this purpose polyfoam is just fine even if it does not want to work with me. :D
Anyway - thanks for the advice about the foams.

@stiqman ---
If you want it brighter you need to remove the foam and add more dye stir and put the piece back in until you are happy with what you have
Good point! I removed the foam from the water and saw it was not as dark as I would like it to be so I put it back but without any stirring the water before. Hmm... maybe I added too little amount of dye too? But I added almost 1 table spoon of dye to an little amount of water just for 1 piece of mouthplate foam... I do not know.

@Chris --- I can't see in your gallery the character you did mention in your post. Maybe she/he is not there? How long did you need to experimenting with dying the foam before you got a satisfactory result?

@Billy --- (I noticed that you replied just before I wanted to send this message)... good to know about those colors! I hope I'll not need to dye my foam (that blue one) anymore then.
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by tsu on Nov 02, 2008
Referring to the color of my foam, I would like to ask another question - if I would cover it with fleece (antron), is there a possibility that the blue color of my foam would come out, would be visible through the fabric?
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by StiqPuppet Productions on Nov 02, 2008
Posted by: tsu on Nov 02, 2008
Referring to the color of my foam, I would like to ask another question - if I would cover it with fleece (antron), is there a possibility that the blue color of my foam would come out, would be visible through the fabric?

It should not show through if you cover it with fleece.

Daryl H
Re: Dyeing the foam Posted by Billy D. Fuller on Nov 02, 2008
Posted by: tsu on Nov 02, 2008
Referring to the color of my foam, I would like to ask another question - if I would cover it with fleece (antron), is there a possibility that the blue color of my foam would come out, would be visible through the fabric?
Daryl beat me to it but here is what I was posting
Antron is a very thick durable fabric and does not show thru......... however your thinner fleeces like blanket fleece or polar fleece might.

Billy d.
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