Why Antron Fleece?
Antron fleece is the material that the actual Muppets are made out of. All of your fleece covered friends from Sesame Street to the crazy characters on the classic Muppet Show. It is an AMAZING material known for being able to hide seams the best (though all puppets fleeces do this to some extent).
It is still used by the Jim Henson company for making Muppets to this very day, even though it stopped being made in 2006. The Jim Henson Company, and a few others, were lucky enough to buy a TON of it to build up a stockpile before it was discontinued. Though I hear even their supply is running low now too.
The Best Puppet Fleece
Now the term “Antron Fleece” has kind of become a victim of genericide. Meaning, when most people now talk about “Antron Fleece”, they really are referring to common fleeces used for professional Muppet style built puppets. Puppet fleece fabrics such as Antron Fleece, 12 oz. Nylon fleece, Nylafleece®, and Nylon Loop Fleece.
And for puppet builders who sell their work, you don’t want to mislabel the material you are using when someone is ordering a custom puppet from you. It would be misleading to say you used “Antron Fleece” if you really used 12 oz. “Nylon fleece”.
I mean, even as a builder, think about how upset you would be if you won an eBay auction called “Original Antron Fleece”, but ended up receiving 12 oz. fleece. That would be VERY disappointing. But unfortunately, it happens.
Other nicknames for “Antron Fleece” are “Puppet Fleece” and “Muppet Fleece”. As you learn what each fabric is actually called, I recommend trying to refer to the materials by what their actual name is. One reason is it will make it easier for you to find what you are looking for.
12 oz. Nylon Fleece
The 12 oz. Nylon fleece unfortunately has also now become discontinued as of 2021. But some shops might still have some left over. It was the closest thing to the original Antron Fleece that was on the market.
Nylafleece® is currently the most commonly used puppet fleece. It is also the easiest to get your hands on since it IS still being manufactured. Here is a video of a puppet I made using Nylafleece®.
Nylon Loop Fleece
Nylon Loop Fabric is most commonly used as a medical and athletic grade loop side of Velcro® since it is so soft, but it’s starting to become popular as a puppet building material again too. Henson Company actually used this fleece too back in the 70’s before moving on to Antron fleece. It was originally made by Malden Mills but is now manufactured overseas but available in some puppet supply stores (though it also goes by another fuzzy name too).
Where Can I Buy Puppet Fleece?
They carry the widest variety of puppet skins. They have Nylon Loop Fabric, Nylafleece®, Scraggle Fleece, Bookle Fleece, Shearling Fleece and more! They have great service and best of all the company is run by a puppeteer.
So, not only can you trust that these are supplies that are ideal for puppet building, since he uses them all himself, you are also supporting an artist. A double win! An ideal place to order since there are so many other puppet building kits and supplies they carry too.
This is currently the last place on the market that seems to have some 12 oz Nylon fleece left. Though it probably won’t last long! Rumor has it they will be Nylon Loop Fabric and some more puppet building fabrics soon too! So stay tuned!!!!
Can’t you use any fabric to make a puppet? Of course, by no means is anyone limited to these puppet fleeces. The reason Antron Fleece, 12 oz. Nylon fleece, Nylafleece®, and Nylon Loop Fabric have become so popular in the puppet building world is because these fabrics hide seams well.
This is important in puppet building since having no seams makes the puppet feel less like a made object like a stuffed animal and more like a live character. It helps the illusion that the puppeteer is trying to create.
But the fabric is not enough to hide seams completely on your puppet. You also have to know the right stitches to do. Be sure to check out our post on The Best Stitches For Sewing Puppets to learn more!