Tips and Tutorials

The Mummy Wrap
...continued from Creating a Wire Armature

Copyright © 2013 Powertex Canada
Photo 1 - Before starting, tear the 100% cotton t-shirt material into strips. The width and length are determined by the size of the figure you are creating. Ideally one strip should wrap each entire leg or arm. You can use any cloth that is 100% cotton but we like old t-shirts because they absorb Powertex well and have just enough stretch to make them easier to manipulate. Stir the Powertex well and pour a small amount into a pie plate or plastic dish.

Photo 2 - Dip the strip of cloth and work the Powertex into the fibers of the material to make sure it is completely coated.

Photo 3 - A dipped strip.

Photo 4 - Using a second stip of cloth, you can "off load" any excess Powertex liquid from the first piece of cloth by rolling them together in your hands. The second piece of cloth will take on any exess liquid and will become the next strip that you dip.

Photo 5 - If the strip of cloth is very long and difficult to handle, roll it up before you begin wrapping.

Photo 6 - Beginning at the toe, start wrapping and winding the cloth up the leg.

Photo 7 - When you get to the top of the leg, wrap the remaining part of the strip around the torso.

Photo 8 - The completed leg.

Photo 9 - Both legs and one arm wrapped. Note that the leftover length of the strip used to wrap the arm has been wrapped around the chest.

Photo 10 - Starting at the back of the figure, start winding the strips around the body by criss crossing at the shoulders. Be careful not to add too much bulk to the shoulder area or your delicate "lady" will turn into a brawny football player.

Photo 11 - View of the back showing the criss cross pattern of wrapping.

Photo 12 - To wrap the head, start on top of the skull and wrap downward toward the neck. Try to place the overlapping "seams" created by the strips of cloth as inconspicuously as possible. Cover the neck area and finish down on the body at the rear.

An alternative method is to use a larger rectangle of cloth and lay it over the face so that there are no seams showing. Gather the ends together to the back of the figure's head. Eventually the bulkiness created by the excess cloth will be covered with hair or a hat.

Photo 13 - Beginning to wrap the head using the strip method.

Photo 14 - The head wrap. We have used a styrofoam egg to create the head. Note the map pin used to create the nose. This will be the only facial feature that will appear on the finished figure. Map pins are available at stationery or sewing and discount stores.

Photo 15 - The figure is now completely wrapped. During the wrapping process, you should check the final pose that you want the figure to be displayed in. Practice sitting (or standing) it on the base you have selected, If you are concerned about smearing Powertex on the base while you are working, wrap the base in plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will protect the base and can be removed when you are ready to secure the figure to the base permanently.

If you look carefully at the "bum" area of the figure in photo 15, you will see that we have attached a piece of styrofoam. This was necessary to achieve the correct height so that the legs assumed a natural pose when seated on the base. The styrofoam will not be visible once the figure is "clothed."

Securing your figure to a base in a seated position is as simple as brushing the contact area with Powertex. Leave overnight and you will have a secure bond.

Photo 16 - The "mummy wrap" step is complete. Now all that is left to do is to give your sculpture some "clothes".
Draping to mimic clothing is best done after the mummy wrap stage has been left to dry overnight.
Once you have created a suitable armature with wire and aluminum foil, you will need to wrap the armature. This will give your sculpture strength and create the "skin" for the figure.
(Click on photos to enlarge)