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Canadian Suppliers

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by bigwilly2000, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. bigwilly2000

    bigwilly2000 Active Member

    Hi all. :) I am starting my first puppet build and I found that getting most of the supplies were pretty hard. I have been lurking on this site for a while now and have found most of the supplier links. The only thing is that buying through the US isnt all that cheap, ie: 2 yards of muppet fur will cost me about $100 from Mendels. :eek: What I am wondering is if any of the Canadians on here know of suppliers in our country? Paying for just shipping instead of duty, brokerage fees and exchange rates added on would be so much easier on the pocket book. ;)
     
  2. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    I'm Canadian- Toronto area. Unfortunately there aren't any. Closer to Halloween Fabricland usually get good furs but other than that it is all Mendels for me. Something I sometimes do is purchase fur rugs from Walmart- they come in Pink, Yellow, Green, Turquoise, Brown, Black, White, Purple and Blue. They are about $20 and can make a Roly Puppet. The rugs come with a rubber stippled bottom but you can easily take it off. The fur rugs are about and inch and a half fur and a bit thicker but one of the most durable furs I have used. Not ideal for professional application due to it's weight, but good if you want to make your first puppet.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. bigwilly2000

    bigwilly2000 Active Member

    The Walmart rugs you are talking about are exactly what I bought. :D I am making a monster based off my Grand Daughter's Halloween costume last year called "The Cuddly Monster" and I'm using the Roly pattern off Project Puppet to get it done. :cool:. Her 3rd birthday is May 10th so I have a little bit of time to get it done.

    Here is a pic of her costume:
    [​IMG]
    The Cuddly Monster Attacks
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I just checked Fabric.com. They ship to Canada, and this note on their shipping page sounded encouraging:
    I'd suggest checking them out. Their luxury shag fur is the exact same fur that Mendel's sells as "Punky Muppet", at a cheaper price. I've been buying from Fabric.com and have been very happy with them.
     
    TheCreatureWork likes this.
  5. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    I did a "how to" video series on the Roly Puppet Pattern- it may help you out in your first puppet.

    http://puppeteersunite.com/?page_id=588

    You'll have to scroll down to get to the first video and work your way up to the last vid (13)

    Looks like an amazing build and contact me if you hit any snags.
     
  6. bigwilly2000

    bigwilly2000 Active Member

    Thanks for the info guys. I will definetly check out the video and fabric.com. :)
     
  7. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Finding good faux fur here has gotten more and more difficult with every passing year. A few years ago when I was working on a film in Toronto an Assistant spent one very long day driving literally all over Southern Ontario trying to track down some specific types of fur. It can be very frustrating.

    I'm not sure whereabouts in Canada you are, but if you are in (or can get to) Toronto, you'll find a lot of good faux fur along the fabric shop strip on Queen Street West (between Spadina Ave & Bathurst Street). Vancouver and Montreal have similar areas too. You can find really good stuff at Fabricland locations (especially in their sample bins, which often have fur they don't sell by the metre), but it's very hit and miss. Some stores carry a lot, some carry almost none at all.

    Check out every fabric store you come across and speak to the staff. One shop in Toronto in particular has very little fur in their store, but a huge warehouse west of the city with a lot that is available by request. I have come across amazing materials just by befriending staff and asking a lot of questions (just be polite, not too pushy and spend a little money). It's always a good idea to ask how often they get new fur. As mentioned above, it's usually right before Halloween, but some stores will only get an order once every couple years.

    If you have one or more Fabricland stores near you, it's worth going in once every month or two and having a quick look around to see if they have new stock. It won't always yield good results, but I've discovered some really great stuff that way over the years.

    Another option worth considering is visiting thrift shops like Goodwill or The Salvation Army. You do have to be very careful because of things like bed bugs (I know someone who had to deal with bed bugs because of a thrift store purchase) but old rugs, coats and clothes can be a source of good material too.

    Buy fur from the U.S. as a last resort because I'm pretty sure textiles are still protected goods under NAFTA and they get hit with a lot tax when they cross the border.
     
  8. bigwilly2000

    bigwilly2000 Active Member

    I have another question for the Canadians here, where can you buy doll joints at?
     
  9. bigwilly2000

    bigwilly2000 Active Member

    Oh I forgot to say that I found a great foam dealer here in Halifax and I can get reticulated foam there too, just takes a week to order in.
    Comfort Foam & Fibre
    10 Ilsley Avenue, Unit 6
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    B3B 1L3
    Tel: (902) 468-6590
    Fax: (902) 468-6391
    Toll Free: 1 (800) 565-0388
    http://www.comfortfoam.ca
     
  10. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Some cities have specialty doll stores. You can also try Michaels or Fabricland if you have one in your area. I think most people order them online though.
     
  11. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I checked at Michael's, and they didn't have those or any other dolling supplies. They said one of the bigger stores might have them. Bigger Michael's stores, that is. I bought mine from Amazon.
     
  12. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I think the stores in Canada carry a different assortment than the U.S. stores (yours are better).
     
  13. bigwilly2000

    bigwilly2000 Active Member

    I looked at Michael's and their doll/bear making section was 3 dolls and lots of clothes and accessories. :sigh: Nothing in the way to make them and nothing on teddies, lol. But I did find a store to get the joints at and I actually wish that I would have gone there first because it could have been a one stop shop for most of my supplies. :) The store is called "Atlantic Fabrics, Crafts and More" and I can even get fur there. :cool: Like mentioned above they get the majority of it around Halloween though. As for the puppet "Skeeter" the "Cuddly Monster" is coming right along. :excited: Foam pieces are made, fur pieces are cut and waiting to be sewn and most of the features are done. I am taking lots of pics of the build and will create a build thread once it starts taking shape. A big thanks to Tom (TheCreatureWork):D , your videos help a lot with this as I find that the Project Puppet instructions are too vague with how some things are done.
     


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