Cosplay 101: Worbla, the Wonder Thermoplastic FAQ – Part 1

Cosplay 101: Worbla, the Wonder Thermoplastic FAQ – Part 1
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Worbla is a thermoplastic that is all the rage right now in the cosplay community. It’s easy to use and the scraps are reusable! Although a lot of people are using it now and there are some great tutorials about how to make your own armor/props out there, I noticed that there really isn’t a lot of information about Worbla itself. So I decided to experiment a little and answer my own questions about the material.

I decided to document my findings in case anyone out there has the same questions as me but can’t find any information.

I will continue with another FAQ as I find out more about this amazing material through my prop building endeavors.

1) What exactly is Worbla?

“Worbla’s Finest Arts” is a thermoplastic made from renewable natural raw materials. It is made by a German company called Rhenoflex and the material is actually meant to be used for industrial shoe making. Rhenoflex offers many different types of thermoplastic sheets but the kind we now know as “Worbla’s Finest Arts” is the Rhenoflex RX 5050 sheet part of the RX 5000 series. You can find an informational sheet directly from the manufacturer here.

2) Where can I buy Worbla?

You can get it from multiple places. I buy mine from but you can also buy it from Yaya Han’s online shop. Be warned, though, Yaya doesn’t always have it in stock. I’m still trying to see if I can buy some directly from the manufacturer as well as try to buy other Rhenoflex-made sheets. Will update in the future with my findings.

3) What are the tech specs of Worbla?

The Rhenoflex RX 5050 sheet is 1.00-1.15mm in thickness. It is made from natural fibers so it is very eco-friendly and recyclable. It comes with a rough side and a shiny smoother side. The shiny side is the most adhesive side of the sheet so it’s perfect for sticking it onto other surfaces, especially itself. The activation temperature is 85-95 degrees Celsius.

4) How can I mold/use Worbla?

You can use either a blow dryer, heat gun, oven, steam or hot water to mold it into shape. It also will perfectly cover round surfaces when heated such as balls or other rond objects. Worbla is great about being able to perfectly cover any surface once heated without any creases.

5) Can I paint over Worbla?

Yes, you can. However, it is widely suggested to prime it first, sand it down then begin the painting process. The reason being is that Worbla is a rough material and without priming/sanding it down it can end up looking like you just painted over sand paper.

6) Can I reuse my tiny Worbla scraps?

Yes, you can! That’s one of the best parts about this material. You can just reheat the scraps and mold them together into whatever shape you want. I suggest molding them into a ball, heating again then using a rolling pin to flatten it again. That way you can have another smaller sheet if you need it to be flat in the future.

Stay tuned for part 2!

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