Hi, just wondering if anyone has any advice on what to do with fur you want to fix in place? If there's nothing then I can live with the chattering, it has its own charm (Isle of Dogs for example), but it seems like I could spray it with a stiffening agent or comb some watered down glue into it or something. Laika puppet makers combed silicone into Kubo's hair for example, but I just have some faux fur I'd like to tame a bit.
I've brushed watered down pva glue into fur to give it direction and make it somewhat resistant to chatter. It helps but doesn't completely eliminate it, unless it is soaked in enough to make it completely rigid. You can do that with hair on a human's skull, but not so much with a furry animal, it needs to still flex with the body. I also try really hard to grab the puppet on the side away from camera where possible. Again, easier to grab where the hair isn't when it's just a patch of hair on the head, not so easy when the whole puppet is furry. A stylised, sculpted fur cast in latex or silicone - like the monkey in Kubo, or Susan in Missing Link, or feathers on chickens in Chicken Run - avoids the problem of using actual fur.
Aardman put square tube sockets on the armature of the Were-Rabbit, coming near the surface. A slit in the fur fabric gave access, and the fur hid the slit. Handles made of square rod could be inserted to animate with, that way the animators didn't touch the fur much. Then they pull the handle out to take the shot. I imagine the handle was mostly inserted around the back, or whatever side was away from camera in that shot. In front, you would see a little bit of movement in the small area where it went in. That may be the best solution, you certainly would get a better grip on the puppet than I do when pinching the fur fabric on the back side of the puppet so I don't grab it on the edges where it can be seen twitching.
With some movement on fur tufts or clothing, if I spot it before taking the frame I can try to brush it back so it is a smaller move, then follow through with similar moves on the next few frames to try to make it look natural. If the puppet is moving around, it works. If it is standing still with only a slight turn of the head or eye blink, it shows up. To some extent, with fur and clothing, I just have to accept that it's going to happen, it's part of the handmade look.
I also use flocking, which doesn't move very much when handled, but it really only works for short fur. You need flocking glue, or silicone on a silicone puppet, and an electrostatic flocking gun. Fibres up to 6mm work ok, any longer and it is hard to get good dense coverage, they just don't seem to get magnetised and attracted end-on to the gluey surface as well as the short fibres. Before the glue dries the hair needs to be airbrushed, or very gently brushed with a soft brush, to make it lean in the right direction and not stick straight out. I still have to use some fur fabric here and there, for long tufty bits like a squirrel tail or lion's mane.