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In my current project (a 2 ft tall Fred Astaire marionette) I'm using:
*A hollow dowel neck with joints at both ends (inside head string goes through a crossbar to a knot and bead, then string runs through shoulder piece at bottom and is knotted into a countersunk hole).
*A ball waist joint, joined with cords ruon L and R side running up through armpits and down through pelvis piece.
*A turnbuckle hip joint, allowing movement in 2 directions (normal "walk" front and back but also out to the side). Important range of motion for a dancer.
*Leather knee, ankle, and wrist joints (just a double thickness of leather glued into the slots).
*Leather loops for the arms that loop through staples at each shoulder, joining to wooden dowel forearm pieces (secured with glue and wrapped string) -- makes very flexible arms for a dancer.
Where can you get trunk fiber now a days?