Wishing all our customers a Happy Festive Season please note our warehouse will be closed 20/12/19 till 2/1/20.
A small piece of background info first - most shop mannequins are made from fiberglass, because this material lends itself best to the molding and manufacturing process. The use of fiberglass in the manufacturing process allows sculptors a virtually blank canvass with which to create shape and form with, as fiberglass can be molded into a wide variety of shapes and designs. The one major drawback with using fiberglass is that is a relatively fragile material when used daily in commercial environments, so a fiberglass mannequin can be subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous treatment! A fiberglass mannequin does have to treated like you would treat any asset in your business - with care and regard to maximising its lifetime and aesthetics.
The quickest damage most mannequins sustain is scratching - usually from fairly innocuous circumstances - your staff change the mannequins clothes and jewellery like a ring scratches the paint surface. In some cases, if the scratch is light a basic pencil eraser can rub the mark off. (At Rax & Dollies, our premium mannequins are supplied with gloves & touch up paint, which can protect and restore your mannequin's finish). Make sure your staff wear the gloves provided to reduce the risk of accidental scratching. Many mannequins are displayed in cramped retail window displays - and sometimes its easy for a mannequin to be knocked bumped or fall over completely if the staff are rushing, or just plain unlucky! If you drop or heavily bump a fiberglass mannequin, it WILL sustain some kind of damage, ranging from a scratch if you're lucky to a crack or dent if its a hard knock. The best protection against this eventuality is to plan ahead a bit, try to work in as much open space as possible, at a time when you're not likely to be interrupted and when you or your staff don't need to rush. If you are moving a mannequin to another location in the store, don't pick the mannequin up by the arms or drag it along on its base - the arms might fall off, and you will weaken the attachments that secure the mannequin's feet to the base. Its best to take a few extra moments, and take it across in pieces and reassemble in the new display area.
If you are heading off to an exhibition or trade show, as tempting as it is, don't throw the mannequin in the back of a van and expect it to make it to its destination unscathed! Take the extra time to pack it back up into a box with plenty of bubblewrap and packaging - this way the mannequin will do justice to your garments at the exhibition! Be careful with the hands too, as though some of the premium mannequin ranges these days have toughened hands, poorer quality mannequin hands will break if dropped - there is many a 3 fingered mannequin lurking at your local mall! As a matter of facts, one of our most common requests is to replace missing / stolen / damaged mannequin hands!
Also, there have recently been some great advances in the manufacture of plastic mannequins. The picture below shows a female mannequin from the Rax & Dollies Bounce! range of plastic mannequins. While the development costs associated with molding plastic mannequins restricts the range of poses available, plastic mannequins are a great option for retail environments where there is a high rotation of clothing on the mannequins and also where young staff work unsupervised (i.e. take less care!). At a recent tradeshow, we literally had people saying sorry to plastic mannequins we had on display they had bumped into, they had thought they were real people instead of mannequins!