Mannequins are three-dimensional figures that are specifically designed to resemble the human body in order to showcase clothing or accessories. They can be made out of a range of different materials, and have evolved significantly over time, starting out as wax or even papier-mache! But what are mannequins made out of now?
While not quite as modern as other materials, wood is still a popular choice for mannequins because it is sturdy and can evoke a classic, vintage atmosphere. Often a popular choice for artists (think the miniature wooden forms you often see in galleries and art studios), wooden mannequins are often crafted out of hardwoods such as maple, oak or beech. The natural beauty of wooden mannequins help to evoke a sense of timeless elegance.
Plastic mannequins have gained popularity over the past few years due to their cost-effectiveness and versatility. Often made from high-density polyethylene or polyurethane, these mannequins can be moulded into a wide range of poses and shapes, allowing for greater flexibility in visual merchandising. Plastic mannequins are also lightweight and easy to handle, making them a practical choice for environments that will require frequent repositioning, like larger retailers or shopping malls.
Fibreglass has been the material of choice for manufacturing mannequins since the 1950s. It is a lightweight and versatile material, allowing for intricate detailing and realistic sculpting. Fibreglass mannequins are made by layering fibreglass cloth with a polyester resin, creating a strong, durable structure with a smooth finish. These mannequins are popular in the fashion industry because of their affordability and resistance to damage.
Resin mannequins are beginning to grow in popularity due to their ability to be moulded into intricate forms and to capture delicate and realistic details. They can be crafted out of different types of resin, such as polyurethane and epoxy resin, which offer high colour retention and resistance to UV damage.
Resin mannequins are often favoured in high-end retail environments, where visual impact is important and luxury-looking designs are desired, or for practical industries, such as healthcare, to showcase where different internals are in the body.
How Proportion London can help
Mannequins are no longer required solely for the purpose of fitting clothes. They have evolved into dynamic, expressive pieces of art that are continually adapting to the ever-changing needs of the fashion industry. The materials used in mannequin production contribute not only to their aesthetic appeal but also to their functionality and ability to capture the imagination of designers and consumers alike.
Proportion London have been designing and manufacturing high-quality mannequins and busts since our creation in 1867. We continue to practise the original artesian techniques and craftsmanship, using the library of original shape moulds and early archive material to create beautiful forms that are used globally in respected high street and high-end brands to world-class museums.
Our experienced teams of sculptors, model makers and artists ensure that every detail of our products are perfect. We craft our mannequins from the finest materials, including fibreglass, to create entirely handmade, innovative display solutions for our customers.