The three main materials used to manufacture mannequins. They include fiberglass, polystyrene, and wood.
Wood is the oldest mannequin material. Some benefits of wood include sturdiness. Moreover, customization can be carried out on a small scale quicker than other materials. Wood can be designed with ball and heating socket and other joints that permit limitless articulation. Wood also can be painted lifelike, or used naturally in the abstract permitting a variety of different styles.
Of course there are negative aspects of wood mannequins. Inherently they are extremely heavy which causes challenges in handling and increases the cost of transportation. Moreover, wood inherently is more abstract and does not lend itself to representing the most lifelike perceptions of humans. Over time wood will crack and split and it is virtually impossible to disguise these natural imperfections.
Polystyrene mannequins have come onto market in the past 15 years for a variety of reasons. First, this type of plastic is virtually indestructible and has a longer lifetime. Moreover, polystyrene is lighter weight than other materials and presents a cheaper transportation cost to the consumer. Also, polystyrene can be injected with dyes and formed into a variety of aesthetically pleasing colors. Pleasing the buyer, polystyrene mannequins are often the cheapest cost mannequins to manufacture.
The flipside to polystyrene is the difficulty in achieving realism. It cannot be sprayed over with lifelike paint and thus the mannequin can only achieve abstract renditions. Moreover, the mold is extremely expensive to manufacture due to the precision required and the selection of styles and poses and restricted. Finally, the finish and look of polystyrene matches its price; it is a cheaper looking product.
Fiberglass mannequins have moved beautiful gardens to the front as the preferred mannequin manufacturing material. The reasons are clear. Fiberglass achieves adequate sturdiness matched with weight. Assuming adequate care is taken in packaging and shipping, fiberglass mannequins will ship for a moderate price and last a long time. Fiberglass can be touched up with paint or painted over completely, should the consumer require a different look. Paints adhere well to fiberglass and artists can render the most lifelike renditions over a fiberglass surface. Fiberglass can be constructed with fabricated joints to permit some posing and articulation in the joints. As fiberglass gardening mannequins are the most preferred construction material the price point, due to competition, is the lowest for these types of mannequins.
The downside to fiberglass is sturdiness. While dropping a body part a few inches will likely not cause extensive damage, knocking a green energy rigid fiberglass mannequin energy providers onto the floor from a standing position will likely result in shattered pieces. Moreover, fiberglass tends to scratch easier than other materials and will have to be touched up more frequently. Fiberglass mannequin paint, when placed inside a non-UV protected retail window will fade when exposed to the sun quicker than other materials.
While there are three primary materials utilized in mannequin construction fiberglass has emerged as the preferred. Fiberglasss price, sturdiness and realism are the most important factors driving consumer purchases of mannequins.