Custom Mannequins

1780 Samuel Cutts

  • Silk with wool. Samuel Cutts’ late 18th c. suit. Silk and wool. Courtesy of Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth NH
  • The mannequin comes apart for ease of dressing.
  • The mannequin with its torso removed. The legs to the knee are also separate from the calves and feet.
  • The legs lift completely free of the support pole so the breeches can be easily mounted without strain. The stockings and shoes are made of ethafoam covered in stockinette.

mannequin in process

Showing the garments in your collection can be damaging to the clothing. Garments being exhibited handle the stresses of display better when they are mounted on mannequins designed to fully support them. And they look best on mannequins made to fit the fashionable silhouette of their time. SchaefferArts mannequins are made of conservationally-sound materials and are tailored to the specific needs of each garment. Support structures such as petticoats or crinolines provide the correct shape for skirts, and sculpted padding keeps trouser legs from simply dangling.

An assessment of each garment is done before mannequin work can begin. Seams are checked for strength, weak areas in the fabric are flagged, as are missing buttons or hooks. Evidence of the garment having been altered – a very common occurrence – is noted. A thorough condition report is put together and only if the garment is judged stable enough will a mannequin be made for it.

Mannequins are made at the SchaefferArts studio, although some projects can be done on-site.