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I've been working with more and more latex designers lately, some have even offered to mail out custom wardrobe for shoots. I want to be sure I properly treat/store the material so there is no damage either while getting it on, or shipping.
Any tips for a noob?
Thanks so much Marx! Killer input here, I've been doing more and more shoots involving it lately and some vendors have reached out wanting to send some out. I just want to make sure I can provide the very best care for the garments!
There are Several sites which outline treatment, and storage, and wear. Most sites that sell it will have a section that include care for the items.
In a very very loose nut shell-
Latex doesnt come "shiney" as we known it to be, it require a polish to be applied once it's on, this will change it from it's normal rubber appearance to the tight shiney latex look.
Test the model for allergies.
Have the model put lotion, and make sure her(their) skin is almost moist, with will help the putting on and taking off.
Latex is tight, and warm to wear, this can surprise people who have not woren it before, if their under lights, or wearing lots of layers along with the latex. Since the latex traps sweat, models can be sweating quite a bit and not be aware of it.
Some oils can damage latex, read labels.
Once it is removed from the model it should get hand washed, with a latex safe soap. Dont put it away dirty.
For storage, some latex should be stored in a cold, dry place.
I'm by no means an expert on the matter, hope this helps. Let me know if there is some thing specific your looking for.
Always keep it in a dark, cool place. Don't hang it on hangers or expose it to direct light - it will fade and stretch out. Wash lube off with lukewarm water and soap and lay to dry or pat dry. I usually store mine in tissue paper in a shoe box. I baby powder the inside and out to keep it fresh. Also, if you are wearing metal jewelry when shooting, be careful because some latex has a chemical reaction and will change the color of your latex. :)
Also, for putting on - I usually try not to have sharpened nails and go very slowly, roll it on and use my arms inside skirts/dresses to stretch it over my body/adjust it.
when you get it wash out the talcum powder first with lukewarm water. put on a towel to dry.
allways have the model put on some baby powder and step into it and "roll" it up like a stocking.
never have her try putting it on over her head.
use a silicon based lube to "shine" it up.sprays do not do the trick.lube puts the real shine on.
after the shoot wash out the garment with lukewarm water to get the "sweat" out.
I've had much better luck using lubricant to put it on, rather than talc. And it keeps you from having to clean up all the leftover talc after it's on. Deodorant is horrible for it, too. So have your models skip it if you're planning on sending the piece back. Latex is a sweaty mess... but so worth it. It photographs so delightfully well.