Dress forms have always been a cool thing to have. But the demand for professional dress forms has increased as a result of reality tv shows like Project Runway. Even people who do not plan to sew, want a dress form just to display their jewelry and accessories on or to display a favorite garment. Some artists, turn damaged dress forms into pieces of art like the one below.
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when looking for a new or used dress form
TIP 1 If you are NOT planning on sewing on the form, but want it for display purposes only then you don’t need to spend a lot of money getting a professional form with all the bells and whistles on it which increases the price.
Display forms can come in a variety of materials some of which you can pin into (canvas, muslin, jacquard) and others which look cool but you can’t pin into (leather, fiberglass). If you are displaying jewelry, belts, or purses then it might not matter if you can pin into the form.
You can find new and used display forms on craigslist, Ebay or from mannequin liquidation companies like Mannequin Madness
TIP 2 If you are looking for a professional form like what tailors and professional seamstresses use, then Wolf is the industry standard. But they are EXPENSIVE with prices ranging from $675-$1400. Wolf went out of business in 2016.
Even used Wolf forms can be pricey because people like them as collector’s items. This is one item that seems to have more appeal the older and more beat up it looks. The year of manufacturer is stamped on the front and some people are looking for a specific year or decade. Speaking of timelines, sometimes you can place an order for a brand new Wolf form and it will take 6weeks or more before it is delivered.
I gained a new appreciation of why Wolf forms are so expensive after realizing all craftmanship involved in making them – much of it by hand. This is why it can take a while for them to fulfill orders. If you are interested, there is a cool video about it on the Discovery Channel Show “How Stuff is Made” that you can see The Making of a Wolf Dress Form (a commercial appears first)
TIP 3 As usual, Chinese manufacturers have found a way to make an inexpensive version of a Wolf Form. These are more than adequate, especially for the price, for those who want the functionality of a Wolf but will not use the form on a heavy duty basis like a tailor. They still have the collapsible shoulders, base with wheels, adjustable stand and wire basket at the bottom. We carry several of these on our website but the one in the photograph below is our and can be purchased here.