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Deteriorating Outfits

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growcian

Since I didn't find a "thread" :lol: dedicated to this topic, I decided to start one.

Some time ago, I bought Erica's Combat Uniform Set.

JAN code / EAN / UPC: 4518992401331

I didn't have any specific plans for this outfit other than I really like the design. During my brief exposure to Sakura Taisen 3 (which I own a copy of and should play it some time this century), I found Erica to be an annoying airhead. I don't love the character by any means but I love her uniform and the colors used on it. I bought the outfit figuring I might have some level of fun by making one of my girls cosplay Erica. (I never bought DD Erica and I have no plans to do so.)

Last night, I decided I kept the outfit in storage for too long and it's about time I got my money's worth. I then noticed something through the plastic packaging. It was something disturbing. The outfit was new and sealed. When I proceeded to open the bag, the plastic bag tore apart where the adhesive was applied. Not that I had any plans to resell the outfit but the packaging was now ruined. I then took a closer look at the "disturbing" thing I saw.

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Left shoulder, from the front.

My fears were confirmed. The outfit is falling apart.

@onion11@@onion30@

There's more.

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Front, right arm.

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Rear, left arm.

Even the coat tail has a slight blemish:

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At least the boots look like they're in great shape... Or so I thought.

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Based on when this outfit became available, it's about 6 years old. I have outfits made of similar material older than this one which aren't falling apart. However, doll outfit preservation is not an exact science.

@onion2@@onion4@

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Katiazza

If you want to try and fix it then faux leather repair is the search to use. They sell thick vinyl paint made for material like this. I've done it with vintage toys and it takes some finaggling but it can be done. 

Otherwise, to stop it from getting worse your best bet is the faux/real leather brush on sealant. It will dry flexible but stop the peeling. The only thing is that it can change the finish. But worth a shot if you can't live with it the way it is 

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*Yuzu* DDS Yaya

*Yuuko* DDIII Aozaki Aoko

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cfx

This is one of the parts of the hobby that scares me.  @onion32@@onion2@

I want to think this stuff will be around to enjoy for a long time, and given the expense of many things in the hobby I think it's reasonable to expect that, but it's clear that some things don't last very long at all. Given the situation with how Vollks (doesn't) releases shoes; I've bought a number of those from Mandarake all of which are at least a few years old. Nothing I've gotten shows any obvious deterioration yet, but they'll likely not last as long as if I'd gotten them when they were new.

The other stressful part is most of this stuff isn't replaceable. You can buy another Erica outfit but it will be just as old and may be in the same condition. Outfits that come with the dolls are basically irreplaceable.

Even if you avoid outfits primarily made out of that kind of vinyl like Erica's uniform, there are vinyl bits on many outfits like belts. Those Volks Deep Blue and Abyss Black military outfits I like so much use vinyl material on the shoulder decoration things (I don't know the right name).

As stated, it's certainly not an exact science. Age, storage conditions, how poor the quality of the material was to begin with are just some factors. I've noticed at least certain things on Mandarake that seem like they're all deteriorated when they get them, so probably poor quality material to begin with. One of those is the case that comes with Nanami's guitar; current listing for that:

https://order.mandarake.co.jp/order/detailPage/item?itemCode=1117037323&categoryCode=020114&lang=en

I don't think I've seen one of these listed in the ~2 years I've been looking at Mandarake that isn't in this condition or worse, including ones that are listed as still sealed/unused. Maybe that's why the recent limited rerelease of the guitar doesn't include the case. :classic_laugh:

Edit: A quick search on youtube turns up various videos on repair products for this type of damage on furniture and such. I'm sure some (all?) of them are sponsored videos for products that probably (do not) work about as well as all that "As seen on TV!!!" garbage, but maybe there's something there that's real.

I've got at least one outfit with some very minor damage like this; the corset with Lady Thief (I think, maybe it's Lady Archer) is cracked where it's folded nearly flat because of how it is packaged. I haven't done anything to it yet, but I've fixed stuff like that on shoes in the past to keep it from further cracking by using clear silicone of the type used for sealing windows (the stuff that smells like vinegar as it dries).

Edited by cfx
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growcian
2 hours ago, Katiazza said:

If you want to try and fix it then faux leather repair is the search to use. They sell thick vinyl paint made for material like this. I've done it with vintage toys and it takes some finaggling but it can be done. 

Otherwise, to stop it from getting worse your best bet is the faux/real leather brush on sealant. It will dry flexible but stop the peeling. The only thing is that it can change the finish. But worth a shot if you can't live with it the way it is 

 

While I could try to attempt a repair using a kit, the jacket looks like it's going to be a lost cause. Various YT videos I've seen deal with furniture and zero were for something as small as doll clothes. Erica's jacket is also torn in places with difficult to work with contours. Based on what the jacket looks like now, I can see signs of the rest of it falling apart in the near future. I might be able to salvage the boots with vinyl paint, though.

A repair kit is about 20 USD. At that price, I might as well give it a try.

 

1 hour ago, cfx said:

Edit: A quick search on youtube turns up various videos on repair products for this type of damage on furniture and such. I'm sure some (all?) of them are sponsored videos for products that probably (do not) work about as well as all that "As seen on TV!!!" garbage, but maybe there's something there that's real.

Most of the YT videos peddling the repair products look like 🐂💩 and promise results which look too good to be true.

While I mentioned the idea of buying a repair kit above, I'm going to keep my expectations low.

Edited by growcian

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Katiazza

I've personally fixed curved vinyl pieces using the leather paint and sealant. It never looks as good as the original, I dont think it ever could. But using the leather paint and sealant from Michael's has worked on plush toys that had vinyl pieces and that's about as rounded or contoured an item as I can think of.

As for why it happens, there is also the history of the fabric used. Just because Volks had a piece created 6 years ago doesn't mean the material was brand new when they commissioned the pieces. Often warehouses have stock for years before all of it gets used up. So that could be a factor as well

Edited by Katiazza

*Yuzu* DDS Yaya

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cfx

I also suspect this particular outfit had poor storage conditions:

On 1/14/2020 at 10:12 PM, growcian said:

The outfit was new and sealed. When I proceeded to open the bag, the plastic bag tore apart where the adhesive was applied.

In my experience (with waaay too many outfits and shoes :classic_laugh:) this only happens when the adhesive has hardened and/or the plastic of the bag has become brittle, both signs of some kind of less than ideal storage conditions in terms of temperature most likely. I've had that happen on very few of the outfit packages, and it's not always the oldest ones so it's not just an age thing.

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finnleo
8 hours ago, cfx said:

I also suspect this particular outfit had poor storage conditions:

On 1/15/2020 at 6:12 AM, growcian said:

The outfit was new and sealed. When I proceeded to open the bag, the plastic bag tore apart where the adhesive was applied.

In my experience (with waaay too many outfits and shoes :classic_laugh:) this only happens when the adhesive has hardened and/or the plastic of the bag has become brittle, both signs of some kind of less than ideal storage conditions in terms of temperature most likely.

If we are talking about Mandarake items, their storage seems to vary between locations. I guess the smaller one's have a very open storefronts, and they have some of these items out on display, and as a result in direct sunlight. For instance my Moe 2nd edition was supposedly also new in box, but the faceup and eyes had been sunbleached.

However, not all PU-coated materials are born equal. I have the original DD1 Mirai outfit, and some other volks outfits from that era that show no signs for wear and tear, despite being used every now and then. But then I have a few newer items by indie producers that have come apart due to over stressing the fabric.. then again any 1:1 lame fabric item will also come with a warning that stretching the fabric too much will cause it to lose the shine as it delaminates.

then on suggestions in how to fix things, paint has already been mentioned, but id mention trying to also dye the underlaying fabric as close as the top layer color so when you come to try and glue it back on any seams might be a little less obvious.

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cfx
25 minutes ago, finnleo said:

If we are talking about Mandarake items, their storage seems to vary between locations.

Good point. I was only thinking about previous owners and whereever else something may have been previously.

26 minutes ago, finnleo said:

I guess the smaller one's have a very open storefronts, and they have some of these items out on display, and as a result in direct sunlight. For instance my Moe 2nd edition was supposedly also new in box, but the faceup and eyes had been sunbleached.

This is a concern I've had, whether it's from Mandarake or previous display. When I bought Takane, one shop had one where the yellow on the box was faded on one side, and in the area around the face windows, so I specifically did not buy that one knowing it might have gotten sun or other UV exposure.

28 minutes ago, finnleo said:

then on suggestions in how to fix things, paint has already been mentioned, but id mention trying to also dye the underlaying fabric as close as the top layer color so when you come to try and glue it back on any seams might be a little less obvious.

Ooh, that's a good suggestion.

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growcian

Taking @Katiazza's suggestion, I bought a repair kit. No matter what I say below, I feel the purchase of the kit was well worth it.

While handling Erica's jacket, the peeling, tearing, and deterioration got a lot worse than what you see in the photos from the original post. There were "cloth crumbs" originating from the affected  areas and scattered all over the place as the outfit got handled at any time. Something needed to be done to the outfit before the tears and holes got worse. For about 20 USD, I figured at least making a repair attempt would be worth a shot.

While various printed instructions and tutorial videos will recommend using a backing cloth underneath the affected areas, doing that would have been unfeasible with this jacket. All I did was use the red paste/adhesive tube included in the kit.

The jacket absolutely needed some kind of structural support while I applied the paste; it was optimal to keep the working surfaces as flat as possible. DD-M chest, chest frame, and arms were used for the structural backing.

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The deterioration was temporarily halted.

The color match is nearly perfect. I didn't have any need or desire to mix the colors at all. The color was just right straight out from the tube.

Considering the rapidly deteriorating condition of the jacket, this repair turned out about as well as I could have hoped. As time goes on, I imagine other parts of this jacket will fall apart. I expect I'll need to keep making various touch-ups and repairs using the kit.

Erica's boots fared much better.

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While the repair kit will not perform miracles, after having used it, I think it's a good idea for people who own doll clothes made with faux leather to have one around.

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Katiazza

I'm so glad it worked! I would apply a layer of sealant all over the jacket as well (if you haven't already) since that will help slow any other deterioration that will occur. I'm glad it worked for you and the outfit!


*Yuzu* DDS Yaya

*Yuuko* DDIII Aozaki Aoko

*Sakura* DDII Uryuu Sakuno

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Galvatim

Volks shoes are the worst.  I was changing the outfits on a few of my girls, and discovered that my Rei Ayanami transfer student shoes were nearly completely fallen apart, and my Yuki Morikawa Skirt and boots set boots are deteriorating.  

49432036688_94ae1922be_c.jpg

The shoes might be salvageable.  

49432721756_e60e35d720_c.jpg

 

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cfx

The shoes look like they're doing something else I suspected but hadn't seen which is the glue failing so things come apart.

I've bought various older shoes and boots from Mandarake and Jungle because if I waited around for Volks to release what I want no one would have hardly any shoes to wear. Nothing I've gotten appears to be deteriorated at least yet, but no doubt some aren't going to last as long as if I'd gotten them new.

This is all pretty disheartening considering what this stuff costs.

I noticed earlier that Volks Japan still sells that Erica Fontaine battle costume. I'm sure they won't send you one that's obviously already deteriorating in the package, but still it might not last long once you take it out and handle it.

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Keijogirl

I'm glad a thread like this exists. I have so many old outfits lying around that I am afraid to touch because they started the deterioration process but I had no idea how to save them so I just put them away stored as best as possible. Thank you for bringing this up and sharing the work. I really didn't think there was a way to save some of these.


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Ylse

That repair kit did wonders! 😲 My sewing teachers works a lot with leather and now I wonder if she has the same problems. If this is a faux leather only problem. Also wonder if different processing of the (faux) leather changes how fast or slow it deteriorates. 

This thread is atleast a helpful resource for people who have the same problems and are looking for  solutions 😀

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Katiazza
4 hours ago, Ylse said:

That repair kit did wonders! 😲 My sewing teachers works a lot with leather and now I wonder if she has the same problems. If this is a faux leather only problem. Also wonder if different processing of the (faux) leather changes how fast or slow it deteriorates. 

This thread is atleast a helpful resource for people who have the same problems and are looking for  solutions 😀

It's a faux leather/bonded leather problem. Real leather can deteriorate if it isn't stored properly, but mostly by drying out.

With faux leather it's a sheet of polyurethane plastic or some other soft coating (for faux suede) bonded onto fabric. When the bond breaks over time, or the top layer of plastic starts to crack, that top layer starts to break off. It can flake or come off in bigger pieces depending on what is happening to the plastic coating


*Yuzu* DDS Yaya

*Yuuko* DDIII Aozaki Aoko

*Sakura* DDII Uryuu Sakuno

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Galvatim
10 hours ago, cfx said:

The shoes look like they're doing something else I suspected but hadn't seen which is the glue failing so things come apart.

I've bought various older shoes and boots from Mandarake and Jungle because if I waited around for Volks to release what I want no one would have hardly any shoes to wear. Nothing I've gotten appears to be deteriorated at least yet, but no doubt some aren't going to last as long as if I'd gotten them new.

This is all pretty disheartening considering what this stuff costs.

I noticed earlier that Volks Japan still sells that Erica Fontaine battle costume. I'm sure they won't send you one that's obviously already deteriorating in the package, but still it might not last long once you take it out and handle it.

Yeah, the glue has completely failed.  It's easy to fix, at least.  I think I have a pair of boots with a bad zipper, too.  First version Candy's, I think. 

The other issue I've encountered, only with Volks, is bad stitching on snaps hooks, and clasps, causing them to come off.  Not too hard to fix, but annoying.  Oh, and the Velcro/hook and loop tape on Volks outfits isn't so great, either.  

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cfx
3 minutes ago, Galvatim said:

The other issue I've encountered, only with Volks, is bad stitching on snaps hooks, and clasps, causing them to come off.

I've seen this too; one outfit I bought new from Volks that stitcing was already unraveling when I took it out of the package. I always try to open those snaps by pushing a fingernail into the space between the two pieces to pop them apart rather than pulling on them to hopefully not stress the sewing.

4 minutes ago, Galvatim said:

Oh, and the Velcro/hook and loop tape on Volks outfits isn't so great, either.

I don't think I have anything with Velcro. I was testing out some of the recent outfits I got and the skirt on one of the Abyss Black outfits has the usual little metal hook and made-of-thread loop to hook it into. Something makes the hook not want to go into this one easily and I see it's frayed a bit; I'm not sure if it already was or I caused it. Black (actually really dark brown) thread on material the same color, tiny, and me being old it's one of those things I can't see well enough to tell what's wrong. I thought maybe the hook was bent where it's too far closed but that didn't seem to be it.

I can do rudimentary hand sewing like reattach a button on 1/1 clothing. I'm not sure if I have the dexterity to sew and tie one of these little loops. I'm sure I'll get to try at some point.

9 minutes ago, Galvatim said:

Yeah, the glue has completely failed.  It's easy to fix, at least.

Is there a specific type of glue that's best for this? Some kind of craft glue maybe? A long time ago, I used to repair real shoes with silicone caulk, the kind that smells like vinegar and typically came in clear or black. That was actually strong enough to hold shoe soles on if they had come loose in small areas.

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cfx

I guess that's what I was thinking of. I watched some random youtube video a while ago where someone made some simple doll clothing where they glued the fabric for hems instead of sewing.

I should add I wasn't really suggesting the silicone for use here because that stuff was messy and probably wouldn't really work as an adhesive where you have to use it in such small amounts, so no one should take what I wrote as a suggestion to try it. I think it could be used as a small crack filler to stop one growing though. What I used to do on full-size shoes was use a matching shoe polish to color the hole to match the surrounding vinyl, then use the clear silicone to fill it. The stuff @growcian used would probably be better but to repair something small without having to spend that much for the kit may be an alternative, at least for shoes.

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Riesz

Oh no! This sort of thing breaks my heart.  I haven't noticed it on any of my Volks stuff, but some of my Azone doll shoes have started leaking yellow glue and otherwise deteriorating on the plastic leather.  Most of my DD-size shoes have been purchased on Taobao, so I guess I'll have to just wait and see how they hold up...

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Katiazza
3 hours ago, Riesz said:

Oh no! This sort of thing breaks my heart.  I haven't noticed it on any of my Volks stuff, but some of my Azone doll shoes have started leaking yellow glue and otherwise deteriorating on the plastic leather.  Most of my DD-size shoes have been purchased on Taobao, so I guess I'll have to just wait and see how they hold up...

I have a pair of boots I purchased from Taobao around 2012 or 2013 and they have started to deteriorate unfortunately. They're a sort of soft faux suede and the soft part is too soft now and just touching it makes it want to come off. I need to seal them but I know it will change the texture so I've been putting it off 


*Yuzu* DDS Yaya

*Yuuko* DDIII Aozaki Aoko

*Sakura* DDII Uryuu Sakuno

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cfx

No personal experience, but something I think I remember reading about or at least seeing in pictures--haven't some of the Snow Miku boots and arm covers yellowed to where they look gold-ish in color instead of the silver they are supposed to be? If I'm remembering that correctly, this must be a case of poor materials as Snow Miku was only released 02/2017 so wasn't that long ago.

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