Removing creases from latex masks


First let's define latex and the basics on how a mask is made. Latex is a natural milky material derived from rubber trees. A latex mask is made by sculpting a detailed piece in oil based clay to create a mold. Next, a two piece mold is created in reverse of the original clay sculpture. The mold is made by dividing the sculpture in halves and evenly applying industrial gypsum to the front half and back half of the clay sculpt. Once dried, the gypsum mold is removed from the front and back half of the sculpt and made into a whole mold, no longer a front and back half. Next a liquid latex is poured into the mold forming a skin, the excess is poured out and the latex is left to dry at room temperature. Finally color is applied and voila, you have a mask.

Now that you understand the basics on how a mask is made, you can see how not keeping the mask on a form can easily cause it to wrinkle or crease. Next we will explain how to take those nasty creases and wrinkles out of your masks.

*Do this procedure at your own risk. We do not take liability for burns, or your damaged piece. Please be very careful, as excessive heat can damage a mask, or worse, damage you. DO NOT EVER ATTEMPT THIS PROCEDURE WHEN WEARING LATEX ANYWHERE ON YOUR PERSON, OR ANYONE ELSE. This should not be attempted by anyone under 18. *Serious burns can occur.

The first step to fix a wrinkle or crease problem is to stuff the mask with something so that it will keep it's original form like newspaper. You want the mask to look like as close as you can to the end result you are looking to achieve. Heat the latex slowly focusing on the problem areas with a hair dryer on low setting for a few minutes at a time. Be careful not to burn yourself as the mask gets very hot to the touch. DO NOT EVER heat a mask while wearing it! You will cause sever burns to your skin. As you warm up the latex, you can feel it get softer and it becomes pliable to form into the new shape. The process should be completed in 15 minutes. Let the mask cool while it remains stuffed for about 10 to 15 minutes.

If you have more detailed areas to fix, I recommend a Popsicle stick for areas that may be more delicate, like noses, ears, etc. To fix, remove the paper from the mask. Next, the Popsicle stick can easily be slipped in the mask. Finally, start heating the area with the hair dryer on low for a few minutes at a time. *Note: Using your finger or hand will become too hot to touch and the heated latex may cause burns. You may want to keep pressure on the delicate area with the Popsicle stick for a few minutes after removing the heat to make sure the form takes the new shape. Let the mask cool for about 10 to 15 minutes... Presto! You're done. The mask should look 100% better.