twigling | BJD Care Guide
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BJD Care Guide

Tips & guidelines for looking after ball jointed dolls

BJD are made to be manipulated and handled, and while you will want to take care of your expensive and somewhat delicate new art toy, you should not be afraid of nir either. It is of course entirely up to you what you want to do, whether this doll will be purely for display in a cabinet, or whether ne will sit on your desk to inspire and distract you while you work, or whether you want to take nir travelling for elaborate photoshoots and visits to public places.


Artifex Kindred are reproduced in high quality polyurethane resin, a petroleum based bi-component liquid plastic. Once the two components are mixed, a chemical reaction takes place and the material hardens. Like an egg, it cannot be re-liquified. It can however be deformed if exposed to high temperatures and will tend to oxidise and discolour over time in exposure to UV light, and oxygen.


By discolouration we generally mean a slight or significant shift in colour, either by oxidisation of the base material or degradation of the pigments used. We often refer to “yellowing” and “greening”, where in the former, the base-white resin has oxidised towards a creamy or yellow colour, and in the latter, a darker pigmented resin such as a tan or brown would turn green because the red pigment fades away. The mellowing of light and pale flesh colours are considered normal and unavoidable and are not a fault, but rather a natural characteristic of the material.


We advice to avoid exposing your dolls to direct and indirect sunlight and bright indoor fluorescent light to avoid or at least detain the effect.


Avoid exposing the doll to high temperatures, bright light, moisture or humidity, for example when storing them be aware of potential ambient temperatures of the storage location, and pack nir safely when not being displayed. If ne has been stored in a very cold location, allow nir to return to ambient room temperature before posing and handling.


We suggest that for protection and for your own convenience, you use a doll bag or carrier to transport, or a sturdy box for shipping and longer term storage. Take extra care to pack and protect the fragile parts like the hands, the faceup and eyelashes (if she has them). If setting nir down for a moment, place in a supine position (laying down face up) or sitting, to avoid falling and potential damage while your attention is placed elsewhere.


Even if your doll is well-balanced and can stand on its own, it is a good idea to invest in a stand for display if you want to leave nir in a standing position.


Despite common misconception that polyurethane resin is a porous material that will soak up certain types of pigment or materials, there is no real evidence that this is possible. Indeed the naturally occurring oils from your hands will leave fine prints on everything you touch, and may damage faceups. The fingerprints also attract dust and debris, and you may want to wear white cotton gloves while handling, which will help keep the doll clean.


To clean your doll, you can use detergents intended for dishes, warm water, melamine sponges or grease and wax remover, depending on what you are trying to do. Thinners such as acetone are often used to remove facepaint, but should be used with care as they can soften the resin if left to soak, and may permanently alter the surface texture. We do not recommend soaking the doll in water without prior disassembly, as the internal elastics could degrade, and hooks and screws may rust.


If you wear nailpolish, this can transfer by contact to the resin, handle mindfully in any case.
Clothing, wigs (especially the wig-cap) and textiles made from dark-coloured materials may stain the resin. Both these types of discolourations are removable using melamine sponge, degreaser, detergent or in the worst case, gentle abrasion with sandpaper.


In the event of accidental or deliberate damage, we can sell you replacement parts, but there is a very high likeliness that the resin colours will not be a perfect match from one batch to the next.


Your doll is held together with multi-strand rubber elastics, which over time will slacken and loose their tension. In this case you may want to tighten the elastics to shorten them and re-tie the knots or even completely replace them. To do so, you need to dis-assemble the doll, and restring with new elastic. We have a separate page with assembly instructions, and replacement elastic can be sourced in craft stores and via dedicated doll-supply retailers.