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Thread: Mertailor dropping Latex

  1. #21
    Have to add that I am thankful to have looked on this forum before deciding what materials to use for my own tail. I was not a member of the old Yuku board, I am new to the whole mermaid community, and I had no idea about Mertailor until I saw your reviews. I was leaning toward ordering one until I dug in and did further research. I have very sensitive skin, and agree fully with Iona and Raina that anyone selling materials that are not approved for wear could potentially be sued. I would if it made me sick. Awesome that I was able to avoid all that hassle in the first place.

    I have designed, crafted, and sold custom jewelry for over 20 years....I use sterling, fine silver, or stainless for my pieces. It pisses me off when I see other makers misleading buyers. My stuff is not cheap, it has value, it is well made and skin safe. I would not feel right about putting anything out there that was not. If I don't use my typical sterling (for example a custom order or something Steampunk etc.) it is clearly marked. Is my stuff right for every buyer? No. However....you have a responsibility to the community you serve. *popping new soap bubble*

  2. #22
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod Morticia Mermaid's Avatar
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    I'm just curious, really am not trying to start anything, but how do you know whether he is using silicone caulking or not? Fish Butts also does Partial Silicone tails, so how do we know if its caulking or not... How do we know what ANY tail maker actually uses for "silicone tails" or even partials...

    Again, just wondering...
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  3. #23
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    I think that's a fair question, Stevi tells everyone she's using dragonskin for her silicone. If mertailor wasn't using caulking he would say "What liars on mernetwork, I do not use silicone caulking!" and there would be no drama. He has admitted to using the caulkings in the past, people who have worked with him have confirmed it, it was very well documented on mer yuku and I believe the threads were pulled over, of course, the price would reflect using dragonskin and not caulking, and even though he's announcing it now, he announced it previously as Iona mentioned and several mers since then have posted their tails with all the same issues as caulking since he claimed to have switched over. (Blue mermaids thread was a perfect example. None of those things would happen with dragonskin) All he has to say is "every mermaid tail I make that isn't fabric is made from dragonskin silicone". And you know what? I wouldn't cause drama, I'd say, "good, that's perfect, the community needs to get away from that stuff, good for you." I actually wouldn't be surprised as from a result of the posts Iona and I made he does decide to move away from the stuff. I didn't wake up thinking hmm I'll fight with mertailor today (not that you're suggesting it, lol) I am simply referencing things that already exist, voicing my opinions, concerns, and criticisms. It does not equal hate, or lying, as anyone can easily see.

    My whole intention here, is not to start a big drama war or bash the mertailor, I have made these same comments about fishbutts when they dumped the alex plus and went to real dragonskin, made the same concerns about caulking in regards to Merberry, as well as others who make tails in the caulking way. The difference between everyone else, is they say what they make their tails out of. So everyone who wants to buy knows, okay, I am only getting what I pay for material wise and I know they come with certain risks. You know what that makes? Happy customers. People are more understanding because they know they made an informed choice. You'd see less negative reviews as well because people wouldn't be under assumption that the tail they bought that they thought was real silicone just fell apart. The intention of my reply, was to show that there's a strong possibility that the materials being used are not high grade, and this customers should be prepared for that.
    Last edited by AniaR; 11-29-2012 at 02:14 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #24
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod Morticia Mermaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    If mertailor wasn't using caulking he would say "What liars on mernetwork, I do not use silicone caulking!" and there would be no drama. He has admitted to using the caulkings in the past, people who have worked with him have confirmed it, it was very well documented on mer yuku and I believe the threads were pulled over, of course, the price would reflect using dragonskin and not caulking, and even though he's announcing it now, he announced it previously as Iona mentioned and several mers since then have posted their tails with all the same issues as caulking since he claimed to have switched over. (Blue mermaids thread was a perfect example. None of those things would happen with dragonskin) All he has to say is "every mermaid tail I make that isn't fabric is made from dragonskin silicone".
    Maybe he doesn't want to say because people would call HIM a liar. Again, no one can know for fact what is actually being used. Processes and materials change, Tailmakers don't HAVE to tell anyone what they actually use.

    And if prices actually reflected what they used, I'd question whether or not Fish Butts actually is using dragon skin. Her partial tail prices are the same as his. I have personally looked into the prices of dragonskin and there is no way she could be making them with dragon skin and be making any profit. The materials alone are equal to the price she charges for them.

    Just some food for thought.
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  5. #25
    Fish Butts has used caulking though. I'm pretty sure that was widely known.
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  6. #26
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    I have personally looked into the prices of dragonskin and there is no way she could be making them with dragon skin and be making any profi
    Many tailmakers are now buying wholesale for their dragonskin silicone. It's how they're getting around the individual costs. I've personally seen Stevi's photos of silicone, and she's posted it on her pages and instagram before as well the tail making process. I addition, not many tail makers use tail making as their soul income. Jesse uses the exact same materials as Eric and Raven, and charges far less. He's also got photos and videos of the tail making process.

    Really, a person shouldn't be worried they'll be called a liar unless they've been caught in a lie before. But honestly, if he said that's what he was using people would believe it unless they got the materials and compared it to others. Like I said, having owned both, there are certain things that just don't happen with dragonskin that happen with caulkings. I've documented some of it on my youtube.

    I just think these are all things people should consider is all. It's not a matter of good or bad, but just a matter of people knowing what they're buying. I see on his FB there's been comments about me having health issues to start with, so I shouldn't have even bought a tail. Well, I can tell you, I bought my tail after doing a hell of a lot of researching on latex and believed I was getting a pure latex tail. Had I known it was made from the same things my carpenter father kept in his garage, or known what those things could do, I'd have never bought it. But I would never have bought it for a lot of reasons had I known

  7. #27
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    Fish Butts has used caulking though. I'm pretty sure that was widely known.
    yep. They did. And they told everyone they did and answered questions and didn't claim it was something else. So people knew when they bought the tails what they were getting.

  8. #28
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    Hey everyone, Eric and I have been emailing over this issue. He'd like to set the record straight. He's been very polite and respectful in our emails and he and I are both working hard here to compromise.

    I've quoted directly what he's explained and said. You'll have to make your own decisions for yourself. Personally, the only real issue I had that I wanted addressed, was transparency in information so customers know what they're buying. I believe Eric did his best to address that. While I still believe all tail makers should move on to only using dragonskin, I appreciate that's not something that can happen if people want cheaper tails. Anyway, here's what he has to say.

    First and foremost, when I started my business years ago, when I was 15, I created the first "Affordable" "Realistic" Mermaid Tail. I wanted to offer a Realistic looking product that were both safe to wear and affordable to my clients and others who had the same passion that I do for the World of Mermaids. I experimented with all types of liquid rubbers from Smooth-On, the Hardware Store, and other FX Companies that were available on the market, various paints, fabric, etc. until I found something that I felt would do the job. When I found that "perfect" product, it was Latex Rubber, Neoprin Backing, Createx Airbrush Paints, Silicone, and a Finis Monofin. I was so happy that I finally created the product that I had been working on finding for years! Not only was it affordable, but it was completely safe.


    The prototype ended up being used by the Weeki Wachee Mermaids and various Aquariums around the USA. I am bringing the Aquariums up in this paragraph, because I want to point out that, if a product was not "safe", an Aquarium would never put it into their Aquarium Environment due to the safety of the fish and other aquatic wildlife. I know this to be a fact because I have performed at many well known Aquariums. Not to mention the Weeki Wachee Mermaids would not have asked to use, or order my Realistic Tail Product. Not only because of environmental issues, but also the safety of their performers.


    It is true that Latex is not a very good material to use in water applications, because Latex absorbs water as Silicone rejects the elements. After a while, the Latex starts to break down because of water damage. When painting a Latex Prosthetic, the paint might appear to look as if it completely permanent, but it is not. Painting Latex is a Topical Application. Eventually, the paint on top of the Latex is going to chip, scratch, or fall off of the material. When you add water to the Latex Prosthetic, with Topical Painting, the Wear and Tear is going to be twice as bad, especially when the Latex Tail is put onto or pushed against the slightest surface such as the concrete wall of a swimming pool. When you add the element "Water" to any type of application, it is always much more difficult for any product. It is what it is. Whether the product breaks down or algae blooms, it is going to happen unless it is properly cared for. Unlike Latex, Silicone Rubber only sticks to Silicone Rubber. Although, I Airbrush my Silicone Mermaid Tails, I am using a Silicone Mixture, that I have formulated which is 99.9% permanent. I am basically "dying" the Silicone Rubber with the various colors creating a "Permanent Bond". Once again, there is always going to be wear and tear with anything you purchase in your life. Because of Silicones durability and water resistant properties, I started creating my Full Silicone Mermaid Tails. Most recently I started switching over to Partial Silicone Mermaid Tails (still called the Realistic Mermaid Tail). I wanted to offer a better product for my clientele, so I did it and it is working beautifully! I NO LONGER OFFER LATEX, only Silicone products!!


    Switching over from Latex Rubber to Silicone Rubber was a very difficult, but necessary decision for me to make for my company for several reasons, not because of safety reasons (I have been producing the Latex Realistic Mermaid Tail for years and never once did I get any complaint from a client about skin issues or any other health issues), but because I wanted to produce a "better" product for my clients.



    My Realistic Silicone Tails (Partial Silicone Tails) are in fact created from a Tin Silicone and backed with either Neoprene Rubber with Nylon Coating on both sides or Neoprin material. I use the "backing" in my Realistic Mermaid Tails for several reasons; 1.) To keep the cost down to the client, 2.) To make a durable product that will last longer, and 3.) To add a barrier between the client's skin and the Silicone Rubber.


    I end up using Neoprin most of the time because my clientele prefer the Neoprin Substitute for several reasons; 1.) Neoprin is not as 'Bulky" as Neoprene Rubber, 2.) Neoprin is better form fitting than Neoprene, and 3.) Neoprin is more soft than Neoprene. Using Silicone Rubber on top of the Neoprin works better than Latex because it keeps a better form and does not allow as much stretch as the Latex. Silicone, no matter the "type" is typically a stronger material all the way around.



    I don't know what kind of person people think I am, but people are talking about my realistic tails being dangerous to health and safety. I do care about people and I would NEVER put anyone's health at risk, I wear the realistic tails myself and my friends and family wear my realistic tails. Why would I put the people I hold dearest to me in danger if what these people say are true? Just rest assured that I guarantee that everything that comes from my studio is safe!

    Before I ship out any of my Tails, they are completely cured and not leeching any harmful oils or chemicals, then there shouldn't be any reason to worry. I have done my research to prove that the materials I use are safe. Once Silicone or Latex Rubber has been cured, the material is "Inert", which means the material(s) is deficient in active properties; especially: lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action.


    When you look at any MSDS form, you will see that the MSDS information does state that the material(s) can be Toxic or Hazardous, but this pertains to ONLY UNCURED MATERIAL(S). The only people who need to worry about this is MYSELF and any OTHERS working with the UNCURED MATERIAL(S), such as Silicone Rubber, not the person who is wearing a FULLY CURED product. When Silicone (Platinum, Tin Based, or Silicone Caulking) and Latex cures, it releases chemicals which "cure" the material from a liquid/gel to a solid. Once the material is completely cured, it does not have Toxic or Hazardous properties. Not only have I done my own experimentation with this, but I have asked my manufacturers of the materials that I use to create my Silicone Mermaid Tails. I have also asked several well known Special FX Artists, including Face-Off contestants and other Professional "Tail Makers" who have been in the business for years.


    If the proper, in depth research is done, you or whomever will find out exactly what I am talking about. It is all factual information. I did my research and this is how I came up with my processes. I mean, I am a smart individual, but I needed to get the information from somewhere, I did not just pull it out of my a** (excuse the a** remark).


    Once again, I will reiterate that everything that comes from my studio is safe!

    Before I ship out any of my Tails, they are completely cured and not leeching any harmful oils or chemicals, there shouldn't be any reason to worry. I have done my research to prove that the materials I use are safe. Once Silicone or Latex Rubber has been cured, the material is "Inert", which means the material(s) is deficient in active properties; especially: lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action.


    No one has ever asked me what type of Silicone I use for my Partial Silicone Tails, they just assume that is Caulking, because every other "Tail'' company uses this. I am here to say that I use a Tin Base Silicone on my Partiel Silicone Mermaid Tails and I use Dragonskin, a Platinum Base Silicone Rubber for my Full Silicone Mermaid Tails. Both materials are completely safe to use for the intended application, a Mermaid Tail.


    My Full Silicone Tails on the other hand are specifically made to be worn directly against the skin with no barriers such as Neoprin or Neoprene. The Full Silicone is extremely durable and completely water safe. The Silicone Mermaid Tail is truly a full body Prosthetic. The Tails are fully functional/swimmable and extremely realistic. My Silicone Mermaid Tails are created to fit like a second skin, body prosthetic. Made from the highest quality silicone, Professional Grade Dragon Skin Platinum Silicone, used by the Professional Special Effects industry market today. Silicone offers more options than other rubber materials. It is extremely soft, like human flesh, very stretchy, and allows the Tail to have realistic translucency in the Fluke and Fins while being completely UV stable. Not only are our Tails completely safe to wear, but are extremely durable with added spandex mesh casted inside for strength, in addition to my tails being amazingly realistic, they are built with a custom, with a custom polycarbonate Monofin that will provide power and speed for swimming through water like a Dolphin. Each Tail is custom made to order using the clients specific measurements upon ordering. Using my special pigmentation process, our beautiful Tails are custom painted with metallic and iridescent colors to give an extremely realistic appearance. Silicone can be used in all types of water, Salt, Fresh, or Chlorinated water.


    I also would like to bring up the custom measurement information. I am always slammed with orders. People just want to be Mermaids! I can not tell you how many times a client measures incorrectly. Half of the time my clients who measure incorrectly either A.) Measure themselves, or B.) The client uses a metal measuring tape (inappropriate device). This happens all of the time and I have no control over this. If a Mermaid Tail was created using the wrong measurements on my behalf, I take back the Tail and I fix it. The same goes for painting the Tail. If the color is incorrect or I missed a spot, I take back the Tail and I fix it. If the client destroys the Tail, which happens all the time and ruins the paint job, they are responsible for paying to fix it.


  9. #29
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod Morticia Mermaid's Avatar
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    Thats actually the same information he sent to me as well, I'm going to be including it in the interview I will be doing with him for my blog

    Edit: There are a few questions I have about some of it that I will be asking, I will include the answer with the questions in the interview.
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  10. #30
    Senior Member Pod of Texas Firemaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    Iona just answered that, tin cure= caulking. Platinum silicone = skin safe (dragonskin)
    I was just pointing out that this statement was inaccurate.
    Tin cure silicon is not just caulking. It is often used in professional special effects making and can be particularly good for making mermaid tails with a mono-fin because it will dry next to rubber. Platinum cure will not.
    As far as pointing out that we could be happy someone is at least trying to make positive changes; I am sorry if that bothered you, it wasn't my intention.
    Clearly Eric has hurt your feeling quite a bit.
    That sucks.
    Maybe you should just forget about him?

  11. #31
    Senior Member Pod of The South Mermaid Star's Avatar
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    I just noticed a few things and wanted to point a few things out from the letter that was sent and my experiences with working with the products I have worked with in the past.

    I would like to point out that the latex that he was using in the past was inferior. I used a latex which is very difficult to work with but is used for SFX. It does not break down just by being in water. Even swimming in chlorinated water for several hours during a gig, this latex did not break down or turn white. That only happens when the "latex" reconstitutes. Once fully cured, real latex doesn't stretch much at all (which is one of the reasons why MVD stopped using it, I believe).

    Also, Neoprin is not softer that neoprene. Neoprene feels like a flipping cloud! But if it is more rough, it would hold the "rubber" better if applied to the fabric, more so than a smooth fabric. We have found, as a group, that neoprin has a shorter life span than neoprene (stretch wise)

    Tin cure silicone is used in the SFX world, but it is not meant for prosthetics! Tin cure silicone is intended for molds. As per what eric said, he uses Smooth on products. You can see this for your self on the smooth-on web site under the Silicone rubbers page.

    I am very happy that he is trying to heal the wounds by extending a coupon/discount to the group. He stands to gain a lot of business from this group. But I too would like some transparency from him. And all sellers of products for that matter.

    In regards to the caulking issue. I know he was using the caulking because my best friend worked with him and used it when helping him make his tails. They sent a tail that she made to an aquarium. The aquarium will not think much of it if the maker of the product says it is safe, but if it turns white/breaks down/reconstitutes (as he mentioned that it does) then it is not safe for the fish or others that may be in the water. (caulking is white when not cured, as it cures [if you use clear] it turns clear) As a reference, Mermaid Raven's mertailor tail turned white after a few hours of use in water.

    Just wanted to throw that info out there. I know it is just random info, but I wanted to just bring those things up as points from my experience.

    I know everyone has a little bias in one direction or another. Everyone is bias in some way. We are human, we can't help it. Please know that no one here has malicious intent. We all want a safe, happy and fair place to be. Thank you to all of the mers who help make this place a safe place. Without you all, I would have made a caulking tail instead of learning to use real latex. Also to Iona/Winged for discussing the dangers of working with latex. Because of you, I used the proper safety precautions when working with the material. I can't wait to move on to making my very own silicone tail!


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  12. #32
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    Well I Know one maker who has pioneered in dragon skin tails from the companies beginning and that would be mermaid creations L L C .com also known as merman Jesse he has profestional grade dragon skin tails for sure

    http://www.mermaidcreations-inc.com/

    also the tails are totally 100% dragon skin and the tails are exactly as published I must say

  13. #33
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod Morticia Mermaid's Avatar
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    Jr- This was meant to be a discussion about Mertailor and his tails. No one is calling Eric a liar about his products.
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  14. #34
    Senior Member Euro Pod Sammi Ray's Avatar
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    Hes not said anything on his site yet (kinda hoping to see some pics). If anyones seen any pictures let me no what they look like :-)
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