Monday, June 17, 2019

An Eye Enquiry

I've been debating back and forth about something and thought that perhaps you could help me!

Here's my dilemma: I have a 2010 Teresa in my next group of dolls to restore.  She's lovely and I want to do her justice.  My rule of thumb with post-Denver My Twinn dolls is to never use acrylic eyes on them.  Why?  Because I suspect that the lower quality of vinyl used after 2002 reacts poorly with the plastics in the eyes.  I have no idea if this is true, but it's my current reasoning for why so many of the newer My Twinn dolls have faded eyes.  It could just be that the eyes themselves are of poor quality, of course.

This Teresa's original eyes look good now, though.  They're large and dark and there's no option on the market that looks just like them.  Maybe her right eye is slightly lighter?  Ahh!  So, the question is: should I replace perfectly good acrylic eyes with silicone or glass (so that the eyes never fade), or just leave things as they are (which may--or may not--result in faded eyes at some point in the future)?  Please comment or share your opinion in the poll to the right!  THANK YOU!!

What to do?
Thank you so much for the great response to my poll, and also for the super-helpful comments!

Here's the final poll tally:

It was a close race, but there was a clear majority in favor of yanking the eyes.  I definitely appreciate the nine of you who sympathized with my struggle and couldn't decide!

My vote would have been for replacing the eyes, especially since I'm pretty sure that the right eye is already fading.  Here's a picture of Teresa without her eyelashes so you can see better:

So, yeah.  I think the eyes have to go.

One nice piece of information that came out of this dilemma was that I got an Eyeco representative to email me back with some good news about soft glass (silicone) eyes: they're apparently 100% injection-molded silicone, which means that there are no mystery fillers that might react with the vinyl.  The representative also told me that the soft eyes have been used in "thousands of vinyl dolls for decades" with no problems.  All of that information made me feel good about using soft glass eyes.  Some of them are really gorgeous.

I currently have about four pairs of eyes on order for Teresa, and I'll wait to pull the old eyes out until I see how nice the potential replacements are!

Thank you so much again for all of your help. :)


  1. Well, her right eye does look lighter in this photo. It's okay now of course but to think it might be turning into that spooky pink color... I guess I would change the eyes before it gets worse.

    1. I appreciate your opinion!! Thank you. Sorry it took me so long to get the poll up and running, btw. It's a bit trickier than it used to be.

  2. In all honesty, you don't know that nothing will happen with the silicone or glass eyes in the future either.
    At the shop I used to work in, more than once I saw silicone products with the warning "Do NOT store in contact with vinyl." I actually emailed several manufacturers to ask why, but never received a reply.
    The trouble is probably that, depending on where you are, the amount of silicone required to label a product as "Silicone" is really low. As low as 20% in some places. ("100% silicone" is different, that generally has to be all silicone.) And often silicone is cut with vinyl to make it cheaper. And the two vinyl may react negatively.
    Just some random thoughts to freak you out. (But also probably stick to glass where you can)

    1. Hi Rachael, I know what you mean! I do think glass is safe for the long haul, but I've often wondered about silicone. What gives me some hope is that the reborn community has been using silicone eyes for a while and I have yet to see anything about a bad reaction. And I 100% agree that the problem is in the fact that both vinyl and silicone can be made up of different mixes, so it's really hard to know what you're getting! Doll eyes tend to be made out of prosthetic-grade silicone, though, which I imagine is pretty stable. But still gives me pause sometimes (keeps me up at night...). You know what? I'm going to email Eyeco and ask them about their silicone percentage!

    2. A representative from Eyeco got back to me really fast! He said that Eyeco eyes are 100% silicone (yay!). He went on to say that they are "injection molded so they are a high density platinum cured eye" and that they've been used in "thousands of vinyl creations for decades."
      I feel better. :)

    3. That is definitely good to know! I really don't like silicone/vinyl/rubber mixes!

  3. Hi Emily! New commenter here. I always replace the plastic post-2002 My Twinn eyes. Even among the eyes that have not faded, I think they look flat and lifeless compared to the domed Denver-quality eyes. Also, the iris is often too big.

    In this case, I recommend the Eyeco PolyGlass eyes in P019 (dark brown). They are maybe slightly lighter than Teresa's current eyes, but the quality is so much better.

    1. Wow, thank you so much for the recommendation, Cami! It can be so hard to tell about the actual color of Eyeco eyes online, so this is really valuable. I'd love to know your advice about something else, too, if you don't mind: would you ever use silicone (Eyeco Ultra) eyes on a My Twinn? I'm starting to wonder if I should replace the silicone eyes I've used so far with acrylic. I'd like to think the silicone would be less reactive, but silicone is funny stuff!

    2. I have used the Eyeco Ultra eyes and I haven't noticed any problems so far. I definitely wouldn't go to the trouble of replacing silicone eyes. They are expensive and appear to be high-quality. The cheap post-2002 My Twinn eyes that are a very different story. Also, I try to keep all of my dolls out of the sunlight because that will fade even Denver eyes.

    3. Thanks again, Cami!! The colors are so beautiful, it'd be a shame to not be able to use them. I'll keep the eyes for now and wait to hear what Eyeco says about their stability. :)


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