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I've been designing and making textile figures for many years. I have also recently taken up knitting and crochet again after a lengthy break  and I'm LOVING IT!  Textile Creations UK (http://textilecreationsuk.blogspot.com ) is my new website/ Blog, which includes all my knitted, crocheted, sewn, woven textile creations.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Cloth Dolls with Moulded Faces

Moulded face dolls are made, as the name suggests, by pressing material over a hard plastic, porcelain or clay mould of a doll face.  

The material might be papier-mâché, or cloth soaked in a glue solution.  It is pressed against the outside of the doll head and secured there until dry.  It is then removed, trimmed and painted, before it is fixed to the front of the sewn and stuffed head of the cloth doll.

Some dolls have cloth (usually Stockinette because of its stretch ability) stuck onto rubber or plastic face moulds which remain there once the face is attached to the head.

In 1873 Izannah obtained a U.S. patent for making rag dolls. Her technique was to place several thicknesses of cotton or other cheap cloth treated with glue or paste so that they will adhere together and hold the shape impressed on them by the dies. When these cloth forms are dry, a layer of cotton batting or other soft filling is carefully laid over them covering the whole or the head and neck portion only and then in turn covered with an external layer of stockinette or similar webbing. The latter is then fastened to the features of the cloth forms by stitches or paste and they are then placed again in the press. They are tightly pressed together and secured by sewing pasting or gluing their edges to each other. Their faces and limbs are painted with oil paints.
Izannah Walker claimed, in her patent, that her dolls were 'easily kept clean' which she considered an important fact. The doll bodies were made of heavy cream sateen, were firmly stuffed and the joints sewn. Some dolls are barefooted and some have painted boots. Consequently, these dolls also have techniques similar to those for Columbian doll creation.

Also Kathe Kruse and Norah Wellings dolls, for example, have moulded faces.

Other techniques involve paperclay or other clay moulds, which are then covered with stockinette material. 

Tudor Lady by Madeleine Sara Maddocks (below /left)


  1. Great post. Are you still making dolls?

    1. Not at moment, Shashi. I am knitting and crocheting these days, though I do have unfinished doll projects in my head. x


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