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What Are Rag Dolls Made Out Of?

rag dolls

Soft Dolls

Traditionally, rag dolls are either hand sewn or machine sewn. They are usually homemade and stuffed with cloth fabrics and scrap metals such as cotton. Rag dolls have also been regarded as the oldest existing type of toys for children.

Rag dolls are soft-bodied and are clothed figures. The clothes that rag dolls wear are made from patchwork clothing. Patchwork involves sewing together pieces of fabrics to form a larger design. The fabrics are carefully measured, cut into basic geometric patterns and sewn. Most fabrics come in pretty solid and different colours.

Rag Dolls Around The World

Different cultures have different adaptations of rag dolls. For example, the Mexican rag dolls or MuŮecas de trapo, are sewn from clothing fabrics worn by members of the family. They are traditionally hand-sewn by mothers and grandmothers.

The Amish rag dolls, just like the Mexican rag dolls, are sewn by hand or machine using used fabric in solid colours. The bodies are made from unbleached muslin and stuffed with cotton or rags. Their clothing is made and sewn using patchwork like making quilts. The scraps of fabrics are measured, cut in basic patterns and sewn.

With the advancement of technology, mass-producing rag dolls have become financially viable for many doll makers. Rag dolls have certainly evolved from their traditional roots in a lot of ways and have become commercialized. Rubens Barn Eco buds, for example, has a gorgeous range of rag dolls that are certified by Organic Content Standard (OCS). They are stuffed with fillings and components that are hazard-free.

Itís actually simple and easy to make your own rag doll. There are many available tutorials online that enable even the not so skilled person to craft and engage in doll making. DIY rag dolls can be made out of whatever character you have in mind. They can be simple, oversized, skinny or fat. The complexion can even be different depending on where your imagination will take you.

For the crowning glory, yarn hair is the most common and easy to make. It can be braided, cropped, kinky and twisted. Yet, knitting wool or thin strips of fabrics can even be utilized. The clothes can be sewn or glued from remnants or scraps of fabrics from old curtains, pillowcases, old clothing and rags. The body can be filled with fabrics too or polyester fillings. Whilst the eyes can be donned with buttons or painted with pens.

Plastic Dolls Vs Rag Dolls

Dolls have been around for ages. The earliest were made from clay, wood, bone and stone. They were even used in spiritual and healing ceremonies.

Dolls evolved as soon as civilization did. Other materials were even introduced such as wax, paper, porcelain and plastic. They are not just comfort objects for children but are also highly-prized collectables for adults.

In 1851, American firm Goodyear Rubber Company was the first to invent the vulcanizing process for hard rubber. This type of rubber has been adopted by many doll makers. But it was not several years later after WWII ended that the first true plastic doll was made.

Plastic dolls are generally made from hard-plastic like vinyl or PVC. Other additives are even added such as fillers, lubricants and pigments. A plastic dollís body is made of polyethene, a colourless and flammable gas. Polyethene, when used with a catalyst is converted from gas to polymers. Other features such as the hair are made from dyed nylon. The facial features are even made from stains and paints.

Unlike rag dolls which are sewn together, plastic dolls are made by two major plastic forming processes. The rotational moulding and blow moulding. The latter is used usually in making the torso because it is economical and fast whilst the former is used hollow seamless products of all sizes and shapes.

Unfortunately, plastic dolls have major impacts, especially on the environment. Plastic is non-biodegradable and will add to the astonishing problem of pollution.


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