waldorf dolls vs. other cloth dolls - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 25 Old 11-28-2005, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was ready to order a couple Waldorf dolls for my two daughters when I went to Pottery Barn and saw their dolls. I know there are differences (besides the $50 price difference) so explain to me the benefits of getting a Waldorf doll over a Pottery Barn doll.

I love to support WAHMs, but are there more reasons?

http://ww1.potterybarnkids.com/cat/p...t%5Cfthm%2Fhme
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#2 of 25 Old 11-28-2005, 08:08 PM
 
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This is a subject that is very near and dear to me. I want to mention that I am a professional soft toy designer, and I have worked in the business for over 20 years. I have seen a lot of toy and doll trends come and go, but I can tell you that there is nothing like the response of a young child when they first hold a Waldorf doll. The warming sensation that comes as a result of the combination of wool stuffing and cotton knit skin creates a bonding affect like no other. If properly constructed, the doll has a weight and firmness to the limbs and a hard head, just like a real child. The simple facial features allow the doll to resemble the full range of human emotion, and not just the disturbing fake smile of most dolls. At age thirteen, my dd still cherishes her "Sally" a 16" Waldorf companion that she received for her fifth Christmas, whereas all the other dolls have gone to the Goodwill bin. If you make the investment in a doll of this kind for your children, they will need no other.

The Pottery Barn doll is a rip off of a wonderful old rag doll from the Carolee Creations company called "Sew Sweet Dolls". Big companies such as P.B. are notorious for knocking off artists, and small companies that can't afford to pursue legal action, so I personally wouldn't buy one of these, just for that reason. Carolee still sells the original dolls, or you can purchase the patterns and materials from her to make yourself.

Best wishes to you in deciding what to get for your children. I hope this helps!
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#3 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 01:52 PM
 
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Pessonally, I really like the idea of having a doll made with cotton and wool instead of polyfill (what the heck is that anyway?), would be my main reason for choosing a waldorf doll.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#4 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much. That was so insightful. I looked up Carolee Creations, but I didn't see a place where I could buy the doll ready-made - just the materials. Maybe she stopped selling the dolls? I think it would be quite fun to make one myself but I don't think I've got the time before the holidays.

http://www.portraitpillows.com/dollsite/babies.asp#

What places would you recommend to find a Waldorf doll, on the other hand? What are the differences between an $80 versus a $120 doll?
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#5 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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Hmmm? I am sure that Carolee has had the ready made dolls for sale in the past. I have an old print catalog, with some for sale and there is even a want ad looking for home sewers that would like to make the doll designs for sale on the Sew Sweet web site. The patterns are really easy to use, and the construction of the dolls is simple, compared to a Waldorf doll. I made about fifty Waldorf dolls, before I considered one good enough to sell; I just gave them away to friends, or donated them, in the beginning.

As far as a place to buy a Waldorf doll, I am very partial to Joy's, but not because she sells some of my Fantasy dolls on her website. I was a long time customer, before that, and I know that she does an amazing job, and stands by her products. She is fair to her workers that make some of the parts,and they have stayed with her long time. I know that they really appreciate the steady work that they can do at home. She made her dolls for Magic Cabin for years, before she went out on her own. I know that you wouldn't be disappointed with one of her creations.
As you can tell, I really love the Waldorf style dolls and the philosophy of natural and simple playthings for children. I have collected the dolls, and have found one version that is at least 70 years old. My dd's favorite is actually a Sara MacDonald (Magic Cabin) doll named Lily, that was sold in the Hearthsong Catalog about ten years ago, for $75. Although I believe that Sara is no longer with Magic Cabin, you can still purchase a well made doll there, although the quality can vary wildly. Weir Dolls is a great company, and I have purchased a lot of the materials for my own doll making there. I prefer the skin tone interlock knit that they sell, which is a very high quality, but I have never purchased a doll from them. I know that it is difficult to find a doll ready made at short notice before Christmas, and I wish you the best of luck in finding the perfect one for your children.
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#6 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 04:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTMomma
Personally, I really like the idea of having a doll made with cotton and wool instead of polyfill (what the heck is that anyway?), would be my main reason for choosing a waldorf doll.
OTMomma, Polyfill is a petroleum resin product. It can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested. Wool, on the other hand is benign, and actually has the important benefits of being "self extinguishing" in the case of the flammability. That is, if removed from the source of flame, it goes out. It has many other fine qualities, such as being mold resistant. but I think that issue is the most important when it comes to toys for children.lol
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#7 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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This post was very helpful. Thank you. Now that we have a little girl with us I am going to be guying a waldorf doll soon. I can get the Nova Natural Evi dolls? Anybody know about the quality of those? How about the Kathe Kruse ones?

They are expensive so let me know if anyone wants/has access to do a coop on some waldorf dolls.
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#8 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh dear. E.V. you are right. Joy is not taking Christmas orders anymore. She mentioned she will take heavy baby orders, which I was excited about, but then I realized I was thinking about the weighted baby dolls. Different thing.

Well, I really appreciate the advice. If our dolls come in January, no big deal. My girls are just 20 months and 4 so they won't mind too much.

The fantasy dolls are so much fun!

Do you think the Baby Jess (the weighted baby) is too big for a nearly-two-year old?
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#9 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 06:00 PM
 
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Dear WaasatchMom,
I think that the weighted dolls were developed as a therapeutic tool, and Joy can better explain how that works. I know that these weighted dolls are very popular. For a child as young as your little one, I think one of the first dolls such as a "Star Baby" or "Bunting Baby" would be best. For the older one, a classic Waldorf style, that is dressable, such as the 16" Companion, or the "Honey" would be perfect, especially if you include a change of outfits, such as a nightie, so that doll can be ready for several different activities, including bed time. Some children enjoy a more nurturing play pattern, and might like a baby doll, such as the jointed babies, but these are NOT for very young children that still put things in their mouths.

Children are always watching and imitating us, so the gentle treatment, and care that you show to this doll when giving it to the child, and in play time with it, is very important. My dd and I lovingly sewed many outfits, and even a small Christmas stocking was made and put out for her "Sally". At dd's birthdays, Sally would always be there to greet her at the breakfast table with a new outfit and a gift of her own to give. This doll provided an amazing amount of love, support and understanding to my child over the years, and was really there for her in good times and bad. When dd received a new plushie or doll on some occasion, she was always very careful to reassure Sally, her place in dd's heart was secure, and that doll still has a place of honor in her room, today. Dd has since grown to be a very loving and well adjusted teenager, and I feel a lot is owed to Sally for that!
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#10 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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I like the Under the Nile organic cotton dolls. They aren't very expensive, they come in different skin tones and outfits, which is cool, and dd loves them. Granted, she also loves her dadoo's Sigmund Freud action figure, but hey, we all have our quirks.
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#11 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 10:40 PM
 
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I just made dolls from kits from Joy's website. I'm quite pleased with them. I made the companion baby dolls, although I changed how I attached the arms and legs. It doesn't look as realistic, but for my kids (ages 3 yrs. and 14 months), I think it will be more appropriate. I may change them later. I also made doll slings to go with them. Ds is very happy to be getting an orange sling (his favorite color). Luckily our small diapers fit, so I didn't have to make any. I picked up preemie cloths at a second hand store...as I am making all of our gifts and knew I would be running short on time.

mandy

Mom to Eoin (11/02), Eilis (09/04), Eamon (07/07), and Ellery (04/10)
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#12 of 25 Old 11-29-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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I just ordered two of the UnNer the Nile dolls, one 15" clown doll and a 7" yellow minimo. The minimo will be for taking out with us, since dd seems to really need a "baby" to snuggle when she is nervous or upset. I will post back when the dolls arrive to give you an idea of what the quality is like. HTH!

UPDATE: The dolls arrived. They are awesome. The minimo is a perfect size for taking out with us and for dd to have it in her hand when she is walking around. The clown doll is gorgeous. The colors are awesome and the clothes is really soft. They are btoh made from organic Egyptian cotton and the prices are good on the webiste (even better through co-ops). We are saving the clown for a christmas present but i'm sure she'll like it as much as she liked the Minimo. The minute she saw it she hugged it and she has been carrying it around since.

momma to 8 yr old ddjoy.gif.  Furmom to our menagerie:   2dog2.gif , 1cat.gif, 2 goldfish.gif,  2 hamster.jpg,  and 1 silly rabbit. 

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#13 of 25 Old 12-06-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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I bought an Under the Nile doll for my daughter about a year ago and she loves it. However I didn't research the company before hand and was stressed out when it arrived with a flyer that made me think that the doll could have been made in a factory. I had been operating on the assumption that all Waldorf dolls were "hand made" and I forgot to check it out. I wrote to the company to assure myself the dolls weren't being made in a sweat shop, but I never heard back That is my word of warning about Under the Nile which I would love to have refuted if anyone knows better...
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#14 of 25 Old 12-06-2005, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.V. Lowi
Dear WaasatchMom,
I think that the weighted dolls were developed as a therapeutic tool, and Joy can better explain how that works.
I emailed Joy a week ago about many questions and haven't heard anything from her. She must be crazy busy.

I love how your daughter responded to her doll. That is what I would love to have happen at our house! I just found our doll furniture. It would fit an 18" doll so the 16" Companion or the Honey doll would be perfect.

The Under the Nile dolls are cute but I know my older daughter would prefer something a bit more mature. Especially something that can have many outfits.

Thanks so much for everyone's suggestions. It will be a fun Valentine's Day gift I guess!
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#15 of 25 Old 12-06-2005, 09:10 PM
 
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This time of year is crazy for all the WAHP's that sell toys and dolls, and I think you are right about Joy. I'm sure you will hear from her, after the rush is over. I love her "Honey" doll with the little nose that she puts on the face. She uses a lot of organic materials in her dolls. And what nice way to express love for your girls on Valentine's day? Are you going to have it created to resemble your child? My dd really enjoyed this aspect of her doll.

Many conventional toy stores carry clothes and accessories for 18" American Girl dolls and they should fit the Honey doll just fine. Joy has clothing patterns for this doll, and the pattern books at the fabric stores carry a wide selection of fashions for American Girl, as well. You can use these to make a dream wardrobe. I'm sure your girls will love watching and helping you create simple garments, and it is such a fun way to teach them how to sew. My dd enjoyed having matching dresses for her and her doll, and I enjoyed this activity as much as she did, I'm sure!

BTW-The Under the Nile dolls are factory hand made, not a WAHP company, but a wonderful small business, that makes some unique and imaginative soft toys, and I think that they use organic materials, as well. These small companies deserve support, too.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday to you and yours. I have enjoyed "chatting" with you, and I hope you will post a photo link, when your dolls have arrived.
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#16 of 25 Old 12-06-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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As far as the quality of Evi dolls go, I don't carry the large dolls from them (my mom makes our dolls), but I have experience with the smaller dolls (fairies, gnomes and such), and I find that they are of a very good quality, and are crafted by a co-operative in Brazil that was founded by Evi Hoffmann, an anthroposophist in New York. Their heads are very firm, and everything is very neatly done and well constructed.

HTH.
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#17 of 25 Old 12-06-2005, 11:01 PM
 
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Here is another great WAHM link!
http://www.waldorftreasures.com/

I have two of the dolls pictured here:

http://www.waldorftreasures.com/cust...s/fairies.html
The little prince and the xmas fairy. I got them a few years ago for Bean. I love them ! They are little, but the detail is so charming and they are oh so soft. The dolls we have from Joys are firmer and more classic/traditional. Very nice quality! sure to last!

Check Ebay this time of year for great deals on waldorf dolls too!
And random wahms who dabble in the making of waldorf dolls.
I know Elliebelly used to have some?
Can't think who else off hand?
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#18 of 25 Old 12-07-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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[QUOTE=E.V. Lowi] BTW-The Under the Nile dolls are factory hand made, not a WAHP company, but a wonderful small business, that makes some unique and imaginative soft toys, and I think that they use organic materials, as well. These small companies deserve support, too. [QUOTE]

Thanks so much for this info! I feel much better now.
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#19 of 25 Old 12-07-2005, 06:50 PM
 
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I'm thumbs up to Waldorf dolls too!

I made my son's and a few others.

But the way my son interacts with his doll (Titi is his name) It's really beautiful, he was only maybe 16 months when I gave it to him and he drags him every where. My son is almost 2 and he gives the doll kisses and changes his diaper, he tries to share breastfeeding with him, and include him in alot of things, I never thought the doll would turn out to be such a great companion. And I don't see him react the same way to anyother dolls that he's been in contact with. I think wool is the big difference between a waldorf doll & others, it just feels warm.

I think it has really helped him to learn to be compasionate. E V Lowie yours dolls rock!

Blessings,
Lisa
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#20 of 25 Old 12-08-2005, 02:39 AM
 
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Mamacitarisa, thanks!!
I enjoyed your post about Titi and his beloved doll. My ds is 30 y.o. now, and he is the reason that I began making toys in the first place. His first toy was a sock doll that I made, and he loved it. Everyone gave me such a hard time back then, for letting him play with dolls. He grew up to be a secure, peaceful and loving man. I'm so glad that more boys have dolls nowadays. Nice of you to share your experience. Thanks, again.
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#21 of 25 Old 12-08-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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Hey E.V.

Actually my son's name is Oxtlan & the dolls name is Titi LOL, And in our house you would here Titi being talked about as much as any other member of the family

I want to try to make a sock monkey they look fun, and the al mighty knows I have enough socks without pairs.

Yeah some people in my family too thought it was wierd I was making him a doll...but yeah the same people think it's wierd I still breastfeed & sleep with my son LOL I made him alot of bendy dolls too he plays with them less than his cloth doll, it is his main companion, But I do see this general "boy" mentality he has... he loves trucks & machines & I don't know where this passion for machines & trucks & motorbikes comes from lol I just hope it fades away before he's 16!

Cheers Lisa
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#22 of 25 Old 12-10-2005, 02:21 AM
 
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Here are two more WAHM's who do Waldorf dolls,

Amanda and Dannielle both do great work. They each have one or more dolls instock.

Here's the link to Amanda's instock waldorf doll page, Companions to Cherish

Here's the link to Danielle's instock waldorf doll page(check out her other goodies too) Natural Playthings

Both these women are regulars over on Amity's.
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#23 of 25 Old 12-10-2005, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! What is Amity's?
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#24 of 25 Old 12-10-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasatchmom
Thanks! What is Amity's?
Amity's

They have boards just like MDC, except smaller. But they have a great crafting board, and all sorts of crafting swaps. The sewing board has shrank since Sewing Mamas launched, but there's still plenty to see. One of the things I love about amity's(and sweing mamas) is that peaople can actually post the pics of what they've made on the threads
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#25 of 25 Old 12-14-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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Does anyboby know where I can purchase Kathe Kruse or other good quality waldorf dolls in Canada?

Thanks in advance!

mom21boy
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