Waldorf-style doll with no wool - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-31-2006, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to make a Waldorf-type doll for my son, since I haven't seen any nice-looking dolls for sale that aren't way out of my price range, plus they're all made with wool. I am very allergic to wool and can't be near the stuff. So what would be a good substitute for stuffing? And does anyone have tips on making these dolls or links to websites with instructions? I have a soft cream-colored cotton flannel top sheet I was thinking of cutting up to make the doll out of (we don't use top sheets anyway, and it came with a set). Does that sound like it would work?
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#2 of 9 Old 08-01-2006, 02:00 AM
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Someone posted on this forum recently about a method that they used for forming the head in the traditional way using polyester batting. The gauze or stockinette tube is pulled over the head ball and tied in the usual way. Then the cotton interlock skin was pulled over, and the features embroidered.

The flannel would work fine for one of the towel or knot type dolls that are made for very young children, but the head requires a knit type of fabric for the skin. I have heard that teeshirts will work for the skin, but I have not tried this. HTH!
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#3 of 9 Old 10-28-2006, 02:51 AM
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You could also try cotton batting, unbleached for sorthing natural. I think I got the stuff I have at a fabric store.

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#4 of 9 Old 10-28-2006, 11:58 AM
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I've made a knot doll with polyester batting for it's head. I found it easier to form batting into a firm ball than stuffing. I also used an old t shirt for the skin.

2 years on and the head seems to have kept it's shape, even through the washing machine.

Here's the pattern I used
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#5 of 9 Old 10-28-2006, 08:17 PM
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I have the same problem and I made a doll from polyester batting. It worked out just fine. Make sure you buy one of the thicker battings. It has to be the stuff in a roll, not polyfill or fiberfill. You can't really make the waldorf style doll in the traditional way with the loose stuff. That would only work with a doll that you are just stuffing, not shaping the head, etc.

You can also try a cotton batting. I bought some and I think that is what I will use for the next one. It feels nicer to work with. However, the thin cotton batting (like Warm and Natural) is too thin and firm. It doesn't have enough give to it. I tried to make a head out of it and it was horribly lumpy and didn't work at all. I bought some organic thick fluffy cotton batting and I think that will work much better. If you want to know the name of the cotton batting I bought let me know and I will dig it out of my closet. I bought it at a quilt show and think it may be fairly hard to find.

I have used organic cotton interlock that I bought online and I have also made a couple smaller dolls with some white cotton knit(I found it really really cheap) that I tea dyed. My only concern with the tea dying is that the color will fade eventually. I really don't know how long it is supposed to last.

Also, I found lots of nice cotton yarn to use as hair. I haven't found any substitute for the fuzzy mohair look but I think I actually like the neater look of a cotton yarn better.

Good luck!
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#6 of 9 Old 10-28-2006, 09:12 PM
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Please- be careful. These all cotton dolls are highly flammable, especially with cotton hair. Keep away from any flame source.
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#7 of 9 Old 10-29-2006, 02:47 PM
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just wanted to pop in and say i've tea-dyed a white tshirt and used that for different skin tones too!! There are ways of "fixing" it but i am still researching that.

Jill, mama to three fiery girlies and a sweet baby boy: Grace, 11.30.2005,  Ayla, 3.22.2008, Norah 9.5.09, Reed 8.19.11 & dfs Gage 2.29.12   angel1.gif x4

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#8 of 9 Old 10-29-2006, 05:39 PM
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I too have used cotton batting, as well as poly, for doll stuffing. In my case, I crocheted the dolls and stuffed as I went along so I could see how they were shaping up. The batting lets you shape the outer layers a bit.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#9 of 9 Old 10-30-2006, 09:14 PM
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I've done wool-free Waldorf-style dolls using polyfil for both the head and the body stuffing - my Jammie dolls have been made like that for quite a while. There's a way to pack the inner head stockinette really tightly without having to wrap the ball from batting strips - you just have to partially tie off the neck opening of the stockinette once it is stuffed to the right circumference, and then pack as much more stuffing as you can through the little hole!
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