We make a significant investment in the outfits we dress our dolls in, both in terms of time and money. Sometimes a doll outfit, if purchased, can cost as much as our own clothes. If you make doll clothes you know how much time, effort and love goes into their creation, no expense of money or time is spared in finding just the right fabric, ribbon, or lace. So it just makes sense to care for them correctly.
When selecting fabric to make a doll outfit it's a good idea to look for washable fabrics, as long as the outfit lends itself to this type of fabric. Certainly, many doll dresses work perfectly with cotton calico prints, and this is very easy to care for.
Washable fabrics can be hand washed with gentle detergent, mild dish washing liquid or even baby shampoo. This is my preferred method, especially if I am only washing one outfit. If you need to wash a few outfits at a time you can put them together in a mesh bag, The kind that is intended for washing pantyhose works well. It is also possible to put them in a pillow protector, the kind that zips closed. Be sure to use only the gentlest cycle on your machine!
For dresses that have bows, beads or sequins on them, you will want to snip them off for washing and reapply after. For delicate fabrics or heavily beaded or sequined, you may want to display them in a dust proof case and avoid actually washing them.
Antique and vintage doll clothing should be handled especially delicately. Even if the fabric is essentially washable. I feel it is safer to either keep all dust off them to begin with, or only dust lightly. For any more extensive cleaning, refer the item to a professional antique doll specialist.
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls