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September 14, 2018
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Doll Hair Care And Cleansing

Correspondent’s Note: Your correspondent is in Northwestern New Jersey visiting Evelyn Kemmlein, the proprietor of the Doll Room at 735 Route ninety four in Frelinghuysen Township. Her store is stuffed with dolls dating from the 1920’s via the1960’s, a couple of are rare and all are extremely collectible.

Evelyn performs quite a few services for doll house owners/collectors. She identifies dolls . ” This can be a —- “. She can even provide her opinion with regard to the approximate value of the doll. There doesn’t seem to be a charge for this service. She is a skilled repairer and restorer of neglected dolls. Go to her shop in this pretty nook of latest Jersey or call her at 908-362-5588.

Evelyn has agreed to share her information of doll hair care with the extended Biddington family.
Your Correspondent: Earlier than we get started, Evelyn, please inform us concerning the completely different sorts of hair we will encounter.

Evelyn Kemmlein: Ok. The varieties are: (1) synthetic–the standard hair of modern (for the reason that 1950’s) collectible dolls, (2) human hair, (3) mohair–from Angora goats. (Mohair and human hair are treated identically.) Then there are:(4) caracul–brief curly fur, (5) wool, (6)yarn, and finally (7) painted. Painted is just not hair at all but an embossed patternon the doll’s head to recommend hair.

YC: That’s fairly a plateful. Let’s begin with synthetic hair.
EK: Artificial hair is attached to a doll’s head in certainly one of two ways: (1) via a wig base–a mesh or cloth netting into which the hair is sewn, or (2) the hair is rooted into the doll’s head and glued from the inside.

YC: Tell us how one can take care of a artificial hair wig.
Kingstate Porcelain with Synthetic Wig

EK: Gently take away the wig base from the doll’s head. Wet the wig in cool water and spray it with either Unbelievable or Windex. (Do not use shampoo which would trigger severe over-fluffing.) Work the Unbelievable or Windex through the hair with your fingers, then rinse thoroughly.

YC: Now that we’ve clear hair, what will we do next
EK: First untangle the doll’s hair. Use a hair conditioner, reminiscent of Clairol, or a liquid fabric softener, corresponding to Downey. Rinse once more. Now comb the doll’s hair with a pet hair brush. The metal tines of the pet brush better penetrate the hair mass and exert much less destructive pressure on the wig base. By no means use a hair brush that has purple xpression hair been used on human hair. The brush will carry oils to the doll’s hair that will accumulate dirt and grime.

YC: How do we style the doll’s hair
EK: Styling is comparatively easy. Artificial hair has a permanent curl which only requires brushing to re-establish. If the hair doesn’t respond use a curler, however never a curling iron–the heat will burn up the hair.

YC: Inform us about hair care of dolls with rooted artificial hair.
Little Miss Revlon with Rooted Saran Hair Mid-1950’s

EK: Whereas there isn’t a wig base, hair care could be very a lot the identical: The same cleansers and rinses are utilized. Observe the identical cautions with one additional warning. Don’t permit liquids to enter the doll’s eyes. The eyes, untended, will grow to be mildewed. If the eyes are accidentially wetted, turn the doll face down on a cloth for hours, be patient.

Armand Marseille Doll with Human Hair Wig
YC: Evelyn, inform us concerning the care of human and mohair doll wigs.

EK: In my experience human hair is rarely rooted into the doll’s head and is all the time woven into a wig base. The primary job is the removal of the wig from the doll’s head. That is delicate work. Place your fingers beneath the wig and work the wig away from the doll’s head. If there may be an unyielding spot, spray that area with cool water. (Don’t moisten if the doll is of wood composition, the paint could loosen.) Now, with the wig removed from the doll’s head pick tangles with a rat-tailed comb, hair pin, or ice pick. Be gentle. If the hair is being pulled out of the wig mat, switch to a comfortable bristle brush.

The next step is to soak the wig in Woolite and cold water. Whereas the wig is wet decide off any patches of glue from the wig mesh with finger nails or tweezers. Rinse throughly. In a second bath add just a few drops of vinegar to extend the lustre of the hair. Do not scrub the wig. Whereas taking the wig out of these baths keep your fingers under the wig to retain its form. Place the wig on a thristy towel and fan (spread) the wig right into a circle. Press out as much water as doable with a second, protecting, towel. Do not rub. Switch the wig to a clean towel and put it in a heat place to dry.

Heinrich Doll with Bisque Head, Child Leather Physique and Mohair Wig
In the cleaning course of the wig could both stretch or shrink. If stretched, stitch in some tucks around the wig base until it suits the doll’s head. If shrinkage has occured take away some stitches from the base. Watch out, do not lower into the hair. Human and mohair wigs are difficult to exchange and they are very costly.

YC: Evelyn, tell us just a little bit about different varieties of doll hair.
EK: Caracol and wool hair are usually glued to the doll’s head without a wig base. If cleaning is required use extreme care: Avoid liquids. Sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch into the hair. With a clear tooth brush, gently take away the powders from the doll’s hair.

YC: Evelyn, let’s conclude this survey with just a few comments about yarn hair.
Effanbe Little Lady–Composition Body with Yarn Hair 1940’s

EK: Yarn hair is sewn or glued on to the doll’s head. The hair may be washed with a gentle detergent corresponding to Woolite. By no means brush yarn hair.

Patsy Jr. with Painted Hair
YC: Evelyn, thanks, you have been very kind to me and helpful to the Biddington household.


Household, for the report, Evelyn also sells current-day porcelain and vinyl dolls. For those who want a brand new or older doll, visit Evelyn and this nook of latest Jersey. Do not wait too lengthy, the farms are going and ranch houses are coming.

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