Doll Repair at The doll Company

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Glue a cracked composition head with any strong white glue.

To repair a cracked plastic head, put a screwdriver in the crack to force the edges apart. Line the edges with plastic cement. Press together, remove excess and place in a vise.

To relpace or tighten the head of a walking doll. First remove the wig, bend the metal clips straight and pull the head off. Attach the parts that are loose. Slip the metal clip into the head and thru the holes and bend down.

Glue residue is plastic based and scrubbing with ordinary soap and water won't remove it. I recommend using Carbona Stain Devils No. 1. It is specifically made to remove adhesives from most washable fabrics (including cotton), even if the item has already been laundered. The first step is to scrape off as much of the adhesive as you can, using a dull, straight edge, like a butter knife. Next, check the colorfastness of the garment. If the color doesn't change, soak the spot for a few minutes in a dish of the solvent. Use the knofe again to remove the last of the residue. If a stubborn spot remains, pour a little of the solution onto a cloth, dab the spot, then rinse with warm water.

Removing the old wig of a doll is easy. Stating at the back of the wig, loosen the wig base by pulling upward gently. Work around the head until the wig base has been removed. Do not use any tools on this process as you don't want to harm the head under the wig.

Dolls with damaged rooted hair can be wigged. Cut off all the remaining hair close to the scalp before adding the new wig. This will allow the wig to fit better and glue down easier.

When washing a porcelain doll,line your sink with a plastic dishpan or thick towel to advoid breakage.

Some marks on a porcelain dolls face can sometimes be removed by rubbing with a damp cloth and a dab of toothpaste.

To remove coffee,tea or cigarette burns on porcelain, rub the spot with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda.

To clean brass buttons on doll clothes or shoes, mix equal parts of salt, flour and add a little vinegar to make a paste. Spread a thick layer on the brass and let it dry. Rinse and wipe off paste.

Light scorch stains on linen doll clothes can sometimes be removed by rubbing the cut side of an onion over the stain. Then soak the material in cold water.

Some stains from ballpoint pens can be removed by sponging the area with milk until the stain disappears.

Many heirlooms over 50 years old look "dirty" because they develop brownish or rust spots. But these spots are not dirt, they're the result of a natural action in the fabric and therefore usually cannot be removed. In fact, experts say these spots enhance an article as an antique. So when should you clean your heirloom? Only if it is so soiled it can't possibly be displayed or if your've recently stained it yourself.

When blocking a crocheted or knitted garment, use color-tipped pins. They are much easier to spot when you're ready to remove them.

When you need to hold or clamp two glued pieces together, try one of the following items: clothespins, weights, bobby pins, strong rubber bands, paper clips, clay or putty, string, tape or a partially open drawer.

When mildew is found on clothing or fabric, more care is required. Take the article outside and brush off all visible growth. Spread the material out to air in direct sunlight if possible. Launder washable articles. If the material is colorfast, use a bleach solution to take out meldew stains that remain: MIx 2 tablespoons bleach with 1 quart warm water and sponge this on. Allow the solution to remain on the fabric for about 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly.

If you have musty odors caused by mildew, when practical, take the item outside to air. Scatter baking soda in closets. Household disinfectant/deodorant sprays may elp, but must be used repeatedly to have any lasting effect. The best defense against mildew is to eliminate the conditions in which it can thrive. Use mild heat in closed-off spaces. For example, leaving a 25-watt bulb burning in a closet where mildew is a problem will help dry out the air inside. If you wear cotton gloves while dusting, you'll never leave fingerprints on just-dusted dolls.

The cleaner the surface, the stronger the staying power of the glue. If you make a mistake and need to reglue, warm, soapy water is a good all-around cleaning solution (solvent).

When dust is drawn to your velvet doll dresses a vacuum cleaner and the upholstry tool, may be a bit rough on these items. A rolling lint pickup wand-designed for clothing-will do the job quickly and gently.

When you get a new reference book, attach a pocket to the inside flap to store clippings, notes or pictures about that subject.

To replace fur eyebrows in bisque head slots. Remove the wig. Moistern plaster in head holding fur pieces, pull out worn fur. Cut small pieces of fur to fit slots. Double fur and push into slots. Put small amount of glue on inside to hold fur. Dry, drop plaster on top. Use any soft dark fur, cut pieces from wrong side of fur with razor.

To reset eyes in bisque heads when set wrong, put a few drops of water on plaster, pry loose and save pieces. Remove eyes, Saw center of bridge in half , spread eyes apart or push together. Heat the bridge with a soldering gun or add plaster to hold shape. Glue pieces on sides of eyes to hold eyes in place. Drop plaster on edges.

To re-stretch a shrunk sweater, just soak it in a gallon of warm water and a tablespoon of hair conditioner to loosen the fibers. Then lay the sweater flat and gently pull back into shape.

To puff up plush in your dryer, simply throw a new tennis ball and let it do all the work!

When cleaning a garment and you are not sure if it is colorfast, soak it in vinager for one half hour before washing.

To remove rust inside a battery compartment of a doll body, use baking soda. It is a mild alkali and has the power to nutralize built-up oxidation. First remove the batteries. Make a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water and carefully apply with a damp q-tip to dissolve surface corrosion. After rinsing with warm water, give the battery posts a swipe with petroleum jelly. This will prevent future rust from forming.

If the textile is not washable, such as silk, wool or velvet, a certain amount of dust and dirt can be lifted from the textile with a low-powered, hand-held vacuum cleaner. It is advisabe to first place a screen of net or tulle over the garment so that any delicate lace or trim will not be sucked away by the vacuum.

In showcasing dolls, the lighting system should not spotlight dolls, but rather be subdued and on the cool side of the bulb spectrum.

Another damaging element is smoking around a doll collection. Just as it leaves a residue on your own clothing and in your hair, imagine what smoke can do to the textiles in a doll's clothing and wig.

Once the doll's clothing has been restored, fine fabrics need special handling. It's a good idea to wear white cotton gloves to prevent any further unprotected hand contact with your doll's clothing.

When starching antique or vintage doll's clothing, light starching may be fine to perk up the textile. However, if the doll will be stored, it's advisable to wash out the starch in the garment because it will yellow the fabric with time. If the starch is not removed from the fabric, it will leave cracks in the folds and seams of the garment.

When cleaning whites, it is preferable to not let the garment go stark white, because pristine white in not historically correct for period clothing and is less flattering to the integrity of old doll faces.

The restoration of beautiful whites, Victorian styles and christening-type garments on baby dolls should not include bleaching with commerercial chlorine products. We use VINTAGE SOAK. It is a slow-acting sodium perborate,a mild oxidizing agent. It is recommended that you monitor the cleaning reaction, remembering the fabric always lightens in the final drying.

To protect china legs, place a spool between them and attach a rubber band to each leg and thru the spool.

This is only one vintage Barbie green ear treatment. This doesn't really work on the Mod one has found a good solution for their green ear problems. First remove the earrings if they are still in. Take a q-tip and dip it in rubbing alcohol, squeeze out any excess and then clean off the green area. Remove the head. Clean off the area inside as well. This will stop any more spread of the green. Buy some CLR (which stands for Calcium Lime Rust). It is a cleaning product usually available in the cleaning aisle of grocery and other stores. Pour some of the CLR into the cap, grab a cotton ball and a pair of tweezers. Pull a bit of the cotton ball off with the tweezers, dunk it in the CLR and then place it on top of the effected area, usually right at the earring hole. Just applying the cotton at the earring hole will somehow help the rest of the green vanish. Leave the cotton there until it dries, then repeat. You can re-use the same cotton one or two times, but after that you will want to use fresh, as it will work better. Try to keep the CLR out of the hair if at all possible, but if you do get it in there it will not change the hair color like other products. Also try to keep it off the face paint. After prolonged use it MIGHT cause the lips to fade SLIGHTLY. You can cover the face paint with Vaseline to help prevent this. You might be left with what they call a shadow of green. There is no PERFECT and totally predictable degreening method.

To wash a wig just brush out all of the snarls. Wash in lukewarm water with a mild detergent. Do not rub hair, squeeze water thru hair from top to ends. Rinse well.

To attach a wig just brush a small amount of white glue on the inside edge of the wig. Place on head from back to front. Do not get any glue on the face of the doll. It may remove the paint.

A nylon wig can be washed and set.

A Saran wig is plastic. It can be washed, combed and set.

A mohair wig cannot be handled much. If the wig is not too matted, it can be brushed and set.

A human hair wig should be treated as your own hair.

A Dynel wig is very fine texture. It can be washed and set.

A Caracul wig is curly short fur. It can be washed.

Dolls with damaged rooted hair can be wigged. Cut off all the remaining hair close to the sclap befoe adding the new wig. This will allow the wig to fit better and glue down easier.

To attach a wig, brush a small amount of glue on the inside edge of wig. Place on head from back to front. Do not get any glue on the face. It may remove the paint.

A saran wig is a type of plastic. It can be washed, combed and set.

A mohair wig cannot be handled much. If the wig is not too matted it can be brushed and set. It is best used on old dolls.

A human hair wig should be treated the same a your own hair.

A dynel wig has a very fine texture. It can be washed and set.

A caracul wig is short fur. It can be washed.

Measuring the head for a wig is done by wrapping a cloth tape measure around the circumference of the doll's head just behind the ears and across the forehead. If the doll's head measures between 11 and 12 inches, the wig size to order would be a 11-12.

Antique dolls have a cork or cardboard pate in the crown area of the head. Modern dolls often have plastic or styrofoam pates. This allowed the manufacturer to assemble the head on to the body.

Removing the old wig is an easy task. Starting at the back of the wig, loosen the wig base by pulling upward gently. Work around the head until the wig base has been removed. Do not use any tools on this process. You don't want to harm the head under the wig.

Removing the original wig from an antique doll will depreciate the value of the doll. Find out if the original wig is salvageable by taking it to a knowledgeable antique doll collector before replacing it with a new wig.

If you have a wax doll and it is dirty, clean with turpentine.

To remove the head of a rubber or vinyl doll, push a screwdriver under the head. Pull the rubber down, slide head off. Remove the limbs the same way.

Most walking dolls have a metal bar attached to the base of the doll between the legs, attached to top of head either on the inside or outside. The bar extends from the leg into the body, fitting into an oblong bar that turns the head as she walks.

To stuff a cloth body so it is not lumpy , lay flat pieces of stuffing against front and back of body. Force stuffing between these two pieces. If there are any small unfilled spots, push very small pieces of stuffing into them with a screwdriver or stick.

After cleaning the garment, somewhat dry with a terry towel. You can also blow-dry with a hair dryer set on cool setting. While doing this, hand-manipulate the piece, fingerblocking and coaxing it into shape, so only a minimum of ironing is needed.

Wool is susceptible to attack by clothes moths, cockroaches, silverfish and carpet beetles. Insects do not usually attack pure cotton, but mildew can be a problem, especially if the fabric was stored in a damp area or contains sizing that was prepared with starch, flour or a gum.

Cotton fabric is susceptible to mold and mildew growth under conditions of high humidity and reduced air circulation. Stains on white and off-white fabrics may be removed by a mild chloringe bleach.

Heat causes wool fibers to deteriorate. When subjected to heat, moisture and friction, the overlapping scales will interlock and cause matting and shrinkage. Mildew fungus affects wool fibers under conditions of high humidity and reduced air circulation, causing stains and deterioration. Stains on wool should not be removed with chlorine bleach.

Deterioration of silk is accelerated by hot or dry conditions. Mildew affects silk fibers under conditions of high humidity and reduced air circulation, causing stains and deterioration. Stains on silk should not be treated with chlorine bleach.

There are environtal conditions that can cause problems with fabic. Low huidity can cause linen to become brittle. Mold and meldew fungi develop under conditions of high humidity and reduced air circulation. Stains on white and off-wihte linen are removed by a mild chlorine bleach.

Ultraviolet light is a cause of deterioration. Linen is weakened though not yellowed, by ultraviolet light. Silk is particulary susceptible to degradation from exposure to light, especially ultraviolet light. Wool deteriorated quickly under strong light. Cotton deteriorated from exposure to light. It causes gradual loss of strength, yellowing of white cottons and fading of dyed cottons.

To dry vintage fabrics, blot the garment somewhat dry with a terry towel. You can blow-dry the item on a cool setting. While doing this, hand -manipulate the piece, finger-blocking and coaxing it into shape, so only a minimum of ironing is needed. The heat concentration and pressure of ironing can cause additional stress to fine fabrics. However, the gentle steam spray from a iron may also be used to smooth out any wrinkles. If preferred, allow the garment to dry naturally, just remember to keep it away from heat and sunlight, which can weaken the fabric and cause fading.

Before wet cleaning doll clothes , be sure to seperate the doll's clothes by color, lights and dark as if separating regular laundry loads. If the doll's clothing have metal snaps or hooks, which is typical of features on later doll models, be sure to remove them before washing to prevent rust or staining. There is no easy method of cleaning, only patience and proper materials or tools. Don't use supermarket detergents, even if the are marked for delicate fabrics, because they are too harsh for old textiles and may leave a harmful residue.

A beginner can do simple porcelain doll repair at home. The porcelain doll must be cleaned thoroughly. Remove all old glue and brush the raw edge lightly with a small rough brush or sand it lightly with fine sandpaper. Read all the directions on the china glue container, whatever kind is used. Be sure the glue is clear of color and does not have an offensive odor. There is sometimes a problem of holding the pieces together while they are drying. One of the following hints often works: A. Masking tape, B. Modeling clay (non-hardening), C. Balance in a pan of white sand.

An important thing to remember when stringing dolls is that the elastic cord must be pulled as tightly as possible; otherwise after the tie is made the limbs will be hopelessly loose. Usefull tools in restringing dolls are a pair of pliers for opening up hooks that are too tightly pressd together and a wire with a hook on the end for drawing the elastic through the openings in the body and the limbs.

When working with plaster and you want to slow down the hardening, add a very small amount of vinegar to the water. To quicken the hardening, add a very small amount of table salt to the dry plaster.

Too many people take the bisque head, papier mache dolls and dress them like little women, bustles and all. They have a figure of an 1l-or-12 year old girl, so should be dressed as little girls, either in long or short dresses, depending on the age of the doll. Long curls are usually put on these dolls, but very often the modern wigs are used. A checked dress, with a high neck, to hide the ridge around the neck, and sleeves that come below the elbow (covering the ball joints) look best for these dolls; and a white pinafore really looks nice. Old china dolls with painted hair can be dressed with the mutton sleeves, bustles, etc.

Walking dolls that are too worn - or those parts cannot be replaced - can be restrung like any doll. Springs can be replaced by tight elastic bands made of heavy elastic. The arms on walking dolls are usually held together by rubber bands and are easy to replace.

Some of the walkers with turning heads loose their heads, which appear hard to replace. If there is a "T" at the top of the bar - inside its head - usually it can be glued back into place. Another type of walker has two clamps that fasten to the top of the head. Loosen the wig or remove the head. Sometimes worn places can be built up, or extra washers applied to take up the slack.

I have some cleaning tips for you this month. To clean blood stains on clothes, just pour a little peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off the blood. To remove permanent marker or blue store receipts on vinyle (if the mark is fresh) use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Crayon marks on boxes will come off with a damp rag dipped in baking soda with alittle effort. To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your atrificial flowers looking like new!

When applying wigs to a vinyl doll that has rooted hair, clip off the old hair, but not too close. Vinyl is hard to glue, so it is easier to glue the wig to the roots of the old hair. If the edges of the crown of the wig show, it should be turned back and stitched in place before gluing. Usually the next wig size larger is needed. Line up the part (if it is in the middle) with the dolls nose. Hold a pencil on something straight in front of the face until the part is straight. Do not use too much glue. It needs to be on the crown only, but not enough to soak through to the hair. Different kinds of glue should be used for different types of material. If the head is washable, use a glue that is wahable in water. The glue has to be good for cloth also, because of the cloth crown of the wig.

RubberDolls:? There just is not much that can be done to repair the rubber dolls except to exchange parts. They deteriorate with age. They should be protected from extreme heat or cold and never be left in the sunshine. They can be washed, even with soap, but should be rinsed thoroughly; and after they are dry, they should be powdered with baby powder. The powder keeps them from getting sticky.

To make a cloth body, it is best to make the new body for the old doll just like the old body. Many times you still have the old doll clothes, so even a little difference in size is not good. Use the old body as a pattern. Cut it up by cutting next to every seam, and lay it on paper and copy around it, allowing for the seam that was cut off and marking in all tucks or gathers. Heavy unbleached muslin or a pale pink material makes the best bodies. After cutting out the body, put the pattern into an envelope and mark it with the size and keep it in a file. You may have a need to make another body the same size sometime and the old body may be too worn to make a pattern from.

To remove a scratch from an acrylic eye is sometimes a tricky job. For all their toughness, plastics requre a surprisingly gentle hand when it comes to maintenance. To remove superficial dirt from an eye, rinse the surface first with running water to rid the surface of any loose particles, which can sctatch. Then wash with soap or mild, non-abrasive detergent and water, using your bare hands or a soft cloth. Do not wipe with a completely dry cloth, since doing so can generate a eletrostatic charge that attracts most dust and dirt. Using a sanding block and a fine grade wet-or-dry sandpaper (approximatley 280 grit for shallow scratched), sand very lightly in a star pattern. Keep the eye and the sandpaper wet, and work over the whole area to avoid creating a noticable depression. As the scratch disappears, use progressively finer grades of wet-to-dry paper in the same star pattern until the surface is uniformly smooth. Wash off the dust with soap and water and dry the plastic eye with a damp chamois.

I have had a number of requests for information on cleaning old doll clothes. In response to that I am now selling on my web page VINTAGE FABRIC WASH/SOAK. Vintage fabric wash/soak is septic safe and considered non-toxic by the EPA It will remove stains, odors, age spots and brighten items made from natural fibers. Test all colors for colorfastess before using vintage fabric wash/soak.

When cleaning cloth dolls the first step is give the doll a good cleaning. This can be done with a stiff brush. A paint brush works well for this. Another process is to use a vacume. Be sure to cover the doll with a layer of nylon net which keeps the fabric and clothing intact and allows for the dust to be removed. Wet cleaning a cloth doll in not good. It causes staining when the stuffing gets wet. Another way to "wash" a cloth doll is to rub cornmeal, cornstarch or talc into the fabric. Let the doll sit for two to four hours and then thoroughly brush the doll to remove all traces.

Kid-body dolls sometimes lose sawdust through worn spots; especially around joints. These can be mended without taking them apart, if not in too bad condition. Use a funnel and a pencil to stuff the missing sawdust into each place, Cut a patch of kid leather to the size needed and glue over the hole. If there is wire joint, cut half way into the patch and put the patch around the wire. Old kid gloves are very nice for this; or scraps of leather are available at most leather shops. It is also for sale by the yard, if complete bodies are disired. The old bodies are the best patterns.

A doll that has eyes that open or close should never be stored, or even just laid down on its back. The eye mechanism is large and heavy, and if the doll is laid on its back, pressure is put on the parts that connect the eye mechanism to the head, making it want to fall futher back into the head cavity. If you have seen dolls with one eye slighty "off", this is the reason. Replacing or restoring the eye mechanisms in doll is not an easy task and if done by a professional, is expensive. Dolls with such eyes should be stored standing up or laid on their faces.

Never store your dolls in plastic bags. This causes condensation. Instead, line a drawer or a cardboard box with acid free tissue or white cotton cloth.

When storing your dolls, never use ordinary tissue paper. It contains acids that will eventually ruin your collection. Instead, use acid-free tissue. You can find this at most art supply stores. You can also use white fabric to wrap you dolls.

Extremes in room temperatures are one of the greatest enemies of dolls. This means keeping your collection out of a wet, cold basement, a hot attic, and away from heaters and air conditioner vents when displaying them.

Replace Eyelashes: The first thing to do to add some lashes to doll eyes that may have patches of lashes out, is to find the right shade of eyelash. An inexpensive paint brush works very well for this. They come in many colors. Use a sharp knife point to enlarge the opening. Stick the tip of the brush into glue and push it into the vacant place and let it dry very well before cutting off.

Washing Stuffed Toys/Dolls: If the colors will not fade, the toy/doll can be washed in the washing machine. First pin it tightly in a pillow case, wash with a delicate cycle, and use a fabric rinse. Do not dry in a dryer, it will cause the toy/doll to shrink.

Sewing Hints: Children's worn-out tights and leotards still have good material in places and can be made into doll tights and leotards. Be sure all colors are fast; vinyl dolls can be ruined by fading material. Children's light-weight sweaters make over very nicely for doll clothes. Use a very fine stitch and double-sew, so that all ends will be sewn tightly and will not unravel. A quick and easy way to make doll stockings without hemming is to cutout stocking a little longer that needed. Fold over and sew, using back stich at both end.?When the stocking is turned right side out, it has a cuff that will stay down.