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Italian Lenci Doll
Italian Lenci Doll . Felt doll. The body and head have a cardboard base and are lined with felt. This doll has small losses of the felt itself in the body due to the passage of time. It measures about 60 cm.
By the 1920s, several European manufacturers were producing very high-quality rag dolls. Sometimes known as “art dolls”, there were often designed and painted by talented artists, and modelled by highly skilled craftsmen. German doll.maker Käthe Kruse and the Italian firm Lenci were two of the leading manufacturers of rag dolls. Bothe of these companies are still in business.
Lenci was founded in Turin in 1918 by Elena Scavini. It is thought that she named the firm after her own pet name , Lenci.
Rag Dolls in the twentieth Century
By the twentieth century, manufacturing methods had greatly improved, and it was possible to emulate the more sophisticated jointed dolls made of materials such as bisque and composition. Many companies such as Steiff and Lenci began to used felt fot the heads, rather than cloth, for a more lifelike result. When treated with stiffening, felt can be pressed over a mold to give a doll raised features. The material, stiff enough to hold glass eyes or a wig , is easily painted. Sometimes doll bodies, as well as heads, were made of felt. Italian Lenci Doll
Doll-makers also began to use a knitted silk or cotton fabric called stockinette. Because of the soft, stretchy quality of the material, it is generally used for bodies rather than heads. However, if stretched over a molded, hollow, buckram (stiffened cloth) base, it is sufficiently rigid and can be painted. During the 1920s and 1930s, manufacturers produced a range of dolls with long, lean, stockinette bodies, styled on the fashionable body shape of the time. These soft bodies were attached to rigid, painted face mask (see above).
Velvet is also occasionally used in doll-making, but rarely for heads. These were used particularly in the production of the ethnic dolls. Velveteen, a cotton fabric with a short, thick pile, was sometimes used as a substitute for velvet in the manufacture of lower-quality dolls.
Today rag dolls are still popular. They are made of modern, washable materials and if health and safety guidelines are followed, are easily maintained. A few of and continue to make rag dolls, in the traditional ways. Clothing Doll
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