Lilydoll reinventing the rag doll

Published: 19th February 2007
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Dolls have been the favorite playmates of little girls throughout all of recorded history. The first forms of these toys were most likely made from easy to find materials like wood or clay. Dolls have been discovered from as far back as ancient Egypt, around 2000 BC. Early Egyptian dolls were made of flat wood with hand painted features. Their hair was fashioned from strings of clay or small wooden beads. These cherished childhood treasures were often found buried with the small girl it belonged to.

By about 600 BC, dolls were becoming more evolved and featured removable clothing and more life-like arms and legs. Parents and children continued to make their dolls from the materials available to them. While wooden dolls remained the most common, many dolls were made from simple rags and others were made from clay similar to ancient pottery. By the early 16th century, wooden dolls were being made in mass quantities all across Europe. These dolls typically had simple peg joints that allowed the arms and legs to move during play.

During the 1600's, wax became a popular material for crafting dolls. Until this time, most dolls resembled adults, not infants or children. The first baby doll was a wax doll created in England in the early 1800's. Porcelain dolls were introduced in the beginning of the 19th century as well. During the 1880's, the French bebe became one of the most popular dolls. The china porcelain dolls were the first made to depict a young girl, similar to the age of the child who would play with her.

By the mid 1800's, rag and cloth dolls were being seen in the United States as well as across Europe. Manufacturers around the world were soon making dolls in mass production. Wooden dolls were no longer as common while doll makers experimented with a variety of new materials like rubber and leather. By the 1940's, hard plastic was being used to manufacturer dolls in a variety of sizes and designs. In the 1950's, vinyl was introduced in doll making. The use of vinyl led to dolls with life-like hair that was rooted into the head rather than painted or glued onto the doll.

Today, dolls are still the favorite toys of little girls all over the world. Modern dolls are available in many, many different styles. Plastic dolls representing babies, adult, and children of all ages are abundant. Most dolls made of porcelain are considered to be collectable dolls now instead of playthings, but cloth dolls are still popular toy dolls for children of all ages.

Lilydoll, designed by Manhattan Toys, are one of the most popular cloth dolls available today. Each of the 16 inch soft dolls are uniquely created with their own individual personality and look. Little girls love Lilydolls because of their easy to brush hair and removable stylish clothing.

Dolls have long been cherished companions of little children. Still today, most of the toys are modeled after the earliest traditional forms of baby and little girl dolls. Though they are manufactured with many new materials, the memories they create have not changed.
Gary Clay is an expert on Rag Dolls and owner of stylish kids shop MonkeyShine

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