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Collectible Doll Care and Storage

This article is devoted to the care and preservation of the collectible Gotz dolls, although most of the information will pertain to other brand collector dolls as well.

We will begin by addressing 2 statements I hear most often from doll collectors.

True or False?

The value of my doll will be increased by never removing it from the manufacturers box, therefore storing the doll in its original manufacturers box is the best method.


False. Most quality doll manufacturers are experts in the field of creating beautiful dolls. To my knowledge they are not nor do they claim to be preservationists.

Lets take for example, a Gotz Handcrafted or Artist doll. They arrive packed and secured in their box, often with rubber bands around their neck and feet. Foam rubber pads are usually inserted between the rubber bands and the doll for padding. They sometimes have a deep burgundy ribbon tied around their waist. Next, many of them have a piece of tissue paper covering the doll and another layer of protective bubble wrap on top of the tissue.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough that this packing is done by the manufacturer for the purpose of SAFE TRANSPORT of the doll from their factory to its destination.


[Before touching your artist doll remember to wash your hands to remove any natural oils from your skin]

Step One: Immediately remove any rubber bands, foam rubber padding, bubble wrap and ribbons that are touching the doll and/or its clothing. Foam rubber deteriorates at a rapid rate and this deterioration process can damage your doll. I am sure you have seen how foam rubber will turn yellow with age. That is caused by deterioration. You need to protect the high quality vinyl and cloth used in the creation of your doll and its clothing.

Step Two: If you do not plan to display your doll, gently lift it from its box and cover the bottom of the box with acid free, non buffered tissue paper. Gently lay the doll back into the box making sure no hard plastic pieces (neck rest, ribbon holders, etc.) are poking into her vinyl. (For my personal collection of dolls I will pad the plastic neckrest with either 100% cotton fabric or more acid free tissue paper).

Please do not re-tie the deep burgundy ribbons around your doll. The dye in this ribbon could rub off onto her clothing or vinyl.

Step Three: Cover her with another sheet of the acid free, non buffered tissue paper, tucking it gently around her. Place the top back on the box.

Save any of the little pieces that you removed (such as the plastic ribbon holders, etc.) in case you need to secure your doll for shipment in the future.

True or False

I have a cedar closet (or chest) that is the perfect place to keep my doll.


False. Cedar may smell good but it is an enemy to preservation. You may never be able to remove the smell from the doll and what is worse, if the doll actually came into contact with cedar it could do serious damage.


So where do you keep your precious doll? Keep it in a part of your home that will be away from heat and humidity. If you are going to store your doll in a closet make sure the closet does not have a kitchen or bathroom adjacent to it. The humidity from the shower could reach your doll and you certainly do not want cooking odors to come into contact with her either. Also, the attic and the basement are definite no-no's.

Part I of a Series of Articles on Doll Care and Preservation
© 2004 Heirloom Sewing For Children