What Kind of Fabric Should I Use for a Rag Doll Face?

Written by laura gianino
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What Kind of Fabric Should I Use for a Rag Doll Face?
Make your rag doll face traditional or unique with different kinds of fabric. (bolts of fabric image by Scott Williams from Fotolia.com)

Create a rag doll with a traditional or unique appearance, depending on the fabric material you choose. Rag doll faces distinguish the rag doll, and may be crafted out of a common fabric, like canvas, or a textured, unusual fabric, such as denim. Embellish your rag doll face as you choose to make a doll that is uniquely your own.

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Rag dolls were one of the first dolls ever made, handcrafted by mothers for their children. The dolls were first introduced commercially in the 1850s, proving the catalyst for the doll-making industry which sparked in the United States a decade later. Rag dolls are distinguished by their relaxed posture and may be crafted out of various types of fabrics and stuffed to provide the loose limbs and lazy look of a traditional rag doll.


Typically, the most popular material for a traditional rag doll face is cloth, canvas or cotton fabric. Simple fabrics such as these are ideal for rag doll faces because they are widely available in neutral skin tones, and easy to sew through. Embellishments such as button eyes or yarn mouths will be easy to sew onto the cloth, canvas or cotton fabric. Other fabric possibilities for a rag doll face include flannel, denim or corduroy, which can create unique textures and looks for your rag doll face but may be more difficult to craft.

Texture and Color

Typical cloth, canvas or cotton fabric may be slightly rough to the touch and available in virtually any colour or pattern desired. A rag doll that's softer can be crafted out of flannel. Use skin-coloured flannel fabric for the face and body. You may use pale, tan or dark colours or make a colourful rag doll with brightly coloured or patterned flannel fabric. A rougher, but more unique type of fabric may be crafted out of denim. Denim colours vary from white, faded or dark blue, or black. For a unique textured look, consider corduroy fabric, also available in a wide array of colours.


Design your own shape for the rag doll face or print out a pattern online. Cut two pieces of fabric in a circular shape for the head. Place the two pieces right-sides together, and sew along the edges except for a small opening. Turn the fabric inside-out. Stuff the head of the rag doll with cotton or other stuffing material, either firmly or loosely depending on how floppy you want your rag doll to be. Close the opening. Embellish your rag doll face with two buttons for eyes, yarn for a mouth, and a threaded knot for the nose. You may sew all facial features, only a few--such as just a mouth, or none at all. Stitch coloured yarn of your choosing to the crown of the head.

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