The rag doll, both toy and decoration
The rag doll is a perfect toy from the age of 6 to help the child develop. We find fabric dolls at all times and in all civilizations. A fabric doll can stimulate the child's fine motor skills and increase their social and emotional skills. Soft and fluffy, it arouses tenderness and affection, and this in complete safety, indeed with a rag doll, no risk of injury.
The Bertille doll, a durable doll
Bertille is more than a doll, she is a decorative object, even a collector's item, because she is handcrafted in old textiles with clothes, also sewn in sheets, tablecloths, old linen handkerchiefs. She has a collection of clothes and accessories that allow her to change her wardrobe regularly. It is thus a very beautiful craft object to place in the house.
French and artisanal rag dolls
To make Bertille rag dolls, there are sheets to start with. A multitude of old linen sheets among which are the right pieces to cut and dye. Mostly old, little-used half-breed sheets, an extremely strong and soft linen and cotton blend, with a slightly irregular weave and which, once dyed, will make the skin of my rag dolls.
Handmade rag dolls
Dyed with tea, then cut here in the Drôme at the foot of the Vercors, the pieces of linen are then embroidered and assembled by Szilvia in Hungary. Bertille's string hair is braided then applied one by one by hand. It is all these manual steps that give these handcrafted dolls their authenticity and unique character. No Bertille, Igor or Lili doll is really alike because each piece is unique.
It takes a day to make a Bertille linen doll
The large Bertille rag doll requires a slow and meticulous manufacturing process, difficult to count if we take into account the search for materials. However, once the sheet has been found and cleaned, from the dyeing to the sewing of the body and the clothes that dress it, it takes about six hours of work to create the large Bertille linen doll and her jeans, blouse and beret!
And for the rest, what exactly are these rag dolls made of?
In addition to her old linen body, I use many old textiles to dress Bertille dolls. His blouses are sewn from old men's handkerchiefs, sometimes embroidered or monogrammed, and in vintage prints. I dye old pieces of hemp to make his jeans. I use old damask tablecloths for her dresses. Its berets and coats are created in vintage wools from dormant stocks of couture houses. At the end of this slow process, Bertille then travels all over the world, well protected in tissue paper in a large burlap pouch, taking with her a bit of French textile heritage...