Raggedy Ann for the collector, a birthday gift, a Valentines gift, an anniversary gift.
            Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy Dolls, Limited and Non-Limited Editions.
             A Timeless Tradition To Pass From Generation To Generation!

   

 

Raggedy Questions

 

 

How do I Clean or Restore My Raggedy Ann Dolls?

 

OLD CLOTH CAN BE FRAIL. IF YOU TRY THIS, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK!
 

First, I do not recommend the cleaning of the older (pre-1960) cloth dolls. The main reason is the fabric tends to be weaker than the washable fabrics of today. Many cleaning solutions may have chemicals in it that will speed up any normal decaying of the fabric. Or, if you rub too hard you can actually rip the fabric. It is best to leave these old things as they are or, hire a professional. If you are not sure, it is best to leave it alone. Remember, these older dolls have probably seen some many a rough and tumble day, some long and miserable nights and, many, if they could talk....just think of the stories they could tell of the places they have been and the things they have been a witness to. So, I would rather imagine that stain on Ann's arm was from the time she helped make cookies with Marcella. Or, that tear stain on Andy's face was put there when some child lost their dog.

Now, with respect to newer dolls (post 1960's). Some tags on the dolls will indicate that you can "wash in a washing machine". Some people say, "put it inside a pillow case". Do yourself a favor and don't do it! I have seen where this does not work very well due to the yarn hair coming loose and, non-color fast fabric bleeding over onto other clothing.
 

Other tags indicate "surface cleaning only". I have had generally good success spot cleaning the faces (but, not including the eyes, nose and mouth area and painted areas) and hands. The eyes, nose and mouth areas tend to smear the paint if the cleaner is too harsh. I have used a good quality "spray foam" carpet cleaner and a white Terri cloth towel. Apply a small amount of foam on the towel then, lightly rub the affected area. Move to a cleaner part of the towel and repeat as necessary. Several applications (generally not more than 2-3) may be necessary to remove most of the soil. THIS NEXT PART IS IMPORTANT.....After each application, you must slowly dry the cleaned area with a blow dryer on low heat. If you do not, you run the risk of it drying naturally and leaving a water stain. While this has worked ok in most instances, a lot of stains just will not come completely out. You must watch carefully to not rub too hard in this process or you can "fray" the cloth material and weaken it at the spot. Sometimes, you clean the one bad spot on the face and then realize you now must clean the whole face because you got the one spot so clean it now looks funny.

Cleaning the Clothing:
I recommend COLD WATER WASH ONLY! Soak them in a pan in the sink and add a tablespoon of ERA detergent. Swish them around to get them good and wet and sudsy. Let them soak for about 1/2 hour, swish them around in the soapy water for a few minutes more to loosen the dirt, then rinse real good IN COLD WATER. Then, hang dry. Do not squeeze or ring out the water, just flatten the fabric and hang dry. A light ironing with a warm iron afterwards will take out the wrinkles and the fabric won't be so limp.

Warning: I have found that washing in warm or hot water may shrink, fade or otherwise ruin the garment. Some of the older colored fabrics may not be colorfast and actually bleed over onto other clothing. Also, the elastic around the hands and pantaloons may stretch so, there is not much choice except to replace it or leave it alone.
 

Restoring old Raggedy Ann (pre 1960's:

This is going to depend on how old the doll is. The older dolls were made back when there was not much attention paid to durability of fabrics. I'm talking about Raggedy's made from the 1920's up through the late 1940's. The fabrics can be brittle and tear very easy unless treated by a professional. So, if you have one of the older Raggedy Ann dolls, you just might want to leave it alone or, find a local professional to do the restoring.

 

The newer versions say, 1960's Knickerbocker Toy Co. made dolls, can sometimes be restored and look very good. My advice is to find a local seamstress to do the work. They have the proper tools and knowledge to restore loose hair or, make a new apron, pantaloons or dress.


Good luck......and be careful!

Raggedyman@aol.com

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Where can I find a History of My Dolls?

Raggedy Ann has a long history. The first dolls were made by the Gruelle family prior to 1918 to go along with the Raggedy Ann & Andy Story books being sold by the P. F. Volland Co. The commercial made dolls started production sometime between 1918-1920. Click here to see the original patent.

For a more detailed history and just really great reading (lots of pictures, too), I strongly suggest obtaining the following books:

  1. The first book on Raggedy Ann and, the book that got a lot of us collecting was The Raggedy Ann and Andy Family Album (144+ pages) by Susan Ann Garrison. Susan, a school teacher, started collecting Raggedy Ann back before collecting was popular and so, she already had many of the examples of dolls in her book. Through interviews with Worth Gruelle and Kim Gruelle (Son and grandson respectively, of Johnny Gruelle) and other family members she designed a color pictorial history of over 500 Raggedy Ann dolls and included information on the companies that made them, the accessories, coloring and story books, games, puzzles and more. The book is in its third printing and comes with a price guide. You can order the book through most book stores or, from The Raggedy's & Teddy's Co. - email  Raggedyman@aol.com.
     
  2. Wonderful Raggedy Anns by Joyce Gerardi Rinehart has pictures of a lot of different Raggedy Ann's and miscellaneous items (candles, clocks, lights, books, toys, figurines, etc.). Written in 1997 it has over 190 pages and I believe over 700 color pictures. Copies and be purchased from you local book dealer or Schiffer Publishing Co., Atglen, PA (610) 593 - 1777.
     
  3. The Collector's World Of Raggedy Ann And Andy, Volume One by Andrew Tabbat. Andrew has been collecting since the 1970's and has one of the most complete doll collections I am aware of. His book This book gives a lot of the early history of Raggedy Ann and other Johnny Gruelle characters and present a very good visual idea of the different doll faces from the early 1900's - 1950's.(125+ pages).  It can be ordered from Theriault's Gold Horse Publishing (800) 966 - 3655.
     
  4. The Collector's World Of Raggedy Ann And Andy, Volume Two by Andrew Tabbat. This volume describes the Raggedy Ann dolls and other Johnny Gruelle characters from about the 1950's up through the 1990's. The pictures present a wonderful array of all the many different Raggedy Ann items out there. (125+ pages). It can be ordered from Theriault's Gold Horse Publishing (800) 966 - 3655.
     
  5. For a great book on the life and times of the creator of Raggedy Ann you will want Johnny Gruelle Creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy by Patricia Hall. Who was Johnny Gruelle? When and where was he born? How did he come to create Raggedy Ann? (220+ pages). You can order it from your local book store or from The Raggedy's & Teddy's Co. -email  Raggedyman@aol.com.
     
  6. How many books did Johnny Gruelle write? When were they published? What are they worth? Check out Raggedy Ann and Johnny Gruelle, A Bibliography of Published Works by Patricia Hall. (190+ pages). Pelican Publishing Co.

There are other books, some good, some not so good. But you need to start somewhere if you are trying to find out about Raggedy Ann.....and these books will be a good place to start. Good Luck!

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What is the value of my Raggedy Ann?

An exact date of when your doll might have been made is near impossible due to the generally poor record keeping by most doll companies. But, through the years some production records have been recreated from the memories of former employees, company invoices and other information available to the authors and, in some of the books noted herein you may be able to determine approximate dates.

The best source at present to check on valuations is eBay and other auction web sites. Remember, value is determined by the market. The market is made up of people who are willing to buy from those willing to sell. A seller can set a price for their item but, if no one is willing to buy it at that price then....the market is saying it is not worth what the seller is asking. Prices rise and prices fall, so does the market. The value today might not be the value tomorrow. Pay particular attention to the differences between the doll that sold and your doll. Condition, completeness,  are also indicators of value.

Price Guides: I would like to add a word of caution about the "price guides" you may find in some of the books mentioned here. Price guides are just that! A guide or indicator of value and, certainly not an "appraisal" of a doll or item that you may have. Price guides are current only as of the date they were originated and could really be "out of date" due to lag times of the publisher and when the book was actually published. Value is determined by several  things: condition, completeness, design and rarity, not to go without mentioning "location". I have seen similar condition dolls sell for higher prices in foreign countries compared to what it sold for in the U.S. Also, a doll may sell for more in California, than Florida. So, besides condition and other factors, location can have an effect on value. Again, let any price guide be just an indicator of value and go from there.

If you need or require a valuation for insurance purposes, check with some local antiques appraisers in the yellow pages for more information. A check with local doll clubs may get you a name of a local doll appraiser. Sometimes insurance companies will have a list of local antiques appraisers. As with any appraiser, you will want to check out their credentials and get references. Ask about their doll appraisal experience. A "real estate appraiser" may not have the experience required to appraise dolls or antiques for the same reason you would not call upon an "antiques appraiser" to give you an appraisal of your home.

 Good luck!

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Where can I find out about Raggedy Ann shows and festivals?

Try the following links for Raggedy Ann shows and festivals:

The Annual Raggedy Ann Festival in Arcola, IL     http://www.arcola-il.org  or http://www.arcolachamber.com/

 

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Do you have a question we have not answered? 

Then, Email me at   Raggedyman@aol.com