Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about reborns dolls. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to email me with any additional questions you may have.
What is a Reborn Doll and how is it made?
A reborn doll is a doll that is individually and uniquely handmade by a reborn doll artist. These dolls are not bulk manufactured; the artist creates each doll from a vinyl mold by painting several layers of heat set paint (which means the paint layers are baked at a low heat between each layer to permanently "set" the paint), painting or rooting (hand applying strand by strand) the hair (sometimes including the eyebrows and lashes), then stuffing and assembling the doll piece by piece. While it may sound simple, it is all a very complex and detailed process. Each reborn doll typically takes an artist days or weeks to complete, depending on the hours the artist has each day to devote to it's creation.
These dolls are highly detailed to look and feel as close to a baby as can be. Everything from the veins to the fingertips is carefully painted and crafted by the artist. The hair rooting process is a very time consuming aspect as well, as each hair is individually placed. Then the babies are stuffed, typically with polyfil stuffing and poly beads or pellets to give a realistic weight to the baby. Some babies are modified to be able to use a special type of pacifier with it; both the baby and the pacifier both contain magnets that connect through the vinyl to allow the owner to easily attach a pacifier and take it off with ease if they so desire. Babies are then pieced together, diapered, dressed, and sometimes will come with extra items such as blankets or extra outfits; artists will usually mention specifically if the baby will include such items.
Each artist has their own way and style of creating each baby, which makes each baby special and unique in it's own way. Each artist will price their babies as they feel is appropriate for each individual doll, with factors typically depending on design, special features, the time of their labor involved, and the cost of the materials. Another big factor is whether the baby will have rooted hair, painted hair, or be bald. Rooting hair is extremely time consuming, and takes as much if not more time than the painting process. So obviously, dolls with rooted hair will cost more. There are also different types of mohair used; some of higher quality and some with synthetic materials added to it. I use different types of mohair depending on the particular doll it is being used for, and prices will vary upon this factor as well. (To give a rough idea, a half ounce of premium mohair is around $60. The materials are not cheap!) Also, babies that are awake will cost slightly more because those babies need eyes. For myself, a good portion of the price of each baby goes into the cost of materials to create it, and there are many factors involved.
Everything from the eyes, hair, body, stuffing, weighted beads, paints, assembly, photography, clothing, packaging all cost time and money. There is so much more that goes into the art of creating these dolls than one might imagine!
I try to price the dolls as reasonably as possible for my customers so that more people are able to afford and enjoy a quality doll made with all of the same love and care put into it's creation as a doll in the thousands. (Yes, they do go for that high!)
I see the value in these dolls not only for collectors and hobbyists, but for their therapeutic value to their owners. Some people enjoy these dolls because they've suffered a miscarriage or the loss of a baby, and it gives them great comfort to have a realistic looking baby to hold. Some people (such as myself!) suffer from "empty nest" syndrome; they have raised their own children and are having a hard time dealing with the transition to having cute and cuddly babies to now teenagers or adult children who have left home. These babies have been used therapeutically in nursing homes for seniors, and for alzheimer's patients, who get great joy out of cuddling and holding an adorable realistic looking doll. People suffering with depression, anxiety, or other forms of mental illness also benefit greatly from the calming effect of cuddling and caring for these dolls.
These babies are not typically recommended as playdolls for young children, as they are delicately made and require care to be handled. However, lots of older children and teenagers love having these types of babies and know how to treat them responsibly. Of course, any aged child could have one; it is at your discretion whether your child is mature and gentle enough to handle the baby as they would a real one. They do make great holiday and birthday gifts, for both children and adults alike!
Of course, there are many people who love having reborn dolls simply for the fun and joy of it! Reborn dolls are cute, fun, and very relaxing to hold and adore. I have seen many skeptical people quickly change their minds once they actually hold one of these dolls in their arms. For myself, I realized that I don't really "want" another baby now that my kids are grown. The only part that I really miss is holding and cuddling them in my arms. I certainly don't miss changing diapers, the spitting up, the crying, the waking up in the middle of the night, the laundry... the list goes on, but the allure of a baby's cuteness and the comfort it creates to hold and love them again is truly the part I am missing. I also love having an excuse to shop for baby clothes again! And the great thing is that the clothes are a lifelong investment; these babies will never outgrow them, spit up on them, get them dirty - and I never have to do their laundry! ;)