Corolle Doll FAQ

COROLLE DOLLS FAQ

We are often asked why Corolle dolls are so costly, what makes them special, how are they made, where are they made, etc. In response, with the help of the Corolle company, we have put together this FAQ which covers nearly everything you would possibly want to know about Corolle dolls!

  • Why buy a doll?
  • Why are Corolle dolls so expensive?
  • How are Corolle dolls made?
  • What design considerations go into making a Corolle doll?
  • Corolle dolls have hair that seems so real. What is the hair made from?
  • Why don't any of the baby dolls have hair?
  • What are the bodies made of?
  • Why are Corolle dolls so light?
  • What size Corolle doll should I buy my child?
  • Are Corolle dolls washable?
  • What are the overall important features of a Corolle doll?
  • Where are Corolle dolls made?
  • What does Corolle mean?
  • Who is Catherine Refabert?
  • Where is the best place to buy a Corolle doll?

Why buy a doll?
A doll is one of the most open-ended toys available. A doll is an object of affection; a symbolic object which provides an emotional outlet for a child and encourages children to:
- Express their feelings
- Develop their imaginations
- Experiment with different roles
- Care for others
- Gain understanding
- Create fond memories

  • Top Of FAQ!
  • Why are some Corolle dolls so expensive?
    Yes, many of the Corolle dolls are costly. But some, such as the Mini Calins, cost no more than many of the popular dolls you can find in your local department or discount store. Yet, Mini Calins, as all Corolle dolls, are not just stamped out of a machine in a factory. Construction of the doll involves many hand operations, and the dolls are made of the finest materials available today. They are well designed, high quality dolls which are durable and meant to be loved for a lifetime. Corolle dolls are an investment in quality! The rest of this faq details the quality with which each Corolle doll is made.

    How are Corolle dolls made?
    Each doll requires from 50 to 100 hand operations! The process often starts with the comment of a child. For instance, the idea of making newborn babies for Corolle came from a remark by a little girl, who asked for a baby doll that looked like a real life newborn because she had a new baby brother whom her mother prevented her from handling. The girl said that Corolle dolls were very beautiful, but they did not look like newborn babies. She wanted a baby doll that looked like her little brother, so she could play with him and copy the way her mother cared for her brother.

    Once an idea is born, sketches are made which are given to a sculptor. The sculptor then creates a three-dimensional form. It takes 3 months to a year before a mold is finally created. The process is slow and exacting. And although some industrial processes are used to create a doll, many operations are done by hand such as painting the face, setting in the eyes, stuffing the body, styling the hair, dressing the doll and more. In fact, Corolle can be considered doll-making craftsmen! 

    What design considerations go into making a Corolle doll?
    All of the dolls are sculpted to resemble real children's faces, however, since realism sometimes frightens children, they are not too realistic. Everything is in proportion. And although it is easier and less expensive to make big open eyes, the Corolle eyes of a doll are in exact proportion to the human face. The body construction - the position of the hands, arms and legs are all as near as possible to human construction.

    Corolle dolls have hair that seems so real. What is the hair made from?
    The hair of a Corolle doll imitates real children's hair. Infant dolls have Angel hair. Corolle has a patent for this very fine hair. Corolle also uses what is known as rooted hair. Rooted hair is hair which is stitched into the scalp. It is made of nylon and can be either straight, curly or wavy.

    Unlike other manufacturers, instead of rooting 24 threads in each stitch hole on the head, Corolle roots 6 or 12 threads which gives a very natural look. Because children enjoy hair play, the hair styles are very long on the toddler dolls. Modern cuts which really look like today's childrens' hair styles, are also used.

    The hair is washable and can be treated like real hair using a curling iron briefly (a few seconds only), a hair dryer on low setting, and shampoo as long as the water does not exceed 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Collectible dolls are not really play dolls. Most have hair which is actually a wig made of Kanekolon. This is the same fiber used in human wigs. Wigs are used because of tradition and their association with quality dolls.

    Why don't most of the baby dolls have hair?
    A bald baby, one with no hair is usually a child's first doll. Doll hair is not as important to a young child; only later is a child interested in and capable of washing and styling a doll's hair.

    What are the bodies made of?
    The majority of the dolls are soft, with vinyl arms, legs and head. They are flexible and have a cloth body stuffed with a very light weight stuffing. The all-vinyl dolls are also very soft due to the high quality of the vinyl. The high grade vinyl is not opaque like most other dolls on the market, but has the color and transparency of children's skin. You will also note that it is slightly scented with vanilla. This is so that when the child hugs the doll, it does not have a vinyl smell.

    Why are Corolle dolls so light?
    The dolls are designed so that the weight of the doll is in proportion to the weight of a child. Generally, a child who plays with a Corolle doll is between the ages of 2 and 8 years old, her weight is approximately 15 to 40 pounds. If you were to put a doll weighing 4 pounds or more in a child's hands, it would be as if an adult had something in her hands weighing between 10 to 15 pounds - she would not hold it in her hands for a very long time. If you have ever seen a child drag their doll around rather than carry it, you know what we mean. Whereas, the Corolle baby dolls do not exceed 1 1/2 pounds and their average weight is 1 pound or less.

    What size Corolle doll should I buy my child?
    At Corolle, the child's size is taken into consideration when the doll is designed. The size of the doll should depend on the size of the child. The best size for a doll corresponds to the length of the forearm and the extended hand of the child, who, when she cradles the baby in her arms, imitates her mother. A 12 inch doll will fit into the arms of a two to three year old. A 14 or 15 inch doll is for a child of three to five years of age. Larger dolls are for children of seven and older, and of course, collectors.

    Are Corolle dolls washable?
    All Corolle dolls are surface washable. In fact, many can be washed in a machine once in a while, but unless a doll can be subjected to hundreds of repeated cleanings in a washing machine it cannot be stated on doll's retail box as being machine washable. Machine washable dolls can be washed in lukewarm water, by placing them in a bag or pillowcase so the doll does not get damaged from the agitator. All Corolle dolls should be air dried. Do not put a Corolle doll in the dryer!

    What are the overall important features of a Corolle doll?

    1. Facial features like dimples, hands, and feet are realistic.
    2. Soft flesh tones similar to actual skin, and the coloring of lips and cheeks are light and natural.
    3. Placement and size of eyes are in proportion to the size of the face and are firmly affixed in eye sockets.
    4. Sensory appeal is very important to children. Corolle adds a very light scent of vanilla to the liquid vinyl before it is molded, thus eliminating the harsh odor of vinyl.
    5. Durability and longevity are important considerations for choosing a doll. Children develop a strong bond with their doll and the doll needs to withstand the rigors of play.

    Where are Corolle dolls made?
    At one time Corolle dolls were made in France. But in 2004 Corolle closed its plants in France and moved all manufacturing operations to various countries in Europe and in Asia. In 2007 Corolle began manufacturing most of their dolls in China, (a few were made in Spain). 

    What does Corolle mean?
    Corolle, in French means the inside of a flower.

    Who is Catherine Refabert?
    Catherine Refabert is the artist and designer responsible for Corolle dolls. She has been designing and making dolls for thirty years in France. She currently lives and works in the Loire Valley, in the heart of Touraine, the storybook region of France. 

    Where is the best place to buy a Corolle doll?
    The best place to buy your doll is here at Live And Learn of course (grin)! We will answer your questions, and help you make a selection if you're undecided which doll to buy. Our prices are very reasonable. Although we carry a wide selection of Corolle dolls, if you want a doll we don't normally stock don't worry. We are near the Corolle warehouse! We can get any Corolle doll very quickly provided the doll is in stock at Corolle and they are not backed up in their shipping department.

    We are a family business with a vested interest in your complete satisfaction. Yes, even in cyberspace, you will find that shopping with Live And Learn is a very personal experience. We will treat you right because your satisfaction will help us grow! 

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