Thursday, 12 January 2012

Mohair Pleasures (Dolly Mo Yarn)

Dear readers,
A couple of days ago I made several Little Mi and Little Mo dolls for my webshop, a whole bunch of lovely little people.

My personal favourite this time has been a little redhead.
I have tried a new sort of mohair yarn and love the colour.
It is that sort of red that calls for freckles, that sort of red that makes you smile when you see it. 
For several years I have been looking for a natural looking red for my dolls. What a wonderful surprise when I received a skein of the softest mohair before Christmas, which I immidiately had to try out for my Little Mi Sets. As a dollmaker, I find it difficult to source good quality material, especially doll mohair. I seldom add extra strands to my doll wigs, therefore it is of importance for me that the mohair fibers are long enough. Most of the usual mohair yarns (from the yarn store) either don´t work for the special crochet technique I use for my wigs or the yarn comes in unnatural colours.

To my great joy, Kamrin from Kamrin´s Poppenatelier (Netherlands) and Debbie from Little Oke Dolls (UK) decided to have their own yarn spun and dyed to their own specifications. They have been searching for a long time for the right mill to work with until they found a spinning mill and dyers from the UK to produce a range of the most beautiful and natural looking colours for doll mohair
The Dolly Mo Yarn is made from 84% mohair, 8% wool and 8% nylon and has a much higher mohair share than the Wollknoll mohair that a lot of dollmakers use. The texture is very soft - pure bliss for me as a very haptic person (you could make blind tests with me in a yarn or fabric store, my fingers remember the character of material more than my eyes would do ;-)

With the technique I use for my doll wigs, the hair has about the same length as with the mohair I used before. If your child has been allergic to doll mohair, you could try Dolly Mo as it is so much softer than any other yarn I worked with so far. If you usually crochet a cap first and then brush it, you will probably end up with slightly shorter mohair fibers. Depending on the size of your dolls (mine are between 45-60cm/ 17.5-23.5 inches), you can add extra strands or style pigtails. If your dolls are rather small, you will hardly notice a difference in hair length between Dolly Mo and conventional doll mohair.

I sometimes get the question whether I could use mohair yarn without any nylon and I asked Kamrin about that as well. Mohair needs a binder (a thread around which the mohair is spun) and that binder could be anything - cotton, polyester, nylon etc. Depending on which binder is used, it will reflect on the costs and the dying process. Usually, nylon is used because it keeps the costs low and is ideal for dyeing.

By using nylon as a binder, Kamrin and Debbie could keep the costs low for us as dollmakers (and you as the ones who buy our dolls). Even more important than the costs is the quality of the yarn. It takes me about seven to eight hours to crochet a wig for my 50cm dolls - and after all that labour, I would want a wig to last, and a good binder is a necessity for strength and durability.

The dyes being used for Dolly Mo are not natural dyes and are pre-metallised to give a better result for the composition of the yarn. That is a compromise I gladly make because the colours look very natural and lovely and such a result (with a large range of colours) would be hard to get with only natural colours. At the moment, dark brown is sold out in both Kamrin´s and Debbie´s webshop, but will be stocked up very soon. Another lovely brown shade and black mohair are going to complete the range of colours in February, Kamrin told me.

Summarized, I am very glad to be able to choose from a wider choice of mohair yarn for my dolls. I love the texture and quality of Dolly Mo and I am amazed by the natural looking colours. For a small additional charge, I will offer Dolly Mo as an option for the material kits for my e-class students as well, I often get asked for red shades and I am glad to be able to provide my course participants with such a wide range of colours.

Dolly Mo yarn can be purchased here or here.

For me it is time for a little break now with a cup of tea and with cake (remember, it is one of my New Year´s resolutions to eat at least one piece of cake a day ;-)
...and then I will continue crocheting wigs.



Additional Note:
This product review has not been sponsored or paid for, it mirrors my personal experience as a dollmaker only. All material info was given by Kamrin and Debbie. 
Since I often get questions about good sources for dollmaking supplies, I have set up a small material list for you which can be found here

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