What's the Difference between Rag Dolls and Cloth Dolls?

What's the Difference between Rag Dolls and Cloth Dolls?

What's the difference between Rag Dolls and Cloth Dolls? 

Well, all rag dolls are cloth dolls, but not all cloth dolls are rag dolls. Any doll that is made of cloth is a cloth doll. That definition is easy.

But defining rag dolls is a little bit harder, because it's a matter of opinion.

Here are the three conditions we think a cloth doll should meet to be considered a rag doll:

  1. It should resemble a human. Teddy Bears are not rag dolls.
  2. It should have the three "F's:" Flat, flexible and floppy. 
  3. It should have simpler, more handmade look.

Let's look at a few examples:

Here are the best known rag dolls in America, Raggedy Ann and Andy. These two in particular are mass produced by Aurora but the design is 'classic' rag doll. 

Here's Graham, a beautiful cloth boy doll made by HABA

We don't think he looks home made, nor is he flat - his body is round, nor is he 'floppy.' He's pretty sturdy as a matter of fact and can almost stand by himself.

Finally, here's a pair of rag dolls that were individually home made about 65 years ago, and then made the transition to mass manufactured. We carried the replicas and found them to be more 'cloth dolls' than 'rag dolls,' because they were rounder and stiffer. Courtesy Best Dolls by KatJan.


Yet they were marketed as 'Rag Dolls' and we never heard anybody complain!☺

So there you have it... The Pattycake Doll Company's take on the difference between rag dolls and cloth dolls. Do you have a better definition? we'd love to hear from you!

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