a Lenci doll, and remove odors and destroy dust
mites/bugs , place your newly acquired vintage
Lenci/cloth doll in plastic bag and pop it in
the freezer for a week or more before introducing it
into your collection.
When you take her out of the freezer, remove from the bag and any plastic wrapping to avoid condensation buildup and leave at room temperature out of direct sunlight to thaw out.
(Direct sunlight fades the colors irreversiblly so store and display out of direct sunlight - in a north facing room ideally and protect from dust and moisture).
best left to a doll professional, remember
that a doll in its original state is of more
value and more highly prized by collectors.
A light dusting
should be sufficient for most dolls (after
removing it from the freezer), or some recommend
a light vacuuming, covering the nozzle with a
piece if stocking/nylon tights (I have not
personally tried this ), I prefer to carefully
blow away the surface dust using a manual air
pump, such as used for inflatable football / or
a bicycle pump may do as well.
Above all do NOT use
water; the face of a lenci doll is made from
felt molded by steam, which has been set under
pressure, facial features will be flattened if
they get wet. A artist's dry cleaning pad is useful for picking up surface dust, I use an Opaline Eraso-Pad Dry cleaning pad by Martin, gently and carefully avoiding painted areas, this soft cloth pad contains soft rubber-like granules which catch the surface dust, if you cannot find one, an alternative is white bread gently rubbed over the surface of the felt to produce breadcrumbs, which will pick up the surface dust.
to spot clean small areas of the arms and legs
of a very stained lenci doll, I have had some
success using tiny amount of “Woolite Oxydeep”,
a non-bleach oxygen based carpet spot cleaner,
to spot clean the limbs of an old lenci doll by
gently dabbing small areas at a time, and then
blotting dry, letting it air-dry out of direct sunlight.
NEVER use bleach, or
chlorine based cleaner on vintage doll clothing.
If badly stained, non
felt clothes such as and lenci socks and
cotton/organdie underwear may be gently soaked
in cold water with Oxiclean (www.oxiclean.com).
The colorful felt
patchwork Lenci clothing is better off not being
washed as the colors will most likely bleed with
disastrous results. Bear in mind also that
some shrinkage will likely result.
clothing may be gently hand washed in cold water
and mild washing soap. Be aware that some
shrinking will occur and the felt will lose some
of it's original appearance if washed.
amount of salt to the washing water may help to
control the color loss when washing felt.
- also minimize handling to protect the old materials - some collectors even wear white cotton gloves when handling rare items
Store your lenci
dolls in a dust and damp and moth free
environment out of direct light. A pillow case makes a good dust cover for storage. Cedar blocks help to keep moths at bay.( DO NOT use old fashioned Moth Balls the chemicals are hazardous to your health and the odour is difficult to remove)
When selling your lenci doll be sure to mention any changes or renovation applied to the doll while in your care.