Restoration of collectible dolls is cost and should only be performed by an expert. To prevent the need for restoration of your doll collection the following preservation guidelines should be adhered to:
o Never display collectible dolls outside of doll cabinets if you are not prepared to dust them regularly
If you, like me, feel that dolls should be an integral part of your home decor then remember that these dolls need to be dusted regularly to avoid dust settling on the skin, in the wigs and on the clothing of the dolls. If dusting is not part of your daily routine rather place the dolls in a doll case to prevent excessive dust collection.
o Never display your collectible dolls in direct light -keep all lighting indirect
If you want to reserve your doll collection for future generations never display the dolls in direct sunlight as this can not only cause the dolls clothing to fade but may also cause coloring of the skin, especially that of vinyl dolls. Direct artificial light will have the same imaging effects as sunlight and if you must use lighting it is best to stick to incandescent bulbs. Another option is to protect your dolls from potential damage from lighting by using UV lighting sleeves. Should you wish to light up your doll case only use cold lights with UV filters and only switch these on for short periods when viewing the dolls.
o Never expose your collectible dolls to extreme temperatures
It is best to display your dolls in a temperature controlled environment as extreme hot or cold temperatures or sudden changes in temperature could cause permanent damage to any doll.
o Never display your doll collections on a bare wood shelf
Preserving the dolls clothing is just as important as the preservation of the doll itself. Bare wood contains an acid called Lignin which will discolor the dolls clothing over a period of time – always use a material barrier when displaying dolls on wooden shelving.
o Never allow children to play with your collectible dolls
The only exception to this rule is when your collectible doll has been manufactured as a collectible play doll. If you have young children, granddaughters or friends that have young girls it may be worth purchasing one or two collectible play dolls specifically for this purpose.
o Never store your collectible dolls under conditions which could lead to permanent damage
Use acid free tissue when storing dolls and never store dolls in cardboard boxes as damage can result from the acids contained in these boxes. Even the original box can contain sufficient acids to cause damage over prolonged periods of time. If your dolls need to be stored for any reason, remove all jewelry before storage. Never store dolls in what you presume to be an airtight container as many of these containers trap moisture which could result in mold or mildew which is actually impossible to remove.
So much time, effort, money and love goes into a doll collection. Preserve them for future generations and save yourself or your heirs the cost of restoration.