A Waldorf doll (also called Steiner doll) is a form of doll used in Waldorf education. Made of wool and cotton, using techniques drawing on traditional European doll making, its appearance is intentionally simple in order to allow the child playing with it to improve or strengthen imagination and creativity. For instance, it has no facial expression. Its legs and arms are flexible, allowing natural postures.
Doll making process at the Q’ewar project
From the pure woolly innards to the finely crafted traditional clothing, a Q’ewar doll is a work of art from start to finish. It takes five days to craft a Q’ewar doll and the process starts with the cutting out of patterns for the head, body and limbs – from Peruvian cotton cloth.
After each part is cut, sewn and filled with clean sheep’s wool and possibly some alpaca, they are put aside, on reserve. Since the head and torso are one piece, the next step is the careful sewing in of the alpaca hair, strand by strand.
As some of you kind readers may know, there are several hair “styles” and the most time consuming coiffure is the curly haired boy. At this stage, the doll is ready to be assembled after which the eyes and mouth can be gently sewn in. During the above labors, the seamstresses have been busy making lovely doll outfits for both boy and girl dolls – of Peruvian everyday wear as well as the traditional fiesta dress as worn today on special occasions.
The last stage in the doll making process is the dressing of the dolls and the careful overview, thus ensuring quality control for each individual order.
Behind the scenes there is the intensive work of the spinning ladies who make the alpaca threads which are used to make doll booties, sweaters and little hats, as well as doll hair.
The weavers use traditional back strap looms and produce the fabric used in making ponchos and other accessories.
The sheep’s wool that is used for clothing must be cleaned, carded and sometimes dyed with natural tints. All these activities help support the doll making process.
Finally, at the end of this five day labor of love, the Q’ewar doll is ready for shipment, to find a new home and a pair of loving arms to care for it. The dolls are shipped all over the world including to the USA, Europe and Australia.
The photos of these gorgeous children have been taken in Australia by Annie Angle. Permission has been given by the parents of these lovely children to use the photos on the Qewar.com.au website only.