The Manufacturing Process - Vinyl Dolls
Decoration   Decoration

Doll makers had been trying to create a lifelike doll for hundreds of years. Blow moulding allowed them to produce plastic bodies that were light and made excellent jointed dolls, to which seamless vinyl heads shaped by rotational moulding were added. In the late fifties, it became the most popular method of making dolls.

In the blow moulding process, vinyl paste was poured into a two-piece mould through a tube. Air was blown into the mould, forcing the paste against the sides and heating it quickly to solidify it. The mould was then opened, and the piece, usually an arm or a leg, was removed by hand.

In vinyl, doll makers at last had a material that was warm, soft to the touch, and easy to mould, colour and add hair to. Moreover, once the required machinery was installed, the dolls were inexpensive to produce. Earlier problems with vinyl discolouring had been overcome by the sixties, when some of the finest vinyl dolls were made.

Decoration   Decoration

Blow moulding a leg Blow moulding a leg in the Wis-Ton Toy factory

The photograph shows the vinyl paste coming down, the two halves of the mould and the spike at the bottom through which air was forced into the mould.

Courtesy of E. Strahlendorf, Hamilton, Ontario

Vinyl heads Vinyl heads waiting to be painted in the Wis-Ton Toy factory, Toronto

Courtesy of E. Strahlendorf, Hamilton, Ontario

What is a Doll? | Inuit Dolls from Prehistory to Today | First Nations Dolls
Settlers' Dolls - Dolls Made at Home | Antique China and Parian Dolls
Antique Dolls Imported from Europe | Eaton's Beauty Dolls
The Birth of the Canadian Doll Industry | The Heyday of the Composition Doll
The Vinyl Doll Era | Canadian Original Doll Artists | Mechanical Dolls | Web Sites | Credits