Kathe Kruse first made dolls for her 3 year old daughter, Maria in 1905 because she found that porcelain dolls were unsuitable as children's playthings. The first dolls had potatoes for heads and their bodies were made using knotted towels but they were much loved by Maria and her sister Sofie. Over the next few years Kathe improved her designs and the orders poured in. In 1912 Kathe opened a professional workshop in the German town of Bad Kosen and the legend began.
Kathe's dolls were made with a cloth head and body stuffed with reindeer hair, jointed legs and sewn on arms. Each doll was given individual character with differently painted features and hair colour and wore different clothes. In 1952 plastic heads were introduced and the design of the dolls changed rapidly.
Modern Kathe Kruse play dolls are still made in Germany and the majority have vinyl arms and legs and cloth bodies, some are now all vinyl. The vinyl used is high quality and free of nonyphenol and phthalates. Their faces are beautifully hand painted in the traditional way and their hair is in the form of a kanekalon wig, which gives the hair a more realistic appearance and maintains the style more easily. All clothing is exquisite - so beautifully designed and made. Being made in Germany rather than the Far East, Kathe Kruse dolls are comparatively expensive. However, it is difficult to describe the design, quality and ultimate magic of the finished products, which can't really be appreciated until you have one of them in your hands. Simply beautiful.