How To Fix Cabbage Patch Kid Yarn Hair
One of the topics I get asked about most frequently is how to fix Cabbage Patch Kid yarn hair. Now some of the later Cabbage Patch kids had the corn silk type hair and I have a whole post about how to deal with that.
But the early Cabbage Patch dolls mostly had yarn hair so it’s important to know how to take care of it. If you haven’t cleaned or washed your Cabbie yet, I suggest you start here: How to Clean a Cabbage Patch Doll.
Some of these early 1980’s Cabbie dolls made by Coleco got a LOT of love over the years. For being over 30 years old it’s amazing any of them survived. But actually Cabbage Patch kids are very hardy and I see many of them in pretty wonderful condition, all things considered.
But if you inherit or find an old Cabbage Patch doll with tangled, matted, or filthy yarn hair, don’t despair – it CAN be fixed.
I remove any hair ties or rotten rubber bands and then dunk her in the sink. To wash the yarn hair I like to use slightly watered down 7th Generation Dish Soap (better for the environment).
If the hair is particularly stained, I spray on some of my favorite spot cleaner, Grandma’s Secret and give it a little rub. It works like a charm, even on stubborn stains.
Once the hair is thoroughly rinsed I blot it with a towel then set her out to dry. Then I get to work.
Types of Cabbage Patch Kid Yarn Hair
Now the vintage Cabbage Patch dolls with yarn hair had several different hairstyles, and each one needs a slightly different styling strategy. There are:
- Single or double pony tails or braids
- Short loops
- Short and straight
- Variations of the above
The Kid in the middle image above doesn’t really have yarn hair – his is a more soft and fluffy material, which is unusual. All his hair really needed was a wash and a gentle brush with a soft bristle hair brush.
Note: NEVER try to brush yarn hair with a hair brush. It will come unraveled and impossible to restore to its original style.
The girl on the left has mostly loop hair, with a long pony tail coming out at the top. The girl over to the right side has a double pony style with loops around the bottom and the front of her head, making a circle around her pony tails.
How To Defuzz and Trim Cabbage Patch Kid Yarn Hair
Note: While the following steps take quite a lot of work, it is also very relaxing and rewarding and satisfying (says the Cabbage Patch addict!).
Often, the yarn hair strands will be sticking to each other because the have slightly felted over time. There will be fuzz in between the individual strands of hair and you don’t want that. You want all the strands of yarn to be individual, like spaghetti strands.
The way to solve this is to take every strand and gently separate it from the next strand. Pull them apart all the way to the doll’s scalp. Pick off any excess yarn fluff while you’e doing that. Also, depending on the hairstyle of your particular Cabbie, sometimes their middle parting gets all this way and that. Just go through each strand, one by one, and place it on the right side of the part, so that it looks even and neat.
To handle loops on Cabbage Patch Kid yarn hair, simply pull the loops apart. Often the yarn loops will stick to each other over time, but all it takes is a gentle tug to separate out the loops, which will make them look a lot nicer. If there are random fuzzy bits of yarn sticking out, just trim them off carefully, making sure NOT to cut the yarn itself. Using very sharp scissors will actually help in this case.
Next, now that your Cabbie’s hair is all nice and separated, she’s ready for a trim. We’re not going to take off any length, we’re just going to carefully trim the raggedy ends off her hair. Taking a few strands at a time – about 4 – carefully trim off the ends. It takes a while but it’s totally worth it – the result is amazing.
Once you’re done with the cleaning and de-fuzzing and trimming process you’ll want to put her hair back into its originally intended style. Try to avoid using rubber bands. They rot after a while and get gluey and gummy – not good for yarn hair.
Finishing Up Your Cabbage Patch Kid Makeover
Then it’s time to put some clothes on her. If you already have an outfit for her, great. If you don’t, maybe you’d like to turn her into a mermaid, using my Sassy Cabbie Mermaid pattern.
There are so many ways to make your rescued or vintage Cabbage Patch Kid doll look amazing. You can find some authentic CPK clothing for her – sometimes on Etsy or EBay. You can also make your own original outfits for her.
Here are some that I’ve made using small scraps of upcycled clothing, mostly tee shirts. Below are some of my favorite Cabbie makeovers.
Stay tuned by joining the Vibrant Crafter tribe for my upcoming advanced Cabbage Patch hair tutorials on re-rooting, fluffing up, and handling rare or unusual Cabbage Patch hairstyles.
I really hope this helps you manage any Cabbage Patch Kid yarn hair you are having to deal with!
Got questions or tips to share? Yay! Please comment below.
P.S. I know you know this, but I sometimes include affiliate links in my blogs. I only promote companies that I like and believe in. 🙂