Why do some dolls not have mouths?

Published on 17 May 2024 at 10:02

Why do some dolls, including crocheted amigurumi dolls, have no mouth?

As a lover of crocheted amigurumi dolls, you may have noticed that some of these amazing creations don't have mouths. Why is that? I did some research for you. There appear to be several reasons why there are many mouthless dolls in the world of amigurumi and beyond.


For example, if I look at my own designs, there are also a number of creations that don't have a mouth. Just take a look at Noelle, Bobby Joe and Farmer Hank. I'll come back to my reason why I chose not to give these creations a mouth, later.

Aesthetic choices in amigurumi or other dolls:


Crocheted amigurumi dolls are often characterized by their cute and stylized designs. Omitting a mouth can be a deliberate flavourful or sophisticated choice to maintain the simplicity and charm of the doll. You then focus on other characteristics such as the eyes, the hairstyle or the clothing. By omitting a mouth, you can emphasize the cute and friendly appearance of an amigurumi creation.



Cultural traditions in doll making:


Within various cultural traditions around the world, dolls are made without a mouth and/or nose. Here are some examples:


Kokeshi dolls from Japan

Kokeshi dolls are traditional Japanese wooden dolls. You can compare them a little bit with a wooden peg doll that you see a lot these days. Kokeshi dolls are known for their simple and stylized design. These dolls often don't have a mouth and sometimes they don't have a nose, although nowadays you see them more and more often with a mouth. Kokeshi dolls have been made in Japan for centuries and have deep cultural significance, often associated with happiness, well-being, and fertility.

Kokeshi doll from Japan without mouth

Amish dolls from the United States:

Amish dolls, which were created by the Amish community in the United States, are known for their simple design and lack of facial features such as eyes, mouth, and nose. These dolls are often made by hand and are intended as toys for Amish children.

Amish doll from America without mouth

Waldorf dolls from Germany:

Waldorf dolls are dolls developed according to the principles of anthroposophy, a spiritual philosophy developed by Rudolf Steiner. These dolls usually have minimal facial features, and sometimes both a mouth and a nose are missing. Waldorf dolls are often used in Waldorf schools and in parenting situations that focus on natural play and the development of the imagination.

Waldorf doll from Germany

Ragdolls from the United Kingdom:

Ragdolls, not to be confused with the Ragdoll cat breed, are soft fabric dolls without hard parts such as plastic noses or mouths. These dolls, which are often made by hand, typically have simple facial features, and sometimes a mouth or nose is missing altogether, depending on the specific design style.

Ragdoll from England no mouth

Symbolic Meanings of Mouthless Dolls:


The lack of a mouth on a doll can have symbolic meanings, such as emphasizing neutrality, encouraging imagination in children, or reducing anxiety that some more realistic dolls can evoke. A Waldorf doll, inspired by anthroposophy, is a good example of this because of its minimal facial features.

Technical considerations when crocheting amigurumi:


When crocheting dolls, certain details are more difficult to achieve than with dolls made of other materials. With larger creations you can often crochet a mouth, with the smaller dolls the mouth is embroidered. Technical limitations could play a role in adding details such as a mouth.

Creative freedom


So, the lack of a mouth on crocheted amigurumi dolls can be due to several reasons. Whether you add a mouth to your dolls or not, it's important to embrace creative freedom and appreciate that each doll has its own unique character, regardless of the presence of a mouth.



My reason for not giving a doll a mouth


The reason why some of my creations don't have a mouth is also of a creative nature. While designing, I look at what would be the best for my amigurumi. If he or she is prettier with a mouth, they will get a mouth. If a mouth doesn't really have any added value, I decide to crochet the creation without a mouth. So I take all the creative freedom I need when designing my amigurumi!

Whatever reason you have for adding a mouth to your crocheted amigurumi dolls, remember that your creations are a reflection of your own style and creativity. Be inspired by both cultural traditions and personal preferences and enjoy the process of creating these amazing and unique creations!


In this blog I have shown you a few examples of my creations without a mouth. You can find all the patterns and much more here!

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