Matryoshka Care Instructions

How to Open a Matryoshka

The first time opening your matryoshka may be a little difficult sometimes. Each handmade doll is expertly fitted in order to stay together tightly. The wood is sensitive to moisture and may have swelled, particularly in warm, damp weather or during shipping.

If there is some difficulty opening the doll, we suggest the following:

  1. Do not try to twist the doll open.
  2. Grasp the doll on each end and press the middle down firmly against a soft surface (e.g. your leg, a sofa arm). If it doesn’t open, repeat the process on the opposite side. You might need to do this a few times.
  3. Put a soft cloth around the seam of the doll, and tap it against a hard surface such as the edge of a table while still holding the doll at each end.
  4. Thread dental floss into the seam and work it around the perimeter
  5. Once you’ve separated two halves of the doll, slowly and carefully pull them apart, making sure not to drop the doll which is inside. Ensure that you open your matryoshka on a soft surface, and try to hold it parallel to the ground.

After the doll is opened, rub white candle wax around the circumference of the seam.

We stress the importance of being gentle, not to press too hard, especially with smaller sets.

In order to open miniatures, please use your thumb and the middle finger of one hand and apply light pressure to the seam of the doll.

YouTube is a great tutorial resource if you are still having some trouble opening your matryoshka set.

How to Display a Matryoshka

The set of matryoshka dolls may be displayed separately or together.

Matryoshka dolls, unless intended to be used as toys for children, should be displayed in a place that is out of reach of elbows, cats, the wagging tails of dogs, or tiny toddler hands in order to minimize the chance of damage. Display them in a temperature-controlled area, away from direct sunlight—the sun might cause paint fading and yellowing of the lacquer.

Small or miniature sets should be displayed inside a glass cabinet. You may need to use double-sided tape in order to show them out safely.

Please, never keep matryoshka dolls in a place with above-average temperatures or humidity, they may get damaged beyond repair. Excessive humidity can damage the dolls by causing the wood to warp and making them more difficult to open.

Please, never place matryoshka dolls near candles, stoves, or any other place where a flame is emitted.

How to Care for a Matryoshka

To make sure that your matryoshka dolls stay in superb condition, gently wipe them, when necessary, with a dry, clean piece of cotton cloth.

Please, never use synthetic cleaners, detergents or polishers as they might ruin matryoshka’s design.

Useful Recommendations

Please, do not leave/keep two separate halves of any dolls apart for a long time—you will most likely have some problems later while trying to close them. This is due to different thicknesses of the wooden parts shrinking or expanding at their own pace.

Please, do not let anybody shake the set! The smaller dolls inside the main doll will knock around if shaken, which tends to wear on the paint.

Please, always support the bottom when lifting the doll. Never lift by holding only the top.