Plush toys and stuffed animals are kids' favorite. Their eye-catchy look, cuddling properties, and softness make them perfect confronting friends. However, parents are worried about the hygiene of these plush toys. Also, many people wonder about their manufacturing process. Some even doubt the ethical making process too.
Thus, people ask, "How are plush toys manufactured?" We will show it in today's article. We will show you the designing process, fabric selection, sewing, and packaging of the plush toys. If you need a complete and clear idea of plush and stuffed animal manufacturing, continue reading it.
It will also help make DIY plush toys at home. So, kids can learn the craft and make their favorite cartoon or real-life character into plushies.
Plush toys are outstanding with their colors, textures, and cuddly shapes. However, their manufacturing follows a concrete pathway. The plush toy-making process starts with a design and character selection. Then, it includes fabric selection, collecting materials, and cutting them into shapes. Also, you must fill the inside with suitable material and choose the perfect sewing for a unique look.
Every plush toy speaks about a thousand meanings. People find them interactive, thanks to the design and decoration. So, we start by fixing the shapes and characters for it. The characters may include cartoons, comics, movie heroes, or real-life persons or animals.
The design includes the sketching of the plush toy. It is the most challenging job of manufacturing the toy. The sketch includes the following:
1. Possible shapes and sizes of the plush toys
2. Exterior design, including color, eyes, face, etc.
3. Clothing and fabric patterns and textures
Designers will use pencil and paper for the sketch. Also, companies use Adobe and Illustrator for digital sketches that are easy to edit. After finalizing the sketch and design, it's time to find the fabric for the stuffed animals and plushies.
Fabric selection for the toys:
Depending on the plushies' pattern, color, and shapes, you must find the right fabric. Also, it needs to be hygienic and eco-friendly. Unless it is a customized order with all details suggested, this part might be tricky for people and companies.
✔ Flannel is used widely as the exterior fabric of plushies. Plush dolls, bears, and kittens look amazing with the flannel fabric. It comes in maximum color, pattern, and shade variation to meet all requirements.
✔ Companies also use cotton for plushies. It is affordable but lacks fluffiness. Thus, you will find it mostly in regular plushies.
✔ Fleece is among the fluffiest fabrics for plushies. Fleece makes the stuffed toys huggable and soft. Also, without fraying, it is easy to sew and clean afterward.
✔ Faux fur is expensive and fluffy too. It makes the toys incredibly soft, cuddly, and stunning. So, companies often use faux fur for their plushies.
✔ Finally, felt is also used in low-end plushies. It is much like cotton and is affordable too. For DIY plushies at home, you may choose them.
Apart from the fabrics, creating plushies also need different items. It includes cutting, sewing, and packaging materials. You will also need pencils, color, and plastic for the toys' noses, faces, and other physical attributes.
You will need the following:
▪ Thread or embroidery floss
▪ Some beads or sequence
▪ Plastic nose and eyes
▪ Fabric markers
Once you have collected all the items, it’s time to start cutting and sewing the stuffed animals.
Next, it's necessary to cut the fabric according to the size and shape of the plush toys. Companies often use a standard cutout for the perfect cutting of the fabric. Then often use CNC machines to create the shapes from the fabrics ideally.
At home, you first need to outline the fabric. Use a pencil or marking pen to outline the shape carefully. Then, use the scissors to cut the pattern correctly. After that, you must start sewing the fabric.
✔ Take two pieces simultaneously and piece them together.
✔ Check the raw edges and tuck them with the threads.
✔ Use the trace lines to sew the fabric with a basic running stitch.
✔ Instead of the basic running stitch, you may choose straight or embroidery stitching too. It makes the plushies more engaging.
✔ Leave the top hole unstitched. It is essential to fill the inside of the toys with fabric or material.
It’s interesting to see how plush toy manufacturers and their stuffing techniques for stuffed animals and plush toys. For stuffing inside these toys, you may choose from different materials. It includes:
✔ Polyester fiberfill is used worldwide for cushioning stuffed animals. The material is soft, durable, and fluffy. Also, its fluffiness remains for an extended period.
✔ Companies also use the dry polyester fiberfill to stuff the plush toy interior. It has a coarser texture and is ideal for filling smaller toys. It fills a little firmer and makes great cushioning.
✔ Finally, there's an option to use bean bag fillers. You may even use poly-pellets to fill inside these toys. These are fluffy and affordable options.
After filling up the plushies' interior, complete the stitching. As you seal the top hole, decorate the exterior of the toys. Use beads, plastic, and threads for it. Large companies might choose a machine or handmade stitching and decoration methods. Usually, handmade plushies are expensive due to the time and labor costs it takes.
Making plush toys is easier than most people anticipate. You can use your imagination and creative power to design plush toys and stuffed animals' shapes, sizes, and patterns. After that, find a suitable fabric and cut it to stitch correctly. Parents may make simple plush toys at home with their kids. It will help develop their creativity.
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