Stuffed animals are toys made to resemble real-life animals, usually a bear or a cartoon character. They have outer fabrics made from textile and stuffed with flexible synthetic fibres.
These toys are usually made for children to play with but it is not strange to have adults owing them. The appearance, flexibility and softness of stuffed animals make them stand out from other toys.
Also, they can be of different sizes. Some can be as small as one’s thumb; others can be as large as a chair.
Can I Use Any Fabric for Stuffed Animals?
Yes, it is possible to use any fabric to make a stuffed animal. However, keep the safety of children in mind since they are the ones most likely to own these toys.
Do not use anything that can cause an allergy, or that is toxic so no one gets sick from playing with the toy.
Additionally, it would be helpful if they are made with durable fabric that can withstand regular washing because as children play, the stuffed animal would get dirt all over the toy.
Letting kids play with dirty toys makes them prone to illness so regular washing would be necessary. Lastly, the material should make the stuffed animal feel natural.
What Should I Look for in a Fabric For Stuffed Animals?
It would make sense for the chosen fabric to be soft. This makes it more convenient to play with the stuffed animal. Besides, nobody wants to play with or hug a stuffed animal that feels like cardboard.
This is the same logic dog or cat lovers use. The soft skin of those animals makes petting them not feel like a chore. In fact, it makes the owner want to do it for no reason, just because they feel like it.
The durable version of anything is preferred to its non-durable counterpart, and that applies to fabric for stuffed animals as well.
It would make more sense to make a stuffed animal with material that would last long instead because if you do not, you would either have to continue playing with a worn-out toy or remake it.
Ease of washing
This has been discussed well above. In addition, the white fabric might not be a good choice, as it will attract stains easier than other colours.
Also, it would be ideal if the fabric could be both hand and machine washable.
Chances of fraying
Fabrics for stuffed animals should not fray. Fraying would make the toy look old pretty fast.
Tough and more stable materials would be able to withstand the rough handling the stuffed animal might receive while keeping its shape intact.
Five Best Fabrics for Stuffed Animals
Cotton is the near-perfect fabric for making stuffed animals because it can be easily handled and kept in good condition throughout the sewing process.
Also, the fact that patterns and designs are well displayed on cotton makes the stuffed toy appealing to the eyes. The prints turn out sharp and saturated, and the fabric works well with pigmented inks.
This is a stretchy fabric ideal for making stuffed animals that one can cuddle. They are soft and are not likely to cause allergies.
Stuffed toys made from this material retain their shape after washing. They also do not overstretch but retain their original elastic limit.
This fabric is made from synthetic fibres like polyester. It is soft, has a luxurious feel and comes in different colours. It is washable and will retain its soft texture and bright colour every time it is laundered.
There is no need to pre-wash the fabric before use because it does not shrink or fade. However, the material is likely to be slippery to the touch while sewing so it is recommended that one wears quilting gloves every time it would be worked on.
Interlock Knit Fabric
This is a double-knit fabric, which is stronger, more stretchy, thicker and more durable than most other knit fabrics, making it an excellent choice for making stuffed animals.
It is soft, breathable and its texture makes it convenient to play with. This kind of fabric looks the same on both sides so one does not need to discard any piece of the fabric that gets strained while making the toy.
The affected area can easily be turned over and the fabric will be used without any trouble.
This is a tough-wearing, low-pile faux fur fabric that is extremely soft and soothing to the touch. The fabric is made up entirely of polyester and is durable. It has a wide range of patterns and designs available including animal skin.
Its appearance and texture make it look and feel like one is holding an actual animal while playing with the stuffed toy.