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Huge Plush Stuffed Animal and the Beginning of Soft Toys December 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigstuffedanimals @ 12:53 pm

When you decide to purchase a huge plush stuffed animal, you’re making an investment in a toy that will be around for years if that’s what you choose. A huge plush stuffed animal is nothing short of unique in the world of soft toys and as is the case, it should always be treated as such.

While history has shown that dolls have been around at least since the time of the ancient Romans and Egyptians, it wasn’t until about 1900, when the idea for soft dolls came about.  Käthe Kruse had trained as an actress in Berlin before she married sculptor Max Kruse. So as to be in keeping with lives of contemporary children and many of the art movements of the time, she single- handedly modernized the dolls appearance. She developed her own doll after being less than enthusiastic about the types of frail, bisque dolls, her daughters were given to play with.

With Kruse’s understanding and experience with children along with her ability to improvise and appreciate modern sculpture, she started her first doll with towel that was knotted and filled with sand to make a body. A potato was used for the head and the features were etched in by using the charred end of a matchstick. With the use of images that could be seen of cherubs in Renaissance paintings in addition to inspiration from her seven children, Kruse went on to develop her dolls by using muslin as the casing for the body and filled them with sawdust and wood shavings. Her intention was to produce natural, simple looking dolls which would be very different from the lavish ones that were being produced by famous dollmakers; Kruse wanted to give her new dolls to her own children so they could have the sensation of holding a real baby.

Over time, Kruse was able to treat the muslin and form it in two parts – into the shapes of a face and back of the head. They were then filled with wadding when fastened together. Every dolls face was hand painted for a natural looking effect and a flexible wire base made up the body. Ultimately, Kruse’s process led to a brand new simplicity and dimension in doll design, with the end result being a soft and natural looking doll.

At the same time Kruse was perfecting her dolls, Germany’s Margarete Steiff was making soft animals and dolls. In 1894, she began making felt dolls by using cut-offs from a nearby factory. That eventually led to rubber hedgehogs that came in four sizes which had felt, human-like bodies. Ultimately, with the use of felt and muslin, the soft doll was born despite the fact that dolls were still being produced at the same time that were made of materials that were hard to the touch and not very durable.

Without a doubt, a huge plush stuffed animal is soft to the touch. So much so, in fact, it makes cuddling up to one all the more enjoyable. It’s difficult to imagine a huge plush stuffed animal being made out of anything but soft material, but like the first dolls before it, it’s always a possibility.

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