We asked one of our clients to give us their impressions during a China factory visit about plush toys manufacture. Read below to get an idea of how they felt during this trip. This is one of a series of blogs that we will title: Buyer Diary. Going on China factory visits allow us to understand the different processes of promotional product manufacturing.
The first part of plush toys manufacture is ordering all fabrics and materials. Making plush toys, you may select any fabric available like cotton, polyester, velvet, wool etc. But in modern toy production most fabrics are made of polyester in a great variety of fibre length, thickness and colours.
Cutting of fabrics is done by placing a pattern template on the back of the fabric and then the area to be cut will be marked with a pen. The fabric is now ready to be cut with a pair of scissors. For cutting of bulk fabrics we use an electric cutting mould (heat cutter) that is shaped according to the pattern template. The fabrics are then rolled onto a long cutting table with the pile facing down and the heat cutter is placed on the backing of the fabric and each panel is cut piece by piece. Some pieces are also cut by hand using old-fashioned fabric shears.
Embroidery & Printing
Most embroidery, printing and detailing is added after the fabric is cut, though in some cases this can also be done prior to cutting. The silk screen printing is one of the most versatile of printing methods. The stencil is attached to the screen. The material is placed on the table. Most silk screen printing jobs require more than one ink. Each colour must dry before the next colour can be applied. Click on the video for more information!
In modern production all plush toys are stitched together on a sewing machine. The pieces of fabric are placed with the piles facing each other and the pieces are sewn together on the reverse side. This process is continued with other pieces of the toy leaving only a few centimeters open for stuffing. Finally the sewn toy is turned inside out and is ready for stuffing.
Using the small hole that was left during sewing, the plush toys are stuffed until they get the right level of softness or denseness as desired. This commonly includes polyester fill and plastic pellets. Although plush toys are mass produced, their design and production requires hand-on attention throughout the manufacturing process.