What is amigurumi? Learn about this cute craft
You must have seen adorable crocheted stuffed toys, dolls, and animals in shops along the streets or online stores. Well, these are made out of a technique called amigurumi. The technique is getting widely recognized and popular today. Thanks to YouTube, Pinterest, and other community sites. Now, even you can make one at home. Here is more about the craft.
The stuffed toys made out of amigurumi are a staple in Japanese kawaii (cute) culture. The word "amigurumi" comes from two words: ami meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi meaning a small, stuffed doll. Amigurumi creations range from charming miniature animals and colorful dolls to varied toy-like food such as macarons or donuts. Besides, there are innumerable amigurumi patterns and ready-made toys available today.
Although the precise history of these crochet dolls is unclear, historians say that the craft most likely originated in China because of the knitted dolls seen from the Shang era. It is also believed to have started when the Dutch introduced knitting techniques in Japan in the 19th century. The craft became a part of the kawaii culture in Japan in the 1970s.
While choosing yarn for amigurumi, remember to go for 100% cotton yarns. If not, then get a semi-cotton blend or acrylic yarn. You would also need to buy stuffing (polyester or cotton) and a small gauge hook to prevent stuffing from showing through. Make sure to also buy pipe cleaners or floral wire to make the doll move: and pebbles for stable standing.
Amigurumi uses basic techniques like the single stitch, double stitch, and invisible decrease, and are not too difficult to grasp. To begin with, you can try the 'magic circle' crocheting technique- where there wouldn't be a visible hole in the center of your circle. Some other tricks include using stitch markers as a reference, and crochet hooks to make sure the stitches are tight.
There is only a slight difference between amigurumi and crochet. The main difference is in the shape. While crochet is used to make 2D shapes, amigurumi is a 3D-shaped doll. While amigurumi is made from mainly cotton or acrylic yarns, crochet items can also be made out of wool. Apart from amigurumi, one can make blankets, garments, and others using the process of crochet.