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Amigurumi dolls

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betweenthelens's loves1049 of 1685Berebi dragon brooch Jan Cerný glass head sculpture circa 1970
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    Posted 4 years ago

    (605 items)

    Amigurumi is a Japanese word which means crocheted or knitted (ami) stuffed doll (nuigurumi) and it's history seems a bit vague to me. It is said to have originated in Japan in the early 1900s, but came to real popularity circa 2000 when it became a big player in the Japanese kawaii (cute) culture. However small knitted dolls have also been known as a hand craft in China for at least a century so it is difficult to know who created them first. True amigurumi is very small, and the figures I have here are generally around 40mm, 1.5in.

    I have two sets of amigurumi, and in fact both are probably Chinese, not Japanese. All are made from cotton thread, either knitted or crocheted, and stuffed hard with an unknown medium. Details are hand stitched.
    The first set is quite old, at least 40 years, and consists of a family with animals and a little wooden kitchen. The detail in the figures of this set, photos 1 and 2, are amazing. There is little wooden painted faces on the people, and quite complex clothing and accessories. The animals are beautifully characterised; the dog is perfect I think and the panda with it's bamboo is accurate to his claws and eyeballs. The style of clothing and the inclusion of the panda make me believe this set is Chinese, although I cannot be certain.
    The second set in photos 3 and 4, are much newer and less detailed, although still wonderfully made. These are from this century and were made in Hong Kong, according to their box.
    Photo 3, left to right: billy goat, pig, rabbit, horse, pug, squirrel (?).
    Photo 4, left to right: squirrel (?), goose, elephant, chicken, cat, giraffe, duck.

    Amigurumi seems to have a bit of a following, and there are patterns available online to make your own. I think you would need great skills to do so!
    Depending on the detail in them, good amigurumi can be around the $50 mark for each piece. When I consider the work in them, I really don't think they are expensive.

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    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
      SO CUTE !!!
    2. kyratango kyratango, 4 years ago
      Ooh Karen, they are awesome!!!
      I'd adopt all the family :-)
    3. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      Thanks Kevin! We all love some cute at times :)
    4. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      I never meant to adopt any really but like many things they adopted me and now I have them (happily) forever! Thanks Pascale!
    5. Newfld Newfld, 4 years ago
      So much work and creativity in these small crocheted folks & animals, they are all wonderful, I can figure out most of the animals except in pic #4 - are the brown & yellow cats as they have whiskers, and could the pink one be a flamingo? Adorable!
    6. Manikin Manikin, 4 years ago
      These are just precious :-) I have a friend who makes large animals and dolls and has given me a few I will try and post . What a great write up too !!
    7. Newfld Newfld, 4 years ago
      OK just reading your pic #4 description I only got one right, the cat - should have noticed the nut in the brown squirrels hands, and the pink one must be the chicken as I doubt they have flamingos in the far East lol
    8. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      Jenni your guesses may be as good as mine :)
      It's hard to tell from photos but in hand the tiny details help with working it out.
      Yes the pink is a chicken, although it also has a bit of a parrot look to it.
      The ones I am not sure about are the squirrels. Photo 4, yeas, good tail. Photo 3, not, tail seems wrong.
      No matter, still cute and clever!
      Thanks for the chat!
    9. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      I can't crochet Ken but like you, family members have and I know it takes talent and time.
      Thanks for the love!
    10. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      Thanks Mani. I have always appreciated the skill of craft workers and these are a great example of clever and creative work.
      I would love to see your friend made dolls!
    11. Mrstyndall Mrstyndall, 4 years ago
      Adorable set!!
    12. kivatinitz kivatinitz, 4 years ago
      what interesting.... another type of origami jaja
    13. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      Thanks MrsT and Sylvia.
      It does go with origami doesn't it Sylvia! Small, fiddly, and cute :)
    14. inky inky, 4 years ago
      These are very cute racer and very fiddle they must have been to them!...:-)
    15. inky inky, 4 years ago
      P.s....meant to say, great write, thanks!....:-)
    16. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      Thanks Inky!
    17. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Very cute collection Karen!!!!
    18. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      Aren't they just Scott! Glad you like them too, and thank you.

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