Hello everyone, today we will be talking about a topic really close to our hearts. Stuffing! :3 Are you excited? We can't wait to begin!
In Part 1, we will talk about the most common and affordable stuffed toy stuffing available today, Polyester Stuffing/ Cotton
What is polyester stuffing?
Stuffing, cotton, fill, filling, fiberfill, polyfill, poly-fill are just some of the many terms used to call this very specific man made, polyester item used to fill our treasured soft toys. Unlike traditional cotton (made of the cotton plant), this synthetic version is made of petroleum.
Being a thermoplastic (mold-able by heat), polyester fibers are made by forcing melted polyester through small holes (spinnerets) to create long strands of thin polyester fibers who harden on the exit side of the spinnerets.
The size and shape of the holes that these fibers are pushed through determines the properties of the end product, and a finer and longer filament is usually more optimal in producing more bounce in the end product (greater flexibility)
Thereafter, these fibers are passed through a Garnet Machine in a process known as garnetting, which combs these fibers into a batt form (batting form) to create the bouncy polyester fill that we are all familiar with :3
Polyester Fill grades and how they impact the overall texture
Before we begin, let's take a look at the different soft toy stuffing samples laid out side by side for comparison
Type 1 : Short and Thin Fibers - Clumping
Type 2: Long and Thick Fibers
Type 3: Long and Thin Fibers (Our in house top grade soft toy filling)
Type 4: Mixed Blend (Loosened on the Left)
This type comes with thick and thin fibers mixed together. Tends to be less bouncy and more clumpy in nature.
A common example we see in our daily lives of a thick polyester fiber can be found in fishing line. Which are made of thicker polyester fibers that are individually clearly visible to the naked eye.
Made of thicker polyester (layman term plastic), one can feel that they are harder to the touch and pokey at the ends. This is due to the lack of flexibility caused by a thicker fiber.
A thinner fiber would be softer and more malleable to the touch, and thus choosing a polyester fill with thinner fibers results in a more malleable fill to your soft toy, resulting in better overall shape and better cuddles (soft toy molds to your body better when you cuddle it :3)
2) Fiber Length
The bounce of the soft toy polyester fill is strongly correlated to two factors
a) The ability to hold on to other fibers
b) The ability to trap air
Generally, the longer the fiber, the better it is in holding onto all the other fibers around it, which results in less "breaking" and "isolation", where the fibers curl up individually within your plush into small individual balls. Which causes your soft toy to get sick with "Lumpiness"
Figure: Lumpiness on the right
The long fibers also helps to trap more air as they can be further apart without breaking off from each other, and with less individual knotting and clumping, they produce a better "bounce" and is able to bounce back quicker from a cuddling squeeze
View the lovely bounce of a top grade stuffing here :3
There is really no blues that a dancing Sheepella cannot solve 🥰❤️Thank you so much @sheepella for trusting us and letting us dance with her 🥰❤️♬ original sound - Plushie Hospital SG
For longer durability, better bounce and more compaction resistance, you would wish to purchase a polyester stuffing for your soft toy with thin and long fibers :3
So do check your polyester stuffings before purchase to ensure the best outcome for your treasured friend! And now your dear friend can say BOINK! :3