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The crocheted and stuffed toys are well-liked amongst clients trying to find items to wean kids away from screens

The crocheted and stuffed toys are well-liked amongst clients trying to find items to wean kids away from screens

Amigurumi toys, cute, sustainable, handmade and vibrant, grew to become the fashion throughout the lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram. Amigurumi, the Japanese artwork of crocheting or knitting small stuffed toys, has discovered favour with folks in search of items that may wean kids away from screens.

Jaikumari Rajenesh first got here throughout the cute toys made by Saraswathi Vasudevan, a arithmetic teacher-turned-entrepreneur. Saraswathi runs Tejas, an outlet for crafts and handmade merchandise, in Thiruvananthapuram.  Jai received a set of 15 finger puppets for her six-year-old granddaughter, Amaeya, and her grandnieces. ‘

Igniting creativeness

Jai was charmed by the intricate work, time and thought that had gone into the toys. “Seeing how a lot the youngsters favored it, I received barely greater Amigurumi toys as Christmas items in 2021. Amaeya loves taking part in along with her finger puppets, making up tales and letting her creativeness soar. Within the UK, greater than my grandniece, her mother loves the handmade merchandise. What makes me comfortable is that the youngsters nonetheless get pleasure from taking part in with their Amigurumi puppets and toys.”

Amigurumi toys made by Saraswathi Vasudevan

Amigurumi toys made by Saraswathi Vasudevan
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Doting relations and grandparents like Jai have ensured that there are lots of takers for the cuddly toys. Speaking concerning the pattern, Saraswathi says: “At current, I’m busy making Easter bunnies and eggs. Amigurumi was maybe the one encouraging pattern throughout the lockdown. My store was closed and enterprise was down. I ventured into Amigurumi finger puppets, posted them on my Fb web page and shortly they grew to become bestsellers. One youngster needed a set of sharks. We made a set for him, every about 4 to 5 inches in peak.”

Saraswathi had begun her date with Amigurumi toys by creating finger puppets with endearing expressions. She was pleasantly shocked to see patrons for the finger puppets and animal-shaped toys.

Amigurumi key chains  made by Saraswathi Vasudevan

Amigurumi key chains made by Saraswathi Vasudevan
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

At current, she makes two units of 5 animal-shaped finger puppets (Jungle buddies and Safari) and themed items for Easter Christmas. A crochet workshop she had performed a while in the past led to a few of her college students happening to make Amigurumi toys themselves.

Priya Ayyappan with the Amigurumi toys crocheted by her

Priya Ayyappan with the Amigurumi toys crocheted by her
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Kids’s selection

One such pupil who has been making the toys is Priya Ayyappan. She went on-line to be taught to make finger puppets for her 10-year-old son, Atharva, and shared them on her Fb web page. “Since Atharva loves animals, I made rhinos, hippos and giraffes. Later, I made toys for my nephew and my buddies’ youngsters,” she says. The dolls and stuffed toys within the shapes of animals had so many takers that Priya discovered it troublesome to maintain up with the demand.

Elizabeth Thomas Tharakan enjoys making cuddly toys and dolls 

Elizabeth Thomas Tharakan enjoys making cuddly toys and dolls 
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

It was the identical within the case of Elizabeth Thomas Tharakan, Sreeja Renjith and Kochi-based Lekshmi Balachandran. As soon as they began making the stuffed toys and dolls, they had been flooded with requests for extra. All three of them had resumed crocheting and knitting throughout the lengthy lockdown days.

Having learnt crochet from her mom, Elizabeth determined to widen her repertoire by making toys from YouTube tutorials and books.

An Amigurumi doll made by Elizabeth Thomas Tharakan  

An Amigurumi doll made by Elizabeth Thomas Tharakan  
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

“I purchased a few books on the craft. Initially, it was troublesome to supply the eyes, nostril, filling and satin ribbons for the toys. I had to purchase the whole lot on-line. However, it was such a pleasure to make these happy-looking toys which might be so completely different from the mass-produced toys we get in outlets.”

Sreeja Renjith

Sreeja Renjith
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Echoing her sentiments, Sreeja says she revived her crochet abilities that she learnt from a cousin to begin making stuffed toys throughout the lockdown. She by no means imagined it will have so many patrons.

Each sew counts

“Every bit takes eight to 10 hours to craft. It will depend on the form and the scale of the toy. I discover myself working in need of time to cater to all my clients.”

Amigurumi lizard made by Saraswathi Vasudevan

Amigurumi lizard made by Saraswathi Vasudevan
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

The worth ranges from ₹ 100 to 2,000 and extra. The worth of customised toys will depend on the intricacy of the work and the scale. Priya remembers making a “cute spider for a kid” who favored spiders and a 25-cm dragon, the “most  sophisticated one I made.” Saraswathi had made a witch, a frog, a lizard, geese and so forth.

Elizabeth Thomas Tharakan enjoys making Amigurumi toys

Elizabeth Thomas Tharakan enjoys making Amigurumi toys
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Worth of handmade

Nonetheless, Elizabeth rues that some patrons don’t perceive the worth of handmade items. “After they begin speaking about how one should purchase branded dolls for ₹250, I cease participating with them. These handmade toys take a variety of time, ability and energy. With a number of the dolls I made, I additionally gave a set of garments to decorate them in. Kids like dressing the dolls and so I give them little props like caps, ribbons, baggage and so forth to decorate their dolls. That does value greater than ₹250.”

To cater to clients, Saraswathi has begun stocking equipment for the stuffed toys, such because the filling and completely different sorts of eyes, nostril and mouths.

Unable to maintain up with the demand, Saraswathi has taught her employees and college students to make the toys and pays them individually for his or her efforts. Sreeja says: “These toys exude a contented vibe and that’s why I get pleasure from making them.” 

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