We love handmade toys and pillows! One of the most common materials to use to stuff things is polyester fiberfill or Poly-Fil. There are a lot of positives to using polyester fiberfill, such as it being non-allergenic and holding up really well to washing. If you're dedicated to using natural fibers in your crafting it can pose an issue because it's made out of plastic! We have a few stuffing options here at The Woolery that might be a better option for you if you're a natural fibers crafter.
It's no surprise that here at The Woolery, we love wool. It's a magical material! It's naturally flame resistant and moisture resistant. Dust-mites don't enjoy living in wool, so it's naturally repellant to those allergens. It does have one big negative which is, it's not the right choice to make for an object that is going to need to go through the wash regularly. Wool stuffing will felt and become less soft and squishy over time.
We used our Felting Core Wool to stuff this cute sheep. You can really use any of our Wool Fiber options to stuff a toy but we chose Felting Core Wool because it has a great affordable price point for a bulk amount of fiber.
Also, we know you'll ask because it's so cute, our sheep stuffie was made using the Sheep Cuddler Pattern by Victoria Stewart of Once Upon A Crochet. We used Omega Sinfonia Cotton Yarn for this project because it's one of our favorite crochet yarns!
Kapok Filling is produced as part of the seed pod from one of the world's largest trees, ceiba pentandra. Itss extremely water repellant, and was historically used as stuffing for life jackets. Due to its very light wispy nature, it is very flammable. This means it might not be a great option for children's toys where you are concerned about flammability. It is one of the best options on our list for vegans who don't use wool because it is plant based. Kapok is also about 10x lighter than cotton by volume so it can produce lovely squishy lightweight pillows.
We sewed up a pillow out of some extra wool fabric we had on the loom and stuffed an interior pillow insert for it with Kapok Filling. It's a very soft throw pillow.
Tow Fiber is the fiber that is leftover after the process of hackling. This means that it is the shorter fibers that aren't long enough for higher quality flax or hemp yarn. It can be a little bit dusty and would definitely be the type of place that dust mites would love to live, so it's not great for allergies. It is great for historically accurate dolls or furniture as this was the most common stuffing material for upholstery for a very long time. Flax Tow and Hemp Tow are also more expensive than our other natural stuffing options so we would only recommend it if you're specially going for historical accuracy.
We hope we've given you some good natural stuffing options for creating your own handmade toys and pillows. If reading all about these stuffing options has given you the stuffed toy crafting bug check out some of these great book options: