The teddy bear is a stuffed toy bear. They are usually stuffed with soft cotton and have smooth and soft fur. It is an enduring form of a stuffed animal across Great Britain and the United States, often serving the purpose of entertaining children. It is quite common for British and American children to have one among their possessions. In recent times, some teddy bears have become collector's items. Now, teddy bears come in various styles and people can dress them up in many different styles and articles of clothing. Teddy bears are also among the most popular gifts for children and significant others on Valentine's Day, birthdays, Christmas and other holidays.
Commercially-made, mass-produced teddy bears are predominantly made as toys for children. These bears have safety joints for attaching arms, legs, and heads. They must have securely fastened eyes that do not pose a choking hazard for small children. These "plush" bears must meet a rigid standard of construction in order to be marketed to children in the United States and in the European Union.
There are also companies, like Steiff, that sell handmade collectible bears that can be purchased in stores or over the Internet. The majority of teddy bears are manufactured in countries such as China and Indonesia. A few small, single-person producers in the United States make unique, non-mass produced teddy bears. One of the oldest remaining American manufacturers that produces "Made in the USA" teddy bears is Stuffington Bear Factory, open since 1959.
Mohair, the fur shorn or combed from a breed of long haired goats, is woven into cloth, dyed and trimmed. Alpaca teddy bears are made from the pelt of an alpaca because the fiber is too soft to weave. In addition to mohair and alpaca, there is a huge selection of "plush" or synthetic fur made for the teddy bear market. Both these types of fur are commercially produced.
Some teddy bear artists specialize in the production of bears made from recycled materials. These artists hunt thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales and trash collection centers as well as their own and their families' basements and attics in search of forgotten treasures to be turned into a collector's dream. Old quilts, dresses, fur collars, coats and stoles as well as beaded bags and garments are quickly transformed into stunning teddy bears.
Some teddy bear artists specialize in crochet bears made out of thread. For these bears artists do not use fabric; they make the fabric crocheting and at the same time make the bear. Thread crochet bears are fully-jointed, miniature bears. They may be made out of cotton crochet thread, eyelash yarn, or other fiber.
Like already seen, the most teddy bear manufactures make bears with their own style. That leads to different favorite bears brands, like the Belgium Noukie's or the Steiff bears.
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