Creating a Steiff
The crafting of every Steiff piece starts
in the cutting room. Here the separate body parts are cut and sewn.
Sewing accounts for about 40% - almost half of the work that goes into
creating a Steiff Plush piece. Steiff is very careful about making sure
that all of the pieces are crafted by Steiff artisans using only
simple sewing machines and hand stitching.
The next step is stuffing. Replicas of classic Steiff pieces are
traditionally stuffed with wood shavings by hand. With other stuffing
materials it is possible to use simple machines to do the job. After the
piece is stuffed, Steiff artisans stitch it together by hand.
Steiff refers to the next step as decorating. This is where the unique
personality of each Steiff piece is born. Facial expressions are painted
on with spray pistols and the eyes are drawn on by hand. Every nose and
claw is hand-stitched.
After a check to ensure quality of the product, the famous Steiff button
is fastened into the pieces ear and its ready for packing.
It takes a full time employee a full 8
hour shift to hand stuff 3 Steiff pieces. If the piece is over 40 cm,
German law forbids women to stuff them, and they must be stuffed by men.