There are a lot of different kinds of stuffing you can use in your softies – wool, bamboo, corn, polyester, excelsior, sawdust – and probably lots of others I can’t come up with at the moment. I always use polyester fiberfill (often in combination with weighted pellets). It’s inexpensive, readily available, has a nice springy feel, and is washable.
I’ll be honest. Once I decided what material I would use for stuffing, I never gave much thought to the quality. I figured that threads of spun polyester are threads of spun polyester and I always just bought whatever was cheapest.
I was wrong.
When I started writing Creature Camp I contacted a few manufacturers to ask if they would provide some materials for use in the samples in the book. Fairfield sent me a few bags of their plastic Poly Pellets (I love that weighted feel and flop) and an ENORMOUS box of stuffing.
Twenty-five pounds of stuffing.
That is a LOT of stuffing! That’s enough stuffing – packed at tight as I can get it – to fill two trash cans to overflowing, requiring a bungee cord to keep the lids on.
As soon as I opened the package I noticed that it was very different from my usual stuffing. It was very smooth and the fibers had a kind of a silky glide to them. The spun threads felt finer and it didn’t clump up at all.
With my old stuffing I had to spend a good bit of time pulling the stuffing apart into tiny bits before stuffing in order to keep the finished softie smooth and lump-free. No need to do this with the new stuffing. I can just pull out big handfuls and stuff them in. Nice!
Jo’s response was absolutely priceless.
She raved about the new stuffing. “It’s sooooooo soft!” “It’s sooooooo silky!” “My softies are sooooooooo smooth!”
But the best was the moment I came into my sewing room and found her, head down, buried up to her chest in my trash can full of stuffing, bouncing up on her tiptoes trying to “swim” even deeper into it.
I wish I had a photo. 🙂
When I asked her what the heck she was doing she said, “It’s just so soft and fluffy. I couldn’t resist!”
After we had used the new stuffing on a few projects she asked me if I would please give away what we had left of the old stuffing because she just didn’t want to use it anymore.
I did. My Dad always said to use the right tool for the job and I had found the right tool.
So. You’re probably wondering what this magical stuffing is. It’s Fairfield brand Poly-fil Supreme Fiberfill. I recommend it by name in almost all of my softie patterns. You can find it in Walmart under a different name and with different packaging. There it’s call Poly-fil Supreme Ultra Plush. I’m including a photo of both kinds of packaging so you know what you’re looking for.
I really, really love this stuff and feel like it has made my softies noticeably better. Not only is it really pleasant to touch and work with, the finished softies are smoother with a lot less effort on my part. Also, it allows me to get a nice smooth fill without packing the stuffing in as tightly and I really like the squishier softie that results.
Squishy = Huggable = Good.
I wanted to share it with some of you and asked Fairfield to send some samples I could give away. They said yes! So this will be one of the giveaways for folks who pre-order Creature Camp from my shop. In addition to getting a free pattern, a few randomly selected people will also get a bag of this stuffing – enough to make several softies! Thanks, Fairfield!
Edit – Sorry – the giveaway is over now.
And I’ll leave you with one more photo from the making of the book. Jo says the stuffing is her favorite part of making softies. “It’s like feeding them.” Here are Jo and her friend, Hana, feeding their new softies some silky smooth fluffy stuffing. 🙂