Denim, Denim, Denim
If you are thinking of creating a custom character one of your first thoughts will probably be ‘what will it be made of?’ Will it be plush, will it be fluffy, will it be made of cotton, satin or burlap? Will it be soft and cuddly or will it be durable, tough and rugged? What about denim? Yes, the same denim that your favourite jeans are made of can also be used in your custom creation.
Denim in some form or another has been around since the 17th century. Legend has it that Christopher Columbus used denim for his ship’s sails and of course, we all know that fact is that cowboys don the denim jeans when they’re out on the land, and have done for generations. Denim is a cotton fabric that is incredibly tough thanks to its weave pattern. Over the years it has been made into upholstery, made for clothing like pants (jeans), jackets and the like, has been seen in museums, has been found in attics and antique stores, and has also turned up on archeological digs, and not only on the people doing the digging either.
Back in 1873 a man by the name of Levi Strauss introduced the first pair of denim pants and people that needed rugged pants to work in instantly loved them. Throughout history, denim pants have been a mainstay. What was once strictly for work evolved into something the cool teens wore in the 50’s even if that meant they got the n’ere do well title with that. Did we ever see an episode of Happy Days where The Fonz was in something other than denim jeans? Did the cool kids in Grease not sport jeans with their Thunderbirds leather jackets? Suddenly, as time marched on everyone was wearing these pants, and people who had shunned them in the past as inappropriate were wearing them all over town. Although over the years jeans as we know them have undergone a lot of changes, the fabric of denim still prevails as one of the best wearing and most comfortable fabrics of all time, and we all have our favourite pair.
Now denim can be found all over the place. Yes, it is still used in many forms, colours and washes for clothing but it is also used in crafts, toys and furniture. It is a mainstay and a great fabric for your custom made character. Even if you go with a different fabric for the body, denim is a wonderful enhancement in the form of clothing or accessories for your one of a kind creation!
The History of Cotton
Cotton is everywhere, and has been everywhere since seemingly the beginning of time itself. Today our clothes, furniture and toys can be made of cotton, and it wasn’t that long ago that there was a Civil War in the United States that had much to do with cotton and the slaves that grew it for their masters.
In fact, cotton has been traced back as far as 7000 years. Scientists exploring a cave in Mexico discovered bits of cotton that were at least that old, and it has been widely known that Indus River Pakistan residents grew, spun and weaved cotton into cloth some 3000 years ago. At the same time, natives of Egypt were also making and wearing clothes out of cotton. With no communications back then, it is interesting that both sets of people made the same types of tools to deal with their cotton and its manufacture, however rudimentary they were.
History shows us that the Arabs brought cotton cloth to Europe in 800 AD and when Christopher Columbus first discovered America, back in 1492 he reported that he found cotton growing in the Bahama Islands. By the year 1500 cotton cloth and the plants that grow cotton itself were known worldwide and used for all kinds of things.
In the southern United States cotton has been a mainstay for generations. Florida was the first state to grow cotton back in 1556 and Virginia followed suit in 1607. Because you need the right soil, weather and temperature cotton can’t be grown just anywhere, but where it can be it means big money and has for years.
It was first spun by machine in 1730 in England and by 1793 Eli Whitney had a patent for the first cotton gin; gin being short for engine. This newfangled machine could do the work ten times as fast as you could do it by hand and it could supply large quantities to the fast growing textile industry. Within a decade the value of US cotton went from $150,000 to $8 million, making it a lucrative crop for many plantation owners.
With cotton being such a popular fabric you may want to incorporate it somehow into your new custom character design. Whether the whole thing is cotton or the accessories are made of the stuff, you will be adding to the history of this amazing plant and all that it has done for civilizations through the ages.
When you are embarking on your journey to create the perfect custom plush creation one of the things you have to think about is what your plush will be covered and/or filled with. While there are lots of choices, one of the most durable is polyester. It can be used for stuffing, it can be used for clothing or accessories and it can even be used for the plush project itself, depending on your needs.
Did you know that polyester is from a category of polymers that contain the ester functional group? This explains where it gets its name, the poly from polymer and the ester chain come together to form what we know of as this synthetic product that can be used in anything from textiles to safety ropes and so much more in between. It is derived from a mix of coal, air, water and petroleum which are processed together, the fibers are formed from the chemical reaction that occurs between the acid and the alcohol, which can then be woven into fabrics at will. Polyester comes in different forms for different uses, from soft flowy fabrics and fluffy puffs to strong ropes and yarns.
Polyester fiber is widely used for stuffing as it is cushiony and insulating. It is also easy to wash and dry, which is perfect when you are talking about stuffed toys. Polyester is very stain resistant and is made to be very strong, fiber wise and it is mildew resistant while retaining its shape well. And, it won’t shrink or stretch. All of these factors make it a great choice for stuffing of your custom plush, but what about the outside and the accessories?
Since the fibers are strong, are quick to dry and stand up to the elements well, polyester is also a great choice for the covering of your custom plush character. It has high colour retention which means your creation will look good for years to come without fading. It is also better than fibers like cotton when it comes to reducing wrinkles. While you may think polyester itself won’t do for what you have in mind for your custom plush, remember there are also polyester blends and microfiber blends that are still as durable but softer to the touch than traditional polyester textiles, both of which would make a great cover for that character you are about to bring to life.
Why Create a Custom Plush Toy?
With all sorts of ready-made products just waiting to be bought in numerous stores, why create a custom plush for your next retail or promotional opportunity? The answer lies in the word ‘custom’ by allowing you to create something unique, especially designed for your needs and built to your strict guidelines.
It starts with an idea. Maybe it’s a rough sketch of a character in your new book that you hurriedly threw together on a napkin, perhaps it’s an artist’s rendering of your character or maybe you have an idea of what your character should look like in your head, just waiting for the opportunity to be made into a tactile object.
Custom plush are great to pair with children’s books and is a great idea for new authors to get noticed. Kids are wonderful at using their imaginations, and with a custom made character to go with their new book, they can continue the story long after the last page has been read.
For the sports lovers, people heading to a hockey, football, basketball, soccer or baseball game will love the idea of purchasing a replica of the team mascot to add to the collection of team memorabilia, and they are also a great way to raise funds for that next team trip.
For promotional events, custom plush products make amazing take home gifts and leave the patron with something unique to keep complete with your information, logo or the event name right on the item. Isn’t that a better idea than a fridge magnet or calendar?
Creating your own custom plush also allows you total control of what colours, fabrics, embellishments and accessories you use. You are not held back by what is available at a store; you can start from the beginning and see the process through from idea to reality with knowledgeable people who will be there guiding you to your ultimate goal.
If you are looking for something truly unique, grab yourself a free quote and look no further than creating your very own custom plush toy today. You’ll be glad you did!
Custom Plush Toys – Bring Your Creative Ideas to Life!
You have your idea. On paper. Now all you need is for that idea to become a sample plush toy that you can hold, squeeze and inspect before you place your order. How does what you see in a picture turn into something tactile, soft and fun for all? Enter the Project Manager—the person that will see you through the entire process of creating a custom plush toy just how you envision it to be.
First is the quote stage. You want to find out how much your idea will cost to become a custom plush. Custom Plush Innovations gives you the opportunity to get free quotes through the website at any time day or night. Simply enter your information and answer a few questions, hit send and the custom plush ball rolling.
Once you approve your free quote, you’ll begin the Prototype Stage where your Project Manager will confirm colours, patterns, fabrics and embellishments you would like to use, so that we create a custom plush toys prototype.
As you can imagine, making a custom plush toys, even a sample one is time consuming and uses a lot of manpower to manufacture. You are asked to pay for the sample before construction begins and once the sample is finished, you will be sent photos of it for you to revise or approve. All revisions are free. If you don’t like anything about your finished product, let your Project Manager know and it will be changed until you are satisfied with all aspects of the design.
After you’ve approved your custom plush prototype sample, you can place your bulk order of 500 pieces or more, and move onto the Mass Production Stage. Here, we purchase, cut, sew and assemble your custom plush toys based on your custom plush prototype and in the quantity you require. Not only that, but we enforce a high level of quality control to make sure your custom plush toys are secure, durable, safe and meet or exceed all plush toy standards.
Once mass production of your custom plush toys is completed, we’ll pack up your order to get them picked up via our freight forwarder and moving onto the Shipping Stage, where you’ll receive various Progress Reports to help “keep you the loop”!
In all honesty, it can really be that easy. But if and when problems or concerns arise, we’ll take care of them, swiftly and efficiently.
So let Custom Plush Innovations take your idea and turn it into something soft, fun and safe for all ages to enjoy. It all starts with an idea and what it becomes is all up to you!