Ami Saigon / Tips and Tricks

What is Amigurumi?

5 years ago

What is amigurumi? Amigurumi are crocheted or knit stuffed toys. Perhaps the cutest of all crochet and knit techniques, amigurumi dolls can be animals, people, and inanimate objects.

The amigurumi definition is a crocheted or knitted stuffed doll
The amigurumi definition is a crocheted or knitted stuffed doll

What is Amigurumi?

The amigurumi definition is a crocheted or knitted stuffed doll. However, where does it come from? The word amigurumi is formed from two other Japanese words. The Japanese word “ami” means knitted or crocheted. “Nuigurumi” means stuffed doll.

This Japanese art form is unique and creative, allowing both crocheters and knitters to make any object they desire.

Bell pepper amigurumi

Bell pepper amigurumi made by AmiguWorld

Amigurumi History

As mentioned above, nuigurumi is a stuffed doll in Japanese. The true origins of amigurumi aren’t well known. It has been a popular craft in Japan for decades longer than in The U.S. and other areas of the world, it is somewhat unknown where it originated.

The first records of crocheted motifs in Japan are dated 1920 in Japan (found by Dai Watanabe). Even though the word Amigurumi was not used until the middle of the century the art of creating dolls in crochet might have arrived in Japan during the cultural exchanges during the Meiji Era. Even though all these are speculations there are some evidences that place the origins of the word “Amigurumi” in circa 1951.” – Jennifer Ramirez of The Sun and the Turtle and author of the book Amigurumi.

The first records of crocheted motifs in Japan are dated 1920 in Japan

The first actual amigurumi dolls appeared at the start of the 1970s. Hello Kitty and other “kawaii” Japanese products gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1970s, which may also be a factor for the current popularity of these adorable creatures. The internet also helped because crafters could discuss and sell creations from different parts of the world which may not have been well known elsewhere.

However, the bulk of the movement gained its footing when it reached the United States in the early 2000s. As soon as arts and crafts gurus in the U.S., already fascinated with Japanese aesthetics, grabbed hold of the idea, it exploded into the form most people know today, resulting from the blend of Eastern and Western creative thinking. Of course, the internet then made short work of bumping it to the top of the trend list.

Now, amigurumi is a fun crochet technique that allows artists to design classic animal patterns, design cute versions of inanimate objects, and turn their favorite pop culture characters into crochet creations. Though they are toys, many make and buy amigurumi for aesthetic purposes. 

So now you know can answer “what is amigurumi?”. Let’s crochet with AmiSaigon.

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