Application Of Plastic Injection Moulding In The Manufacture Of Teddy Bears

As the name implies, a teddy bear is a stuffed toy that looks like a real bear cub. Morris Michtom, a toy storeowner, was the first person to make teddy bears in February 1903 when he stuffed two such toys and displayed them in his shop. He marketed them as Teddy bears in honour of the then US President Theodore Roosevelt, nicknamed "Teddy", who had gone on a bear hunting spree in 1902. Since then, teddy bears have gained massive popularity over the years, with many children and even adults using them for comfort and companionship. Although traditional teddy bears are stuffed with soft materials such as wool, manufacturers use a process called plastic injection moulding to make hard parts, such as eyes and noses.

More information on plastic injection moulding

The steps involved in manufacturing teddy bears


The first step entails designing the product (bear). This is usually done by skilled toy designers who draw, sketch, cut out, and assemble prototypes of the product. Professionals then inspect the prototypes to ensure they are flawless. In case the professionals find a flaw, they typically rectify it at this stage. For instance, if a teddy bear can't sit unsupported, the professionals will redesign the bear to fix this flaw.



After the approval of the prototype, workers then draw blueprints of the design and make paper patterns, which are then cut out and pinned to fabric. By stacking many layers of plush on the pattern, workers can cut out multiple pieces at a go. Once all pieces are ready, labourers sitting behind sewing machines then assemble them starting with small ones, leaving a small opening at the back. They add eyes, nose, and other grommet attachments on the face.

Finally, they pull the right side out to hide the seams and send them to the next stage for stuffing. The eyes and other hard parts are made through a separate process known as plastic injection moulding. Here, molten plastic is injected into a cavity shaped like the eye of the bear and solidifies, taking the shape of the eye.


The stitched plush is then stuffed with soft material, usually polyester fibre. A well-controlled stuffing machine performs this task. More specifically, the machine blows the fibre into the bear through a narrow tube, with the operator controlling the number of puffs depending on the part. For instance, since the head, paws, and feet need to be firm, the operator will be sure to make more puffs to stuff more fibre in these parts.


The workers in the final stage are known as "bear surgeons," and their job is to stitch the opening at the back and groom the toys. Grooming entails pulling out any visible fibre, fluff the seams, and remove loose fibre by passing the bear through an array of air jets. Finally, the workers brush the teddy bears, add accessories such as ribbons costumes, and package them for sale and transport.


This is the detailed process of making teddy bears. During this process, manufactures use plastic injection moulding to make the hard parts including the eyes, paws, and noses.