What is amigurumi?

What is amigurumi?

Amigurumi is the art of creating small stuffed crochet dolls. Often associated with the kawaii movement, the word ‘amigurumi’ is a blend of the Japanese words ‘ami’, meaning ‘knitted’, and ‘nuigurumi’, meaning ‘small doll’.

Popular incarnations include Studio Ghibli and other cartoon characters. You can learn more about the rich history of amigurumi online.

Since the early noughties, these small dolls have exploded in popularity across the world. You can now find beautiful amigurumi-style home décor, Christmas tree baubles, and even keychains. Amigurumi dolls also make wonderful handmade gifts for children, who will cherish them forever.

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What is needed to make amigurumi?

What you will need to make your amigurumi will depend on how complex you plan the end craft to be. At a minimum, you will need:


If you are making a bigger item or are not very confident in your crocheting technique, consider using a larger-weight yarn. If making a baby or child’s toy, you will want something super-safe and soft for little mouths and hands. You may also want to consider machine-washable materials.


The key to giving your amigurumi structure and softness is the stuffing. A popular choice is polyester; alternatively, you can use natural fibres such as wool.

Crochet hooks

Use your favourite crochet hooks in a variety of sizes.

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You may also want to consider eyes (but not on dolls for children or babies to avoid choking), embroidery thread to make your amigurumi even more beautiful and decorative, and – of course – a pattern if you haven’t designed it yourself. You can pick up beginners’ kits in amigurumi and other crafts, such as a macrame kit, from specialists such as www.woolcouturecompany.com.

Can anyone make amigurumi?

Amigurumi is a great way to develop your crochet skills, as the difficulty can range from very easy to advanced. You will need to know some of the crochet or knitting basics to get started with amigurumi making. If you are still building your confidence in crochet skills, it is advisable to use a kit or beginner pattern that will break it down step by step.

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