International Amigurumi Day Date in the current year: April 25, 2022

International Amigurumi Day International Amigurumi Day is observed annually on April 25. It was created to celebrate the Japanese art of crocheting or knitting small, stuffed yarn toys, typically animals or other creatures having oversized heads.

The word “amigurumi” is a compound of two Japanese words, ami (“crocheted or knitted”) and kurumi (“wrapping”). It is believed that the craft of knitting was introduced to Japan during the Edo period by Dutch sailors (during that time, Japan was mostly isolated from other countries, but the Netherlands was one of the few countries it traded with).

During the Meiji era, Japan ended its isolation and began its transformation from a feudal society into a modern state. Thousands of Japanese students were sent abroad to study in Western countries, and thousands of Western teachers were hired to teach in Japan. It was then that Japanese women began to learn Western crafts, including crocheting. The first mention of crocheted stuffed toys in Japan dates back to the 1920s.

Although the art of amigurumi has been known in Japan for decades, it remained virtually obscure in other countries until recently. Western craftspeople got interested in amigurumi in the early 2000s and by 2006, crocheted stuffed toys were listed among the most popular items sold on Etsy, an online marketplace focused on handmade and vintage items.

Amigurumi have become so popular because they look incredibly cute (or, as the Japanese say, kawaii) and are relatively easy to make. They can be of any size, but most often they are about 10–15 cm tall. Amigurumi traditionally look like animals or other creatures, but this technique can also be used to make inanimate objects, such as fruit and vegetables, cacti, cupcakes, hearts, donuts, etc.

Amigurumi are usually crocheted out of yarn, using basic crochet stitches and techniques, such as single crochet stitch and double crochet stitch, in spiral rounds. The main secret is to use a smaller crochet hook than the size recommended on the yarn to achieve tight gauge that keeps the stuffing from showing through the fabric. Some craftspeople, however, prefer knitting to crocheting.

Simple amigurumi are usually crocheted whole, but if the creature has limbs, they are usually crocheted separately and then sewn to the body. Wires may be inserted in the limbs to make the toy posable. Amigurumi are usually stuffed with cotton, wool, or polyester craft stuffing. Some artists insert glass pebbles or plastic pellets beneath the stuffing at the bottom of the toy to make it heavier.

International Amigurumi Day was created by Italian craftspeople Marcia of “Marcia Scarpelli Ami Arts” and Bianca of “Two Bee” to popularize the art and craft of amigurumi across the world. It has been celebrated annually since at least 2017.

If you’re a craftsperson, celebrate International Amigurumi Day by posting a picture of your current or favorite amigurumi project online, using the hashtag #AmigurumiDay to raise awareness. If you don’t crochet, you can support your favorite amigurumi artist by commissioning a piece from them or sharing their works on your social media.

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International Observances

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International Amigurumi Day, international observances, amigurumi, crocheting, crocheted stuffed toys