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5 Natural alternatives to polyester toy stuffing

Trying to make your crafting habit a bit greener? If you hop to any craft store, you're most likely to only find bags of petroleum-based polyester stuffing. Here are a few natural alternatives to polyester that are readily available in the UK, and some you can even make yourself.

Wool

This is what I decided to use at our crafty parties and in all our workshops and kits. The UK has so much wool (extra points for using a local fibre) and it's reasonably priced. I stock it in the shop by the bag in case you'd also like to have a go using Natural Wool Toy Stuffing in your projects. It's naturally biodegradable and fire retardant so it's excellent to use in any soft toys for kids. It does, maybe obviously, smell a bit like sheep but it does fade over time.

natural wool toy stuffing

Kapok

This is a natural fibre that comes from a kapok tree, which grows in Thailand. Unlike wool, it doesn't have any scent but definitely carries some carbon miles from being transported all the way from SE Asia or South American tropics. The fluff comes from the tree's seed pods and while it's super water resistant, it is highly flammable. 

kapok stuffing

Shredded fabric scraps

If you're stuffing sofa cushions or big floor pillows, try padding them out with shredded scrap fabrics that would head to landfill or the textile recycle bin. Old clothes that cannot be reworn or given to the charity shop are good for this. Cut them up into thin strips and stuff them in. For use in other projects, mix them in with another natural stuffing.

fabric scraps

Buckwheat

This is what yoga cushions and bolsters are filled with and is a brilliant filler for beanbags and teddies with weighted arms and legs. It's readily available in the UK, try searching from yoga supply stores.

buckwheat hulls

Pom-pom off-cuts

I have started saving all my pom-pom off-cuts (and lets just say I make a lot with all the pom-pom banners from the shop!) with sheep's wool stuffing. I like mixing 1 part pom-pom fluff with 2 parts wool to spread it out a bit. It also looking like we're stuffing our projects with a rainbow! 🌈

pom-pom fluff

Have you found any other petroleum-free stuffing materials that you like to use? What other ways are you 'greening' up your crafts?

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