Bear-making started as an offshoot of the upholstery trade, where students would start by making small toys before graduating to their ‘apprentice piece’ scale model piece of furniture. While later stuffed animals were cut from mohair plush (and more recently synthetics), early toys were made from dense cloths, sheepskin, or rabbit fur. Tender’s animals are made from offcuts, weaving samples, and dyeing experiments from the main clothing collection.
Each animal’s body is traditionally stuffed with natural shaved wood ‘wool’, giving it a sturdy, firm feel and they are weighted with steel shot. The eyes are solid glass, and noses and mouth are embroidered by hand.