Did you know that the material of your Steiff bears says a lot? Yes, they’re more than meets the eye and prepare to be mind blown as we unfold the specifics. Hey, no need to be surprised. This over a century year old brand had this coming and for good reason.
Earlier Steiff toys came with shoe button eyes followed by glass ones in 1910 and since 1960, plastic have been the material of choice.
Claws in different bears vary in both material and number. The first versions came with five claws and felt pads. In 1906, felt was still the material of choice but the claws were reduced to four in each bear paw. In 1976 felt was replaced with jersey knit cloth and since the year 1970, there were no more claws on their paws.
- BUTTON IN EAR
Since 1904, the Steiff Company has created a signature trademark to help customers identify their toys from the rest known as the knopf ihm or which translates to button in ear. Depending on when the toys were manufactured they come with an iron, brass, nickel or gold-plated button. The earlier versions had flat logos either of the word Steiff or an elephant while newer ones are embossed.
- FABRIC TAG
Either sewn into the hem of the ear or chest area, these tags have the words ‘Made in Germany’, ‘Steiff Original’ or ‘Made in US-Zone Germany’ printed on them. Where the other materials in this list tell of a point in time, fabric tags speak of the type. Depending on the color (yellow, white or red), they can differentiate regular designs from replicas and from listed editions.
From 1902 to 1946, the toys were made of mohair known for its soft texture and luster. The shift came thereafter and found the toys decked in synthetic fiber which are made from synthesized polymers and are known for its unique properties such as heat resistance, low moisture absorbency rate, flame resistance, low costs, and ease of cleaning.
Yes, even the things inside the toy can tell us a lot about it. Since 1904, excelsior or wood-wool shaving was used followed by foam rubber artificial snow flakes in 1960 and then by synthetic stuffing since the 1970s up to the present day.
While the material used for he production of Steiff toys and products have changed over the years, one thing remains constant and that is the brand’s aim of bringing nothing but he best for kids and the kids at heart.