PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Brushed Amigurumi

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/brush

You can completely change the look of an amigurumi by brushing the pieces after you crochet them. Doing this drags some of the fibres free from the yarn and will give a soft, fluffy finish to your amigurumi. The brushed crochet technique can be used to great effect:

baby emperor penguin crochet pattern by planetjune
The body and wings of my Baby Emperor Penguin are brushed

Tools

You will need something with fine, hard, sharp teeth. A wire pet slicker brush works very well for larger pieces, or a miniature wire brush – called a Teasel Brush (UK), Nap Riser Brush (US), and Bunka Brush (Japan) – is ideal for smaller pieces. You can use either type of brush for any amigurumi, but a larger brush will bring up the fluff over a larger area more quickly, while a smaller brush is better suited for brushing specific areas or smaller pieces without scratching your fingers.

teasel brush and pet slicker brush for brushing crochet
Brushed Fuzzy Chicks with a teasel brush (front) and pet slicker brush (back)

Tip: In a pinch, you can also brush your crochet with the ‘hook’ side of a piece of velcro, although it may take longer!

Suitable Yarns

To make brushed crochet amigurumi, you can crochet with any regular or fluffy yarn. Wool and other natural animal fibres work very well, but acrylic and other yarns work too. I always use acrylic yarns for my amigurumi, and they brush out nicely.

brushed crochet experiment
Brushed acrylic (left) and cotton (right) pieces

Note: Be aware that brushing is a destructive technique – the brush yanks fibres out of the yarn, and in the process some fibres come out completely and are left on the brush (as shown in the above photo). So please do use caution, and test-brush a swatch before risking something you’ve spent a long time creating.

Method

While you’re crocheting…

brushing a crocheted piece
Brushing in action

  • Brush each piece after crocheting it, and before stitching the pieces together.
  • Brush with a reasonable amount of force – if you are too gentle you won’t generate any fluff.
  • It will probably take around 10-20 strokes over each area of the piece for the fluff to start to come up.
Tip: Don’t brush your crochet the same way you’d groom your pet cat or dog! Use the tips of the teeth to catch and tug at the yarn to get the fluff started; dragging the brush along the surface may stretch your stitches.

before and after brushing
Fuzzy Bear arms, before and after a little brushing.

  • Be sure to brush the head before attaching the eyes, so they don’t get scratched by the brush.
  • Keep brushing until the piece is as fluffy as you’d like it to be – brushing for longer will obscure your stitches more and increase the fluffiness.

After assembly…

  • Brush lightly over any seams stitched between two brushed pieces, to help to mask the joins, fluff out the yarn and disguise your sewn stitches.
  • Optional: Trim the fluff around the face (particularly the eye area) – and any other areas you wish – with a pair of small sharp scissors, to get rid of any extra-long fibres and neaten then up a bit.

fuzzy chick crochet pattern by planetjune
Trimming a Fuzzy Chick

Note: Brushing masks the shape of the underlying crocheted piece, so some subtle shaping details may be lost in the fluff.

Conclusion

Whether you strategically brush certain areas of your piece, or brush out the entire animal, brushing your crochet can add a new level of fluffy cuteness to your amigurumi, and it’s a great technique to add to your arsenal 🙂

Baby Angora Bunny crochet pattern by PlanetJune
The brushed look makes a fluffy baby angora bunny extra adorable!

6 Comments »

  1. The first amigurumi I ever made was one of your fruit pieces, and it was a success. Now, thanks so much for this tutorial – I feel much more secure now about brushing out a cat I made some time ago. It’s already sewn together, but I’ll do the best I can!

  2. Margarite said

    wow. always wondered how to do this. its easier than i thought. good thing there’s plenty of cat in my house and i happen to have a brush or two :p
    thank you June. i’ve been crocheting for two and a half years now, and learned it from blogs and tutorials like yours.
    love from Portugal ^^

  3. Susan McClenahan said

    Thank you for advising me to look at this tutorial instead of using fluffy wool!!! Because I am making the cat for a friend I wanted it to be just right and by following these instructions I feel more confident. I really enjoy using your patterns June as they are so well designed and easy to follow. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my query.

  4. Brenda Wallace said

    I can hardly wait to give this a go! I should have read this before applying the eyes to my bear;however I think I can manage (carefully).
    The rest of the pieces have yet to be crocheted!
    Thank-you for sharing this idea and photos!

  5. Lydia said

    Hi, I just started amigurumi and I have a problem with the stuffing showing between the stitches. I have tried to use a smaller crochet hook but still doesn’t help. Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Lydia

    • June said

      Two suggestions, Lydia:

      1. The hook size really does make a difference, so it may be that you haven’t gone small enough yet! You should be using a hook several sizes smaller than recommended on the ball band of your yarn.
      2. Are you crocheting in both loops of the stitch below? Crocheting in back loops only will always leave larger gaps between your stitches, but it’s a common beginner mistake. If you aren’t sure, check my tutorial: http://www.planetjune.com/loops

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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    June Gilbank

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