As activities go plush making is pretty safe or is it? Duh, duh, dahhhh! (That was the scary music).
Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic with the scary music but like anything plush making isn’t exactly health hazard free.
So lets take a look at some of the potential dangers shall we?
1. Back ache and other aches and pains associated with being sedentary.
Obviously this isn’t exclusive to plush making and is epidemic due to our lifestyles that are less and less active these days. There are plenty of things you can do to reduce this problem.
Make sure you have a comfortable chair and arrange your work space with this in mind.
After each 25 minutes of work you should spend five minutes doing something different, it’s called the pomodoro technique and is supposed to increase productivity. I would recommend some stretches during those 5 minutes or at the very least get up and walk around.
2. Stab wounds
Sometimes on long car journeys I like to knit. I have this fear that the car will swerve or hit something and I will end up impaled on a knitting needle. I doubt this has happened, like ever in history but once the thought was there it was impossible to unthink it!
Smaller stab wounds do happen though and I think any needle felter must have the scars to prove it. Once I accidentally stab myself with a particularly large needle right into a vein, not much fun.
I am stating the obvious here but thimbles and caution are the way to go. If you are a needle felter there are finger protectors out there just for this purpose.
3. Fluff lung
Fluff lung is how plush makers refer to working with certain materials that release fibres into the air when cut that get inhaled and a little when sewn too. Cotton workers can suffer from lung disease as a direct result of breathing in cotton fibres. While most of us probably don’t inhale enough fibres to cause lung disease, fluff lung is best avoided.
Not the same but related I often find my dust allergies playing up when I go into a fabric store and fluffy fabrics seem to be the worst…or maybe I just have more exposure to them.
When cutting fluffy fabrics you should always aim to cut just the backing fabric, this is easy enough to do with regular faux fur. With certain fabric like minky it’s impossible not to have fluff flying everywhere, you might consider wearing a cheap dust mask for this.
4. Fluff eye
Well I’m not sure if it’s called fluff eye but when you are cutting that dreaded minky you may find fibres going into your eyes. I think you can work out your own ideas for avoiding this, we all know that feeling of having something stuck in your eye for three days and, yeah…nuff said.
That wraps up this June post if you want to check out more work from the fabulous artists featured they are as follows:
Anyway, do drop me a line if you know of anyone who was impaled on a knitting needle during a car accident…I would love to prove to my husband that I’m not totally paranoid!
Becky Gould is the big kid behind Scrumptious Delight. Working from her home in Vancouver, BC she makes plush toys and soft sculptures that combine a love of food, all things furry and an unnatural appreciation of small appliances.