Teddy Bear Making Glossary



An Arctophile is an individual who has a deep affection for and collects teddy bears. This term encompasses enthusiasts who appreciate the artistry, craftsmanship, and sentimental value associated with teddy bears. Arctophiles often find joy in discovering unique and rare bears, and their passion extends beyond simple admiration to actively building collections that reflect their love for these cuddly companions. The term originates from the Greek words "arktos," meaning bear, and "philos," meaning loving or fond of, capturing the essence of a dedicated teddy bear enthusiast.


Arctophily is the passionate hobby of collecting teddy bears. Derived from the Greek words "arktos" meaning bear and "philos" meaning loving, arctophily involves not just amassing teddy bears but also appreciating their history, craftsmanship, and sentimental value. Arctophiles, or teddy bear enthusiasts, often seek out rare, antique, and artist-made bears, and may participate in conventions, exhibitions, and online communities dedicated to sharing their love for these cherished toys.

Artist Bear

An Artist Bear is a teddy bear designed and handmade by a single artist rather than mass-produced. These bears are often unique or made in limited quantities, reflecting the artist’s personal style and craftsmanship. Collectors prize artist bears for their individuality and the personal connection to the maker.


Bear Boutique

A Bear Boutique is a term used to describe a specialised store or section within a store that exclusively sells teddy bears and related accessories. It often provides a curated and delightful shopping experience for teddy bear enthusiasts.

The Bear Cave

The Bear Cave is an innovative concept introduced by Build-A-Bear Workshop, offering a distinctive experience within the realm of teddy bear creation. Specifically curated for shoppers aged 18 and older, The Bear Cave takes teddy bear enthusiasts on a journey of unexpected collaborations and unique plush gifts. This exclusive Build-A-Bear brand transforms the traditional soft toy shopping experience, presenting limited-edition collaborations and plush creations that cater to the discerning tastes of adult teddy bear aficionados.

The Bear Factory

The Bear Factory are Be My Bear's US-based supplier and stand out as a key player in the realm of teddy bear crafting. Renowned for their commitment to quality, craftsmanship and the environment, The Bear Factory provides a diverse range of bear skin materials, stuffing, and accessories crucial for the creation of bespoke teddy bears. It's important to note that The Bear Factory is distinct from "Bear Factory Limited," a UK-based company formerly owned by the renowned British toy shop Hamleys. Bear Factory Limited was fully acquired by Build-A-Bear Workshop between 2003-2006.

Bear Hug

A bear hug is a warm and affectionate embrace, often used colloquially to describe a heartfelt and tight hug, reminiscent of the comfort provided by a teddy bear.

Bear Skin

A bear skin, in the enchanting world of teddy bear making, refers to the delightful canvas of an unstuffed plush companion. This essential element symbolises the blank slate, eagerly awaiting the creative touch of its future owner. Much like an artist's canvas, a bear skin holds the promise of transformation into a beloved teddy bear, yet to be filled with fluff, wishes and a personality. It represents the beginning of a unique journey, where individuals can infuse their creativity into crafting a one-of-a-kind, huggable friend.


Bearstagram is a playful term referring to teddy bear photos shared on the social media platform Instagram. It's a fun way for teddy bear owners to showcase the adventures and personality of their plush companions.

Birth Certificate

A Birth Certificate in the world of teddy bears is a treasured document that accompanies each newly created plush companion, marking the moment of its "birth" or crafting. This personalised certificate serves as a tangible memento, capturing the unique identity and characteristics of the teddy bear. It typically includes essential details such as the bear's given name, birthdate, and any specific customisations chosen during the creation process.

Much like a human birth certificate, this document adds a touch of formality to the teddy bear creation experience. It is often presented to the bear's proud creator, who may choose to fill it out with care and creativity. Some birth certificates even include spaces for additional information, such as the bear's personality traits or special features, allowing for a truly customised and individual touch.


Build-A-Bear Workshop, a pioneering force in teddy bear creation, provides an engaging and personalised experience, particularly geared towards in-store activities. This renowned brand allows customers to craft their own furry friends with a unique focus on creativity and customisation. It's important to note that when ordering Build-A-Bear bears online, they come pre-stuffed, and the option for home stuffing is not available, unlike Be My Bear.

Notably, Build-A-Bear Workshop often features a stitched opening on the back of their bears, ensuring a secure closure. However, it's worth mentioning that some customers may find the Velcro and zipper closure used by Be My Bear more advantageous. Be My Bear's approach allows easy access for adults, facilitating the replacement of batteries in sound modules or other modifications when needed.

Build-A-Bear Buddies

Build-A-Bear Buddies are charming, smaller-sized companions typically ranging from 6 to 8 inches in size. Offered by Build-A-Bear Workshop, these pre-stuffed characters provide a ready-to-cuddle experience. Unlike larger Build-A-Bear options, Build-A-Bear Buddies come pre-stuffed and cannot be customised with additional stuffing, scents, or sounds. Those wishing for a similar pint-sized pal should take a look at Be My Bear's 8 inch range which have the added benefit of being completely customisable.


Cuddle Buddy

A cuddle buddy is a term often used to affectionately describe a teddy bear or soft toy that provides comfort and companionship, especially during moments of relaxation, sadness or at bedtime.


Eco Plush

Eco Plush is a term that signifies a commitment to environmentally friendly practices in the soft toy industry. Teddy bears labelled as Eco Plush are crafted with sustainable materials and eco-conscious manufacturing processes, reducing the ecological footprint. Embracing Eco Plush ensures that your cuddly companion brings joy without compromising the well-being of the planet.




Mohair is a luxurious and durable fabric made from the hair of the Angora goat, prized for its silky texture and natural sheen. Often used in the production of high-quality teddy bears, mohair can be dyed in various colours and styles, including curly, wavy, or straight. Mohair bears are highly sought after by collectors for their softness and classic appearance, symbolising the pinnacle of teddy bear artistry.

rPet Fabric

rPET, or recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate, is an environmentally conscious material making waves in the teddy bear industry. Standing for recycled PET plastic, rPET offers a sustainable alternative for crafting soft toys. Brands embracing rPET such as Be My Bear contribute to a circular economy by repurposing post-consumer plastic waste into plush companions. This eco-friendly initiative not only reduces the environmental impact but also highlights a commitment to responsible sourcing and production. Choosing teddy bears made from rPET showcases a dedication to sustainability and a greener approach to the joy of cuddly companions.

Fur Pile

Fur Pile refers to the length and density of the fur on a teddy bear's fabric, which can range from short to long. The pile of the fur affects the bear's texture and appearance, with shorter piles offering a sleek look and longer piles providing a fluffy, cuddly feel. The choice of fur pile is an important aspect of bear making, as it influences the bear's character and hugability.


Glass Eyes

Glass Eyes are a traditional and high-end feature used in the creation of luxury teddy bears, known for their realistic and expressive quality. Handcrafted from glass, these eyes can be painted to achieve a variety of lifelike colours and effects. Glass eyes are often preferred by collectors and artisans for their depth and authenticity, adding a timeless, classic look to the bears they adorn.


The growler mechanism was invented and introduced in teddy bears during the early 20th century. The exact date can be traced back to around 1903-1905. The addition of a growler, which produces a low growling sound, was a creative enhancement that contributed to the charm and realism of teddy bears, making them even more beloved by collectors and enthusiasts. Modern versions of the growler include recordable voice boxes allowing you to record a message of your choice to include in your teddy bear.


Heartbeat Bear

A Heartbeat Bear is a tender keepsake designed to capture the precious sound of an unborn baby's heartbeat. Typically featuring a specialised sound module, this soft toy allows expectant parents to record and preserve the unique rhythm of their baby's heartbeat during pregnancy. They are an endearing and comforting way for parents to connect with the essence of their impending parenthood. These bears hold sentimental value, providing a heart-warming reminder of the anticipation and love surrounding the arrival of a new family member.

Honey Girls

Honey Girls are an enchanting collection of characters brought to you by Build-A-Bear Workshop, offering a delightful fusion of teddy bear charm and musical magic. These plush companions are not just teddy bears; they're musical artists with their own unique personalities. Each Honey Girl has her own style, story, and, of course, a special flair for music. These teddy bears are designed to capture the hearts of young fans.



Jointed teddy bears have movable limbs and sometimes heads, allowing them to be posed in various positions. These joints are usually constructed with disks and pins at the bear's shoulders, hips, and neck. Jointed bears offer greater versatility and interactivity, appealing to collectors who appreciate the ability to arrange their bears in lifelike or whimsical poses. The craftsmanship involved in creating jointed bears is often intricate, enhancing their value and desirability.



The muzzle of a teddy bear refers to its snout or nose area, a crucial feature that gives the bear its distinct expression and personality. Typically crafted with careful attention to detail, the muzzle can be made from various materials such as fabric, felt, or even moulded plastic. The design and shape of the muzzle contribute significantly to the bear's overall character, making it a key focus for both makers and collectors.


Needle Felting

Needle Felting is a technique that uses barbed needles to interlock wool fibres into a firm, sculpted shape. This method allows for the creation of detailed features such as noses, paw pads, and facial expressions on teddy bears. Needle felting is a labour-intensive process that requires patience and skill, making it a popular choice among bear makers who strive for unique, handcrafted details in their creations.


Plush for the Planet

Plush for the Planet represents a conscientious approach to teddy bear creation, emphasising sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Brands adopting Plush for the Planet principles including Be My Bear and The Bear Factory are committed to using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste, and promoting ethical manufacturing processes. Choosing teddy bears from the Plush for the Planet range ensures a delightful and eco-conscious cuddly companion.


A Plushie, short for "plush toy," is a soft and cuddly stuffed animal, typically made from plush fabric, that is designed for hugging, snuggling, and companionship. The term "plushie" is often used in a broad sense to refer to various stuffed animals, including teddy bears, as well as other creatures such as animals, fantasy characters, or even inanimate objects recreated in soft, plush form. Plushies come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, catering to different tastes and preferences. The term is widely used in the community of soft toy enthusiasts and collectors who appreciate the comfort and charm that plushies bring into their lives.

Promise Pets

Promise Pets by Build-A-Bear are a cute collection of characters designed to bring the joy of pet ownership to the world of teddy bears. These special plush companions are crafted to resemble a variety of beloved pets, from puppies to kittens, fostering the same sense of companionship without the responsibility of real pet care. With an array of accessories and outfits to choose from, Promise Pets allow children to create a personalised and nurturing experience. Promise Pets are similar in style to Be My Bear's Dog and Cat characters.



SCENTiments is a proprietary term coined by Build-A-Bear Workshop for their innovative "bear scent disk", (think car air freshener for bears). This unique feature allows teddy bear enthusiasts to enhance their soft toy with delightful fragrances, creating a multi-sensory experience. The SCENTiments bear scent disk, exclusively offered by Build-A-Bear Workshop, adds a personal and aromatic touch to your cuddly companion. It's worth noting that other brands may have their own versions, including AROMABearapy from Teddy Mountain.


Shaving is a technique used in teddy bear making to trim the fur fabric to create contours and define areas such as the muzzle, cheeks, and paws. By carefully shaving the fur, makers can achieve a more realistic or stylised appearance, emphasising the bear's unique features

Signature Tag

A Signature Tag is a unique label or tag attached to a teddy bear, often bearing the maker’s name, logo, or a special message. This tag signifies the authenticity and origin of the bear, making it a cherished addition for collectors. Signature tags can be made from various materials, including fabric, metal, or leather.


A Squeaker is a small noise-making device placed inside some teddy bears. When pressed, it emits a squeaking sound, adding an element of playfulness and interactivity. Squeakers are often used in bears intended for young children, and even pets, providing an additional sensory experience.

Steiff Button in Ear

The Steiff Button in Ear is a signature metal button in the ear of teddy bears made by the Steiff company, denoting authenticity and quality. This hallmark feature, introduced by Franz Steiff in 1904 ensures that each bear is a genuine Steiff product. Collectors highly value Steiff bears for their historical significance and superior craftsmanship, with the button serving as a symbol of excellence in teddy bear making.


Stitch-in-the-Ditch is a sewing technique used to attach body parts or create details on a teddy bear without visible stitches. This method involves sewing within the seam lines, or "ditch," to hide the stitches, resulting in a seamless and professional finish. It is often employed in the construction of joints, ears, and other areas where a clean appearance is desired, enhancing the bear's overall aesthetic.


Pellet Fill

Pellet Fill consists of small plastic beads used as stuffing inside teddy bears, providing a weighted feel and added realism. These pellets, also known as "bean bag" filling, help the bear to sit or lie in a more natural, lifelike manner. The distribution and amount of pellet fill can affect the bear's posture and cuddly nature, making it an important consideration in bear making and customisation.

Polyester Stuffing

Polyester stuffing is a common material used in the creation of soft toys, including teddy bears. Renowned for its hypoallergenic properties and resilience, polyester stuffing provides a plush and cuddly feel to the finished toy. This filling ensures that teddy bears crafted with polyester stuffing maintain their shape and softness, creating a huggable companion that stands the test of time.

Swing Tag

A Swing Tag, also known as a hang tag, is a small piece of card or fabric attached to a teddy bear, often dangling from its ear or limb by a string. This tag serves as a form of identification and provides essential information about the bear, including its brand, name, and any special features or characteristics. In addition to practical details, swing tags may also include care instructions, safety information, and sometimes a brief backstory or poem related to the bear. Collectors often appreciate the swing tag as part of the overall presentation and provenance of a teddy bear, adding a touch of personality and authenticity to the cuddly companion.


Teddy Bear Hospital

A Teddy Bear Hospital is a service offered by certain teddy bear brands or workshops, providing a lifeline for beloved teddy bears in need of care and attention. Much like a real hospital, this service aims to restore and rejuvenate well-loved plush companions that may have experienced wear and tear over the years. Teddy Bear Hospitals typically offer a range of services, including stitching up seams, replacing worn-out or damaged fur, and restoring any accessories or features that may have lost their lustre.

Teddy Bear Passport

A Teddy Bear Passport is a fun and in some cases educational accessory that some teddy bear brands such as Be My Bear offer. Similar to a human passport, it typically includes space for the bear's name, birthdate, and any "travels" or adventures it undertakes with its owner.

Teddy Bear Picnic

A Teddy Bear Picnic is a fun activity that brings together the charm of childhood and the companionship of teddy bears. This delightful event involves children, and sometimes adults, gathering their cherished teddy bears for an imaginary or sometimes real outdoor feast. The setting is often a serene and natural environment, such as a garden or a park, where participants and their soft toy companions enjoy a make-believe picnic sitting upon a soft picnic blanket.

Teddy Bear Tea Party

A Teddy Bear Tea Party is a delightful social event where children and their teddy bears gather for a pretend tea party. It's a charming activity that encourages imagination, social interaction, and bonding with soft toy friends. Similar to a Teddy Bear Picnic.


Under Stuffing

Under stuffing is the technique of using less stuffing to create a softer, more floppy bear. This approach gives the bear a relaxed, cuddly appearance, often preferred for its hugability and nostalgic charm. Under-stuffed bears can evoke a well-loved look, making them ideal companions for both children and collectors seeking a more casual, lifelike toy.


Wishing Charm

The Wishing Charm is a magical touch that adds an extra layer of enchantment and magic to the world of teddy bears. Often coming in a variety of shapes such as hearts and stars, the Wishing Charm is a small, charming accessory designed for bear makers to infuse their teddy bears with personal wishes and sentiments. It serves as a tangible representation of heartfelt intentions, turning a teddy bear into a bearer of cherished dreams and aspirations.