Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings or inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features, as is typical in Japanese culture.
Amigurumi are usually crocheted out of yarn using the single crochet stitch or knit. Amigurumi are usually worked in sections and then joined, except for some amigurumi which have no limbs, only a head and torso which are worked as one piece. In crochet, amigurumi is typically worked in spiral rounds, in order to prevent "striping," a typical feature of joining crochet rounds in a project.
Typically, crochet hooks or knitting needles that are slightly smaller than one would use in a typical project are used, in order to achieve a tight gauge that retains stuffing and does not allow the stuffing to show through the fabric. Stuffing is usually standard polyester or cotton craft stuffing, but may be improvised from other materials. Plastic pellets may be inserted beneath stuffing in order to distribute weight at the bottom of the figure.