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Sunday, 25 November 2012

A bear-y merry Christmas: Workers at Steiff factory prepare for a bumper festive season

By BECKY EVANS
They are known for producing the most collectable bears in the world. And 110 years after the birth of the first Steiff teddy bear, the factory is as busy as ever producing fine toys in time for Christmas. The Steiff factory is still based in Giengen an der Brenz, Germany - the birthplace of its founder Margarete Steiff - and with teddy bears still among the most popular toys, the company is hoping for a strong Christmas season.
Traditional: A completed teddy bear sits alongside the limbs and torso of another before it is assembled. The factory said each of the bears is hand-made 'with lots of love'. Workers still craft each bear by hand - and give the cute creations a hand-stitched mouth and nose that gives them a unique expression. They are also individually stuffed and stitched together using materials such as mohair, velvet and felt
Hand-crafted: After the limbs and body are put together, each bear is given a hand-stitched mouth and nose. The claws are also stitched by hand And like Santa's elves, workers at the factory have also been busy assembling some special toys in time for the festive season. Among the Christmas creations are a giant polar bear, reindeer and a bear dressed in its own red Santa costume.
Logo: Each teddy bear has a tag put into its ear. The three different 'button in the ear' trademarks are the original collection, pictured, a white and red limited edition tag and a white and black replica tag Steiff bears are among the most sought-after and pricely bears in the world. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the most expensive teddy bear ever sold was the Steiff Louis Vuitton bear, which was sold in Monaco in 2000 for £125,831. The company was founded by seamstress Margarete Steiff in 1880. Margarete, who was disabled after contracting polio as a baby, began by making stuffed animals. It then grew under the stewardship of her nephew Richard Steiff, who is credited with designing the company’s first toy bear.
Lovable: The completed teddy bear, pictured at the Steiff stuffed toy factory in Giengen an der Brenz, Germany, waits to be shipped out to a new home
Giant: This huge polar bear is being stuffed in time for Christmas source: dailymail

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