The Soft Toys & Dolls unit, a part of the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom (DHH), Gangtok was set up with an aim to promote local economic stability and employability and thus, targets export based opportunities for the sector.
The raw materials used in the making process are considered to be the best, leading to exceptional quality and cost competitiveness as compared to other toy clusters. The toys are handmade with the help of auxiliary mechanical equipment for stitching and joining fabric layers – synthetic fur, polyester are some of the fabrics used.
The product is first designed manually or digitally. Once the design is finalised, the making process starts with pattern making, cutting, stitching, stuffing cotton and finally finishing which includes trimmings and attaching the face features of the designed toy. The approved sample is then converted into a mould for efficient production at the mass level.
The product range includes dolls and soft toys of all kinds of animals – rabbits, cows, monkeys, ducks etc. With time, the craftspeople with DHH are also said to be working towards imbibing the local ethos of Sikkim in these handmade dolls and toys, taking inspiration from traditional Sikkimese attire.