Why Is Amigurumi So Popular? 7 Reasons

I’ve been curious…wondering, “why is amigurumi so popular?” How about you?

So I did some thinking and some research, and I’ve come up with a few ideas I’d like to share.

As everyone knows, the term ‘amigurumi’ and this style of crafting originated in Japan. Many of the early designs seem to be based on the manga style of comic books, which show characters with large eyes and small mouths. If you check out some amigurumi characters and creatures, you’ll see what I mean, though it doesn’t apply in all cases.

four amigurumi patterns - popular amigurumi patterns - Marly Bird

Amigurumi seemed to grow in popularity along with the rise of other Japanese and far Eastern shows, games, videos, and popular music. The love affair with the art of amigurumi has blossomed, and now we can find these little creatures and characters everywhere.

But why? Let’s see…

7 Reasons amigurumi is so popular


These little things are so darn cute! I mean, really. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a miniature crocheted character who’s so perfectly formed and usually no more than about 6″ tall? Since these little guys have become so popular, you can pretty much find a pattern for any type of animal you like.

And it’s not only animals that have caught the imagination of amigurumi designers. You can now find patterns for making people. They’re not only doll-like either. You can find patterns for all kinds of people, including different facial features, hairstyles, and even facial hair. The detail is incredible!

Simple Stitches

Amigurumi are usually worked in crochet since it’s easier to make a firm, tight fabric with single crochet stitches, but you can also knit amigurumi creatures. There are far fewer knit patterns available than crochet. I’d say that’s one of the best excuses to learn to crochet – EVER! And I know exactly where you can learn!

Single crochet is the stitch of choice since it’s such a small, tight stitch, especially when you work with a smaller hook than is usually recommended on the yarn ball band. All you need to know is the single crochet stitch and how to increase and decrease. Give it a try – you just might like it!

Brown crochet teddy bear on grey couch. Pink and white crochet unicorns on grey background.

Patterns are everywhere

Truly! You can find tons of patterns both online and in stores these days. We’ve already shared some amigurumi patterns here. And there are some fabulous books available all about the art of amigurumi. Like I said before, there are not only animal patterns available but human patterns of all types too!

Popular amigurumi are quick to make

Since they’re usually so small, especially when you compare them to a sweater, shawl, or blanket, that makes amigurumi relatively fast to complete. Yes, there’s some shaping required, and yes, there’s construction (i.e., sewing) involved, but all in all, they’re pretty quick projects.

But, since they’re so small, any seaming is minimal, stuffing is fun, and then adding the finishing touches makes each one your very own work of art.

Here are the links for the books above:

One Hour Amigurumi

Crochet Cafe

Amigurumi For Beginners

Amigurumi Knits

A Crochet World

Whimsical Stitches

Comparatively cheap

Size matters…especially where yarn is concerned. I’m talking about project size! Think about how many balls of yarn you need for blankets, then consider what you’d need for a little amigurumi piece.

The preferred yarn for these cute little guys is cotton. The reason is it doesn’t stretch much, and you can get the fabric really firm, so the stuffing doesn’t poke through any teensy holes between stitches. Cotton is more expensive than the acrylic you’d usually use for blankets and larger projects, but consider how many little dudes you can get out of the cotton yarn you buy. Even if you need a few colors, you can usually make a few from your yarn purchases by simply changing the colorways.

If you don’t work with cotton, use a cotton blend. Or if acrylic is your go-to option – give it a try. I’m sure it’ll be just fine. Just make sure you use a smaller hook for tighter stitches.

Also – we all have yarn stashes, right? We all work on projects where we have little bits of leftover yarn we squirrel away because…”I might need that later.” Do some stash diving and see if you have just the right colors in just the right amounts. Make each little character your own by using your unique colorways.

Scale ’em up (or down) – make those popular amigurumi characters BIGGER (or smaller)!

Now, this is where you might want to go with acrylic. If the pattern you have uses crochet thread, and your teeny amigurumi comes out the size of a keychain charm, no problem. You can scale it up – no pattern alterations required.

Depending on how big you want your finished piece, you just have to use a thicker yarn together with a larger hook. Now…you must swatch first. I know, I know…nobody likes that. BUT – you need to be certain your fabric is firm enough that the stuffing won’t work its way through. So, it’s not like trying to match gauge, but more about testing the fabric to be sure it’ll work well after stuffing.

Marly Bird Image of 4 owl toys ranging in size from small to large in gray and brown colorways

So, what’s most important in scaling with thicker yarn and larger hooks is making sure the fabric is right. Once you have that nailed down, you can get to work. You could work the exact same pattern in 6-8 different sizes if that’s what you want to do. Have at it, and make sure you let us know how it works out!

Great for gifts

And, lastly, these little cuties make fabulous gifts. You can even personalize them as you finish them off. Make clothes, hair, features, accessories, and colors suit the person you’re gifting to. They’ll be amazed you paid so much attention to detail.

Two amigurumi books (one knit, one crochet) on white background with light brown border.

Are you going to help keep amigurumi popular?

Why not? Give it a try – you might find you love it enough to personalize characters for your whole family, make some to give away to charities or underprivileged kids, or even start designing your own.

Whichever avenue you choose, let us know! We’d love to hear what you think about amigurumi.

What do you enjoy about amigurumi?

Is there a particular amigurumi creature or character you’d love to make, but you can’t find? Check out Alan Dart’s website, you might find something there you LOVE!

What would you like to learn about amigurumi?

Big Teddy Bear Stuffie pattern - free crochet amigurumi - Marly Bird

If you want to try making something crochet amigurumi style – try 🧸 this cute teddy bear. Make it as written, or experiment with a different yarn and hook to make it smaller.

Sparkle the crochet unicorn stuffie pattern - Marly Bird

How about trying a magical crochet unicorn stuffie? Designed by the amazing Megan Kreiner for MarlyBird.com (psst: this pattern is free)

Or, here’s 🦊 🦉 a bunch more animals to try over at Apricot Lane!

Let us know how it goes.

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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