The skill of animal stuffing describes the act of making a toy animal stuffed with straw, beans, cotton, and other similar materials. Some stuffed animals are very old - home made cloth dolls stuffed with straw go back to at least the 1830s, perhaps much older. Stuffed animals in the past were frequently produced by stuffing the evacuated skins of hunted animals. However, with modern technology it is now possible to produce them with synthetic materials.
One of the most popular types of stuffed animal is the teddy bear which in these is mostly factory made with synthetic materials, not with real animal skin. Another is the sock monkey. The skill of animal stuffing is quite popular and even commercial ones are being made like the "Ty Beanie Babies which are stuffed with pellets and beans. The skill of stuffing animals date even back to times of the ancient Egyptians.
It is known from tomb paintings in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamian civilizations that stuffed animals existed in those societies for religious purposes, and undoubtedly for human play as well. In medieval Europe, stuffed animals were often used in mystery plays to represent Biblical animals, such as the serpent in the Garden of Eden and the lions in the Book of Daniel. From those periods on the art and skill of animal stuffing rose until it become part of daily life.
During the Industrial Revolution Teddy bears were sold all over Europe. A huge toy industry began which rapidly increased the young populations of Europe. During the nineteenth century, the skill of the stuffed animals as an entertainment product took off, with commercial enterprises being established to produce children's' toys. The art and skill of animal stuffing is still with us and is as popular as it used to be.