4 months to make each Sophie?

Posted by Daoyang Lin on

Sophie la girafe is has been handmade in France since 1961. Each Sophie needs 4 months to make, and takes 14 manual operations. Here's how each Sophie is lovingly handmade.

Plaster moulding

It starts with the plaster mould for Sophie. This is made from specially selected plaster.

Making the plaster mouldSophie la girafe Plaster mould

The natural latex is then poured into mould, then the mould is stacked into this giant 2-storey machine to begin the roto-moulding process. This process evenly spreads the natural latex and cures it in to rubber.

Mould to receive the latex to create Sophie la girafeGiant machine for roto-moulding Sophie la girafe

Each mould can only be used a few times to create Sophie la girafes, before being recycled in other uses, such as construction materials.

Resting

After the roto-moulding process is complete, the freshly made Sophie la girafes are very soft and need to be a specially moulded tray for drying and resting. This process takes about 4 months.

Special tray for resting Sophie la girafe Many Sophie la girafes resting

Grinding

Because of the technique to roto-mould Sophie la girafe, there are a few burrs that need to be ground down. This is done using a cloth grinder. The operator grinds down the burrs between the horns and ears, along the side of Sophie la girafe, and also between the long legs of Sophie la girafe.

Burrs around Sophie la girafeGrinding down the burrs

Painting

Sophie la girafe's spots are hand sprayed through a template. Then, it is left to dry for a while, before the lips and the cheeks are hand sprayed on. This makes Sophie la girafe so unique, such that your Sophie la girafe is different from your friend's. 

Painting Sophie la girafe's spotsPainting Sophie la girafe's cheeks

Squeaker and Painting the Eyes

These are the 2 most difficult processes. First, an L-shaped squeaker is inserted into and fixed onto Sophie la girafe. Why L-shaped? A normal squeaker (which other toys usually come with) could be forced out by an adventurous and curious child. In Sophie la girafe, the parts making the squeak are on the arm of the squeaker, which cannot be pushed through the 90-degrees turn on the L shape.

Next, comes the eyes. The artist dips a small rod in black food paint, and presses it onto where Sophie's eyes will be. You have to aim and press it firmly, and there are no do-overs. (Confession: I tried and failed miserably.)

Inserting the squeakerPainting the Eye

Your Sophie la girafe is now ready! It is shipped to Singapore, where we check it and pack it, before sending it to you.

Want to get one for your baby? 

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