Stuffed animals were first created in 1880 by a German company known as Steiff. This company was also among the first to sell teddy bears, after Margarete Steiff made a bear from felt, mohair and wood chips around 1903.
In the 1830s, stuffed animals were made from materials like cloth and straw. The idea to stuff toy animals in the first place came from the concept of taxidermy, wherein real animals are stuffed to look like they did when they were alive. Before they made teddy bears, Steiff made other stuffed animals using a variety of materials for the stuffing, including cotton, small beads and synthetic fibers.