Spun cotton ornaments are made by taking thin cotton thread and winding it into a ball or other shape. This blank or “watte” is then decorated with dye or paint, paper scraps, glitter or dresdens. Originally spun cotton ornaments were made in Germany in varying shapes and forms. Vegetables, fruits, icicles and doll ornaments are all fairly well documented. These were hung on the tree.
When Japan entered the spun cotton ornament market, they took a unique niche–the spun cotton head atop a chenille or cardboard figurine. And a whole new art form was born. Spun cotton heads were mounted on pine cone bodies, chenille bodies and cardboard bodies and decorated usually with painted on features and hair. These ranged from simple to elaborate designs. These were used mostly as party favors, table decorations or gift embellishments. They were less frequently used as ornaments. You still find the spun cotton heads mounted on picks for crafters of the day to use in their creative efforts.
Reproductions of the spun cotton ornaments are available and crafters can acquire the basic spun cotton watte forms from d. blumchen