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#1 Nov 18, 2005 03:42 AM

Shelli
Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor
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POTBELLY BEARS
From: Chico, California
Posts: 9,936
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Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

I think we covered this a while back, but with so much fresh, talented blood on the board, I thought I'd re-introduce this topic.

I'm clueless about how to do this, which I will log up front, as a disclaimer.

I am interested, though, to learn how other people distress, muck up, and otherwise destroy perfectly good mohair, to get an old world, well loved, beaten to a pulp, look to their bears.

Thanks for any tips and pointers you can offer!

#2 Nov 18, 2005 05:26 AM

WildThyme
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Wild Thyme Originals
From: Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115
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Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

Haven't done one yet Shelli.. so I can't really be of assistance.... I'd also love to hear what other people think on this topic.  How to ruin it... without REALLY ruining it!

Beary truly yours,
Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

#3 Nov 18, 2005 05:39 AM

plushkinbear
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BEAR ME SHOOTKA
From: Vladivostok, RUSSIA
Posts: 2,139
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Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

I've never done it too.  bear_ermm
But my first thought was to wipe the floor at the house during a week... Then make some tea or coffee stains on it cause I'm not sure if the wiping would be enough...

I saw some hint on aging mohair on site ..I
l'll search for the link.
They updated the site but I have it on my computer. Is it Ok to post? It's from SBP.

#4 Nov 18, 2005 05:41 AM

plushkinbear
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BEAR ME SHOOTKA
From: Vladivostok, RUSSIA
Posts: 2,139
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Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

MAKING A NEW BEAR LOOK OLD

How To Distress Mohair by Spare Bear Parts ©1992-2001
TEST, TEST, TEST: Before you try any of these methods on your bears be sure to do a test piece first. The success or failure of any of these methods is often determined simply by personal taste in bear designs. Please, please do a test application first so you can judge if you like the results BEFORE you subject your best bears to an "aging" treatment.

If you spend some time studying old bears the first thing you may notice is they are not evenly discolored. So after you sew and stuff your distressed fur bear you may want to add some "Character" to your creation.

To add "water stains" to a light color bear pour a small amount of hot water over a tea bag, allow to brew a few minutes. Place dripping tea bag on the desired place to be stained. With a spoon, or fingers if cool enough, squeeze out excess tea water. Allow tea water to spread. It will dry lighter in color. I especially like this effect on the paw pads.

Darker stains can be created by using a cotton ball or Q-tip dipped in weak dye water. I like the effect of a little black added to dark brown for this method. Most of the dark stains on old bears are in the fabric backing not on the fur. To achieve this, dab the dye on the backing after you have sewn and before you stuff the bear. This allows the stain to migrate past a seam into another section of the bear just as a real stain would. You can use almost anything as dye as long as it does not leave a residue. Avoid coffee, furniture and shoe polishes, anything with a wax or oil base. Make natural dyes from berry juices, onion leaves, beets or barks and nuts. Walnuts make a wonderful dye. Be sure to wash out any food residue with a mild soap.

Almost every old bear has damaged or even totally missing paw pads. To create aged paw pads, before sewing cut small holes in the felt paw pads. To thin the edges of thick wool felt lay the scissor blades against the fabric and trim. Cut a second set of paw pads from light weight fabric. Place excelsior between the 2 layers of paw pads and baste together, then sew in place. Darken the excelsior with dye before sewing in paws. Most old bears have lost some stuffing or the stuffing has compacted. To accurately reproduce this pack the stuffing firmly but do not fill the entire body cavity. Leaving a little space in the shoulders allows the head to tilt for poseable expressions. Reduce the stuffing in the arms and legs slightly. Very lightly stuffed ankles allows feet to be turned in or out. Stuff the paws and head firmly so the bear will hold up to handling.

Another prominent feature of old bears is missing patches of fur. This takes some practice to make it look naturally worn. Most synthetic furs do not lend themselves well to this treatment. When well done on sparse mohair fabric the effect can really make the design. Again study the old bears. Note what once was a trimmed fur muzzle is now totally bald. Usually the next area to show wear is the edges and the back sides of the ears. The inside of the ear is often the last area to show wear. The rest are usually random patches of bald areas. Use manicure scissors trimming the fur down to the backing (keep the areas you trim very small at first. Work up to larger patches. Remember it doesn't grow back!) Vary the shapes and placement. Don't trim in areas that are usually protected. I.E.: Under the arm, near the joints and inside the ear. Use tweezers to remove the stubble of the trimmed fur. Cut holes in the fabric backing and fray the edges with a needle.

To me a worn perle cotton nose is a must when recreating old bears. Don't complete the nose, but leave out a few stands for warn spots. Or you can complete the nose then cut one or two strands and fray the perle cotton by picking at it with the needle. Leave one or two frayed ends. To fade and dull the sheen of the new perle cotton rub a bees wax candle on the perle cotton and melt the wax with a light bulb.

Finish the new "old" bear with a new "old" ribbon. Splash bleach on ribbon to make faded spots. Then soak it in bleach. Rinse clean and while wet wad up and press with the iron. Tie ribbon on bear while it is still damp making bow droop. Or, dress in antique baby clothes or doll clothes.

#5 Nov 18, 2005 05:42 AM

kbonsall
 »
Kim-Bee Bears
From: Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

I think Millie does distressing - I have never done distressing

#6 Nov 18, 2005 06:40 AM

shantell
 »
Apple Dumpling Designs
From: Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128
Etsy

Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

That lady who's in the car commercial (which I just recently saw) does a pretty good job...  bear_wub  bear_wub

I think she washes the car with it...runs over it with her car...jams it in the car seats a few times...stuff it in the "toys chest" feature of the mini-van they are trying to sell you...

I'm not trying it...

#7 Nov 18, 2005 03:37 PM

vkallum
Humble-Crumble Collectors Bears
From: Essex, England
Posts: 334
Website

Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

Hi Shelli

I don't heavily distress my bears, I've tried in the past and haven't been very pleased with the results  bear_sad- so I can't pretend to be an expert  - I really admire those artists who can create bears that look naturally distressed. 

I generally trim the paws and toes and pluck out some of the mohair where a bear would usually show some wear.  I also "back-colour" the fabric backing on the paws, shoulders, hump, front tummy seam, bottom and edges of the ears.  I use tea and silk paints.  It generally works better on sparser fabrics although I also do this on really dense furs.  It's not an effect that is immediately obvious, it just makes the extremities look a little grubby and shows a shadow through the fur fibres.  You have to be careful not to get a water mark and some backings don't seem to absorb the colour evenly if they have a heavy size, so it's best to test first.  Also too much liquid will make the colour run into the pile, although it will generally brush out and usually adds to the the aged effect.

Also when a finished bear looks a little too "shiney", I sometimes take a large paint brush, dip it into a dirty grey/beige artist acrylic, brush off virtually all of the paint ( as you described with the oils) and brush it over the bear.  Because there is so little paint it doesn't change the feel of the fur it just gives it a slightly dusty look.  Also on lighter coloured mohair a strategically dabbed tea bag has a good effect too.  I prefer to use Earl Grey - it's more yellow in colour than "normal" tea, it doesn't have a strong smell and doesn't leave an odour afterwards.

I'm still working on the distressed paw pads - I've tried making double layered pads, so the second layer of felt (in this case red) would show through worn holes, as it does on old Steiffs.  I was quite pleased with the result  until my daughter asked me why his feet looked as if they were bleeding! bear_cry  Back to the drawing board then ......

Well that's probably about it - I'm off for a cup of tea ......... bear_original

Vicky

#8 Nov 18, 2005 05:52 PM

Densteds
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Densteds
Posts: 2,056
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Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

Age is a very good distressing agent.....I'm very distressed  bear_grin bear_grin bear_grin

Shelli,
It doesn't show how to age a bear but have a look at this website, Sue Fenton is an Oz artist and specialises in making reproduction bears, when I've seen her teds at the shows you would think they were made 50 or more years ago...in fact when I first saw them I thought she was selling antique bears..
I'd love to try it out but so far have been tooooo!!!! scared in case I completely mess it up...

http://www.bruinbears.com.au/


hugs,
Denise.

#9 Nov 21, 2005 05:56 PM

Jare Hares & Bears
Jare Hares & Bears
From: Polo, IL
Posts: 983
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Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

Well let's see I think I can help some as this is the type of bears & bunnys that mom & I do.

1. Pick out the mohair.
2. Dye it various colours by using rit dyes (I know that rit dye is not a true dye, but it achieves the effects that we want.)
    a. Dye it the first colour
    b. Use Rit dye remover to pull out some of the colour, not all
    c. Re-dye with a second colour or with a coffee/vanilla/cinnamon mix.
3. Bake in oven at low temp.
4. Finish drying in dryer, a dryer sheet is never a bad idea.
5. Wash & dry a load of towels, before you put anything else in the dryer. I would hate for you to stain your hubby's work clothes or put coffee stains on your kid's school clothes.
6. Study old bear and see where the wear is and replicate that.
Most any dyeing technique that you see done with regular fabric can be replicated with mohair. Just Do It!  :dance:

Pretty easy stuff if you ask me.

#10 Nov 22, 2005 03:55 AM

millie
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PottersHouse Bears
From: Ohio
Posts: 2,162
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Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

Hi All,

I do some distressing on my bears.  I use a lot of plant dyes (black walnut is super), coffee, tea and rit dye.  I also have a pair of cheap dog clippers that are great for removing some of the hair.  My "old" bears always have antique shoe button eyes.  Some of my bears are patched with antique fabric.  I have not done any super heavy distressing yet, but I am working on a bear now that is dyed with walnut.  But with all of the commotion in my life right now, I'm not sure how soon he will be finished.  I have never run over my bears or allowed the dogs to play tug with them.  If that happened, I would be the one distressed.

#11 Nov 22, 2005 07:28 AM

Donna
Donna's Duin Bruins
From: Burbank, CA
Posts: 900
Website eBay

Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

I think it was Laura Lynn that I picked up the tip to rub the mohair on the sidewalk.  I was doing a repair of an old bear that had lost his arm.  After I used dye to get the mohair to the correct color and plucked and shaved most of the mohair off of it I took it outside and scrubbed it on the sidewalk.  I finally dampened the mohair and then scrubbed it on the sidewalk.  After it dried it had just the right look. 
Donna

#12 Nov 22, 2005 12:00 PM

Shelli
Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor
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POTBELLY BEARS
From: Chico, California
Posts: 9,936
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Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

millie wrote:

I have never run over my bears or allowed the dogs to play tug with them.  If that happened, I would be the one distressed.

HAHAHA!  bear_grin:P:lol:

#13 Nov 22, 2005 10:39 PM

Jare Hares & Bears
Jare Hares & Bears
From: Polo, IL
Posts: 983
Blog eBay Etsy

Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

millie wrote:

Hi All,

I do some distressing on my bears.  I use a lot of plant dyes (black walnut is super), coffee, tea and rit dye.  I also have a pair of cheap dog clippers that are great for removing some of the hair.  My "old" bears always have antique shoe button eyes.  Some of my bears are patched with antique fabric.  I have not done any super heavy distressing yet, but I am working on a bear now that is dyed with walnut.  But with all of the commotion in my life right now, I'm not sure how soon he will be finished.  I have never run over my bears or allowed the dogs to play tug with them.  If that happened, I would be the one distressed.

Millie,
I have black walnuts in my yard would you like them.
You would be more than welcome to come and collect them.
If you are interested I will give you directions to the house.
Jared bear_whistle

Shelli,
What a pretty new avatar.

Last edited by Jare Hares & Bears (Nov 22, 2005 10:39 PM)

#14 Nov 28, 2005 11:45 AM

millie
 »
PottersHouse Bears
From: Ohio
Posts: 2,162
Website eBay

Re: Distressing mohair / Antique style bears

Jared,

Sorry it took me so long to reply, but my life has been in chaos lately.  Thank you so much for the offer.  If it weren't such a long drive, I would gladly take you up on that.  I do not have any black walnut trees on our property, but I do have access to some.  They make such a cool, antique looking dye.  I am anxious to finish my walnut dyed bear, but he seems to have been put on hold for a while.  I may not get to him until after the holidays.

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