For artists and collectors sponsored by Intercal...your mohair supplier and Johnna's Mohair Store
Haven't visited or posted in a reeeeally long time. A lot going on for me the past year. Anyway, long story short... certain circumstances beyond my control have rendered me relatively short on cash. So, I decided to go with what I know and see if I could start selling my bears.
I dug out my fur, scraped together a few dollars to buy the bits I was missing to finish it, designed a new pattern, and made a bear. I was so happy with it, until I was just giving it a final once over and noticed that there's a BALD spot on the back of its head!! Now don't get me wrong, I was not rough with the bear in any way. I did notice that there was a stray hair stuck on the bear here and there, but I figured that was just leftovers from open seams or something. I guess not! Also noticed there's a part on the back that's balding too - what the hell?!!
Has anyone ever had this happen? I certainly haven't! The fur is from loubear, which I thought was totally fine until now. I thought maybe it was because I'd dyed it... so I went and checked the other piece, dyed on a different occasion but cut from the same original larger piece and dyed a different colour. Those tufts are really easy to pull out too.
I don't know what to do! Even if I found a way to fix it (any ideas short of dressing the bear, which I'm personally not keen on), would it be dishonest of me to still try and sell the bear knowing it's got damage repair?
Grrr... this was the first one I'd ever been happy enough with to start selling, and right when I really need a way to earn a side income... and it goes bald. SO my luck!!
I'd definitely let the supplier know what happened to your fabric. Then I'd think about whether the 'vintage' look could suit this bear, there's a big market for vintage style bears, but if the rest of the mohair is likely to separate from the backing in the same way, I'm sorry to have to say it, but I'd ditch the bear, put it down to experience and buy good quality mohair next time ie., Hembold or Schulte.
Yes contact LouBear. Give them a chance to fix this (the best they can anyway.) I have some LouBear here. I purchased some unfinished string so I could dye it myself. I just looked at it, both dyed and undyed. I can not pull out the fur, it is tight. I will say though I think I may have seen another post somewhere about this same problem.
Hi Mickeyflip, just popping in to let you know Bernard at LouBear just emailed me to say he has seen your post and would like to try and resolve the problem with you. Unfortunately as a supplier, he has been unable to sign up to TT to email you in person and as I couldn't provide your contact details to help, I'm hoping you will read this and be able to contact Bernard direct.
Thanks Paula, and also to Joanne for your response. I'll contact Bernhard today - I had intended to but it was really late when this all came about last night and I just slumped into bed. I have a sneaking suspicion that my mum will claim this one, bald patch or not... mums are good like that
Wow - ok! Just wanted to report back to everyone so I could let you know how things went with Loubear and pass on some invaluable info to you all.
The type of fur I purchased and dyed was the 30% Viscose blend called TEDDY. Very soft and silky and really super nice. It was really difficult for Bernhard and I to determine where it all went wrong for me, because my processes are apparently fairly standard and neither of us had experienced or heard of it happening with their product before.
Anyway, Bernhard was enormously generous enough to offer me a 1/2 meter of their 100% mohair range, in LENA (18mm pile). He's sending out Col. 24, which is washed white and ready to dye.
What I DID learn from our emails back and forth should help all of you when you're deciding which types of fur to buy from Loubear.
TEDDY - This is what I bought. Super super nice, feels like a little maltese puppy but slightly less wavy. Because it's 30% Viscose, however, it's very sleek also. This property makes it EXCELLENT for those of you who make aged bears because it's relatively easy and painless to pluck the hair out for the battered and worn appearance. Having said that though, tumble drying the fabric post-dye process will cause the fabric to shrink slightly which is what helps to tighten the backing grab the fibres in there tighter and prevent them from falling out when you don't want them to. This may have been the part that stung me - the blue bear above's fur wasn't tumble dried.
LENA - 100% mohair with an 18mm pile. The 100% mohairs don't have the viscose in them (obviously) so aren't as super sleek - therefore the pile requires a lot more pull to be removed from the backing weave. The weave is also apparently slightly tighter.
ERIC and OLGA - both the 70% Mohair, 30% Viscose blends but both have a tighter backing fabric which is better for those of us who aren't designing "overly-loved" bears.
I also learned something about the dying process which is very important, that I wasn't aware of. I know some of the instructions for hot water dying say that the water should be gently boiling. Bernhard advised that this is not the case if we want to keep the fur at its most sturdy. Temperature for dying should not exceed 80°C [that's 176°F], which is a fair amount below boiling point. I'll definitely be making a point of ensuring my water isn't boiling from now on, since I don't actually remember if I boiled the water with the fur in the pot last time.
In any case - my communications with Bernhard have been very positive and I hope I didn't come across as though I was 'bad mouthing' their furs in any way in my first post. I was more after a remedy or a clue as to what I'D done wrong.
Bernhard is amazing to deal with, and super helpful. If you're ever looking to purchase but aren't quite sure which way to go, he's very very helpful.
Hopefully I've helped you guys a little!
Glad everything turned out well. The fur I have from them is 100% mohair. And it has been in the dryer. I have washed and tumbled dry many mohair fabrics because I do like that it tightens the backing and fluffs the fur. I did not know about the water temp, thanks for that info.
I had this problem with a rabbit that is my little boys. The fur fell out real easy,and now I am wondering if I can insert some more fur in it. The interesting thing is it was a slate blue. I am glad to know that washing and drying helps. The piece that I had the problem with was a little lose in the back.