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Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

Hi all,

Just thought I'd share a little knowledge (for once  bear_grin ).

I'd been looking for something to weigh down my bears without having to order some steel shot or something similar from the internet as the postage costs would have been astronomical because of the weight.  No craft shops I know stock any kind of weighting pellets or beads but one member of staff in Samuel Taylor in Leeds suggested I used curtain weights.  These are small but come in various weights and I tried them in the bear I'm making from one of Debbie Kesling's patterns and it seems to have worked brilliantly.

The best thing is that they sell them in metres and you can just cut off one at a time and they won't fall apart.  I can post some pictures if you like just let me know.

Also in case the lady who suggested this to me reads it then I just want to say what a wonderful idea it was  bear_flower

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

nice tip. What is the brand name of the small weights? where can you buy them? I always struggle to find a small weight for my mini's.

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

I'm unsure of the brand name but they were wrapped around a spool in a similar vein as ribbon.  Samuel Taylor sell them but that's in the UK and I'm unsure if they have stores in the US.

I'll post a picture so that you have something to show the shop what you're looking for  bear_original

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

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The material around the weights frays really easily so I just remove it.  They're really good though because you can cut in between the weights and the whole thing doesn't fall apart so you can put the exact amount in the bear that you need.  It's just a little fiddly trying to position them inside the bear without them showing but if I can do it then anyone can.

The next time I go to Leeds I will find out the correct name of them for you but am sure they were curtain weights.

I feel better now knowing that I've helped because I've received so much help off others on here that I wanted to return the kindness  bear_wub

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

thank you Rin for the information. I'll google "curtain weights" and see what I can find.

I too learn so much from others. The library is wonderful on this site. It is a weath of information. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do it. It has all kinds of tips and techniques shared over the years.

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

Yeah I keep looking through all the posts so I don't post something that has already been asked but there is such a wealth of information it's going to take me a while to get through it  bear_original

Conni Germany
Posts: 1,788
Website

I found something here.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DRAPERY-MAKERS- … 3398215a82

But not stain the lead? I use steel shot. It is a little tricky to insert ....

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

thank you Conni. It looks very much like the product Rin described. it was kind of you to find this on eBay.

edmondnutmeg Padfield bears
Derbyshire
Posts: 1,342
Website

Rin thank you so much for sharing this tip about the curtain (window drapes in the US) weights. bear_flower Yes they are curtain weighting they are used to put in the hem of curtains to make the gathers/tucks look more even at the bottom or to stop the fabric billowing out. It has given me a great idea how to use them as weighting to run through out the arms and legs using them as a string. They even come in different sizes so you can scale up or down in line with your bear. Conni is right about the staining though will have to investigate how lead reacts a bit more. Still fab tip bear_original
michelle

rikkisbears NSW Australia
Posts: 209

Hi Rin,
Interesting idea, could be handy for my bunnies. I normally use something along the lines of a granual, not sure what it's called, far finer than glass beads and heavier.  also can be messy and I don't like the reddish brown color.
Your suggestion sounds very interesting.

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

Thank you for the confirmation that they are curtain weights Michelle and for the kind feedback from everyone.  I had a feeling they were but would have had to wait until I confirmed it the next time I went into the store.

I didn't realise they could cause staining but made a body last week and it seems fine so hopefully they will be okay.  I will let everyone know if I experience any problems with it.  (I hope not because I'm actually pleased with the body for once bear_laugh ).  My husband just suggested that perhaps they could be coated in varnish so that if they are prone to staining this should stop it.

I wanted to bypass having to use ebay or amazon to get weights for my miniatures because they will more than likely incur a steep postage cost so hopefully these can be purchased worldwide in stores to save everyone some money.

xxx

Rin

rikkisbears NSW Australia
Posts: 209

Hi,
Just checking, are these weights made from lead or steel?
Don't know if it would apply to curtain weights, but, we stopped using lead shot years ago. Beleive the reason, might have been because of leads toxicity? Never actually used it, but lead shot was replaced with steel shot.
It was over 10 years ago, Too long ago to remember actual reason, one day you could buy it in the teddy stores then it was no longer stocked.

Conni Germany
Posts: 1,788
Website

... or letting the tissue around the shot?

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

I never thought of any kind of toxicity to be honest but you've got a good point there Rikki.  It's just making me wonder though that if they're toxic would they be allowed to be used in something that people have in every room of their house?  If so, it would be a serious health hazard.

rikkisbears NSW Australia
Posts: 209

Hi Rin ,
Over here there was a big hoo haa about lead in paints a few years back, just made me wonder.

Found this online, there are a heap of articles on it.

http://www.healthline.com/health/lead-p … #Overview1

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

I'll find out what they are made from the next time I go into Leeds just to be on the safe side then after reading that article.  Thanks for bringing this to my attention Rikki.  It was something that never even occurred to me.

rikkisbears NSW Australia
Posts: 209

Hi Rin
Something that would have never occurred to me either except that they removed lead shot from teddy stores over here.
Even though collectible teds aren't for children, people sometimes don't listen. I gave a number of my early teds to family and pointed out they're not suitable for children because of the glass eyes and plastic /glass pellets.
Low and behold , I discovered some of them had been given to the kids. People plain don't listen.

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

I'm wondering if they do turn out to be made of lead if a disclaimer could be placed on the authenticity certificate or something declaring that they contain lead weights.  I have already included a disclaimer which says they are not suitable for anyone under 14 years of age due to small parts on the certificate of authenticity.

If the adult then gives them to a child the onus should be on themselves.

What you said Rikki reminded me of when my husband used to work at GAME and he warned a lady who was buying the video game Grand Theft Auto 4 for her 11-year old son how violent it was and that its 18 rating was justified.  She returned the next day with the game and complained to him that it was not suitable for her child which he had already warned her about.  You're right when you say people don't listen though because things are rated for a reason.

xxx

Rin

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

Okay I've found out that they are definitely made from lead.

As I mentioned above do you think they will still be okay to use as long as a disclaimer is stated?  Surely glass beads would also be hazardous as if the stitching comes loose at some point they could leak and be eaten by a child or a pet.  I think I'd be more concerned about them than lead.

Also would it take off the toxicity if they were coated in varnish or something so that when handled they wouldn't be in direct contact with the skin?

rikkisbears NSW Australia
Posts: 209

Hi Rin,
I'd just be a bit careful handling the weights. I'm guessing they have that covering over them to stop you touching the lead.
A couple of the articles I read gave the impression that the problem is if you ingest it ie gets swallowed, or gets handled , and especially with kiddies , they then put their fingers in their mouth. Not good.

I really wouldn't like to advise what is ok and what isn't.

Tiny teds shouldn't be given to kiddies as they're not safe. Regardless of what they're stuffed with.

Me personally, if I was doing a ted for myself, the lead probably wouldn't worry me, if I was doing one to give away or sell, I'd probably keep useing this weird stuff called Bengal bay garnet, it's like a course sand and the weight is really heavy, heavier than glass beads. Not fond of the colour , but doesn't appear to show thru. I'm just one of those overly cautious people, drive my hubby nuts. Haha

Rin Sakura Bears
West Yorkshire
Posts: 65

I wouldn't want any of my teddies to go to kids at all because it takes so long to do them and I'd hate the thought of them getting wrecked but like you say Rikki some people won't listen.

I'll try coating the weights in varnish or something as suggested by my husband.  I suppose any weighting materials that we use would be hazardous though because steel shot could be swallowed if the bear tears.  Do you think that as long as I put a disclaimer on that it should be okay because I already say that my bears are unsuitable for those under 14 years of age.  I wouldn't feel confident enough to make a bear for a child at the moment because I'd be scared of them choking on something if they managed to rip it apart with or without lead weights in them.

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