I just purchased a mink coat collar, and hat for $10.00 at a yard sale. DEAL???? Then I bought a fur stole for $25.00 ! I can't wait to turn these into bears ! The stole is a reddish brown,..short to medium length fur........and the pelts are in rows about 1.5" wide. The rows run from one end of the stole up and around the shoulders and back down to the other end. I am not sure what kind of fur it is,..........wish I knew.
Wish I knew their value, not that it matters, still will make bears from them. I also saw a white fur stole,.......mink (?) short fur length, at a consingment shop for $25.00 . I am thinking about going back to get it. They had a mink hat for $25.00 also.
Thanks Bear Frinds,
Take a close look at the fur, rub it a bit, and see if any fur comes loose in your hands. Does the fur have a nice sheen to it? Look for damage by moth larvae. If the fur sheds easily, give it a pass, unless its ultra cheap, and you intend to only use it for practice, or seeing what a new design looks like in the fur.
Take the fur up in your hands, and 'roll' it between your hands. Does it sound crackly? Does it feel stiff in places? If so, again give the coat a pass, as the hides have become dry over time. If its a treasured coat that someone wants to preserve as a ted, you can use glycerin to help 'rehydrate' the hide side only and make it softer to get the teddy done, but if this is a coat you are looking at to resell bears, again give it a pass. If the coat isn't in good condition, with a nice clean sheen to the fur, you'll find you've overspent even if its only $25.00 or even $5.00. It really does depend on the fur in front of you. You CAN get some great steals, but be really really picky with the furs you buy.
Also, when I pick up 'new' furs, I'll often quarantine the item from the rest of my furs for a little bit. I'll also leap in there and 'gut' the fur so I can get a better look at the hides, and finally see what quality I'm really dealing with. I do this to possibly remove any bugs. Depending on the age of the coat, there's some icky things that can take up residency on the inside of a coat. If I've purchased the coat online, I want to give it a 'time out' away from my other furs to be sure it didn't arrive with moths or some other bug. That way if the worst should happen, it doesn't contaminate my entire store of furs. I'll have a better chance of keeping a close eye on it, and dealing with any form of an infestation.
For the record, knock on wood, I've never had a coat or stole come in with bugs, but I'm a firm believer in better safe than sorry
Thanks Debbie for the info.
I have been sewing for 35 years, so, I am pretty much knowledged in textiles and fabrics. I knew about the condition of the pelts and reconditioning of them, also due to growing up in and around the dry cleaning business where they sent the furs off to be conditioned, repaired, etc. So, I have some knowledge to make me dangerous, not an expert, by far though. These furs are in great condition. They were the mother of the seller, and stored very nicely. I will again check for the things you described to me though. I think you can get fantastic fur buys from some people that are just cleaning house and trying to get rid of them.
Thanks for your thoughts and help
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, But, by the moments that take our breath away!
Oh Gosh Debbie,............Please don't make ME ever make you look or feel silly. I am an EXTREME Newbie to this work,...............I just happen to have alot of sewing experience and a Grandfather who I spent my childhood with who happened to be a dry cleaner. So, In turn, alot of that experience, and memeories from spending time in his dry cleaners helps me whith this stuff. I do not know however, to "CONDITION" the pelt,..............and would like bear moms opinions on that. I would assume that ANY pelt can be conditioned, for good measure?
Thanks for all your help,.............I am addicted to this site, but sometimes, the more I read about the lock nuts, and other things, the more insecure I get. LOL
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away! "
Hello everyone, not sure if any one will see this since I see the dates in these to be several years old but I wuill give it a try. Do most people line their furs before making bears from them? If so how do you do it? i have found a nice old mink coat and would like to give it a try .
When I make a bear using real fur I do line it. I cut out the same pattern using a lite colored 100% cotton muslim. I stitch the muslin right to the fur just enought to secure it, then make sure I pick up both fabric and fur in the sewing of the bear. I can then not worry about poking a hole in the bear while stuffing, and also not worry about any streching of the fur backing. Most of the time I will make a head and possibly paws with the fur and mohair for the balance of the bear, I love the look together.
Berwickbears wrote:Do most people line their furs before making bears from them? If so how do you do it?
I like Karen, cut out all pieces in good quality muslin and hand stitch this as a lining to the real fur pieces. Please DO NOT use glue. Glue will erode the leather pelt and, though maybe not in your lifetime, but down the road your bear may not be in good shape. I use a basting stitch to put the muslin lining on the bear parts.
I have to say the article was fabulous. Though I doubt I have any fur pieces worth more than $100 I feel comfortable cutting up my coats (I hope they are the garden variety coats!). I look at the minks I have and what mohair costs, and I feel the money I pay for the minkies are "on point" with what other bear making materials will cost. In fact I get better deals with the minkies because they are from yard sales and thrift stores. I get them for just a few dollars...