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Bumpkin Bears Bumpkin Bears
Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 2,190

Hi everyone, I'm working on an open mouth design as a commision piece at the moment and have run out of the strong thread I usually use for sculpting the jaw area.  I was just wondering what you all use for facial sculpting especially when working on open mouths? 

Thanks a lot for your ideas,

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I don't do open mouths but I find upholstery thread absolutely unbreakable.  It's 100% nylon.

Others talk about artificial sinew, which they tend to split into thinner strips, for facial sculpting.  I've purchased it in the past at Michael's our local craft store... but that probably doesn't work as a recommendation for you, Catherine, in Belgium!  If you do have a craft section, look where they have leather strips or any kind of American Indian stuff, like kits for making moccasins, conchas, turquoise beads, etc.  Although, hmmm... that might not work for you, either, given that we Americans probably do a little more of the ol' American Indian crafting than Belgians do.  Laughing here...

Good luck!

Bumpkin Bears Bumpkin Bears
Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 2,190

bear_tongue yeah you're quite right Shelli - not always easy to find a lot of American Indian stuff over here  bear_grin I find it tricky to find what I'm looking for - but now I can look for thread that is 100% nylon , easier than trying to translate upholstery thread!!  Thanks a lot, (I hope your boys and all your kitties are well)

Big Hugs,

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

Most teddy supply stores will have some kind of artificial sinew. I like this best for sculpting as it has some give to it so you can pull it tighter.


Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

Cathrine, you may find some heavy good thread at your local leather or  shoe shop...that is if you have any there...also check with your clothes cleaners...they have to do repairs and may have some heavy threads. Upholstry shops here always carry nylon threads and fabric on rolls for people who like to upholstry their own chairs, etc. ....Winney

gotobedbears Posts: 3,177

try dental floss  bear_thumb

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Posts: 3,518

Penny - Dental floss breaks down after years. 

I use upholstrey thread - really really strong, and won't break!


Gail Bear With Me Enterprises
Posts: 1,319

Michelle Lamb uses the perle cotton she uses to embroider her noses with to do all her sculpting

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

I don't do a huge amount of needle sculpting. But I use whipping twine, the very thinnest one, from a yacht chandlers. For these reasons, one it's incredibly strong and you can pull extremely hard on it, two, as it's designed for knots ( and I use it to tie in the eyes) the knots won't slip when you tighten it and three it doesn't cut into your fingers when you pull on it, unlike upholstery thread which is a killer.

It does come in various colours including black and white...which are all I bother with as you can't see the tiny sculpting stitches any way. I use upholstery thread for stitching up openings, ears and stuff.

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

I use 100% nylon upholstery thread for sculpting stitches... and yes, it's an absolute killer to the hands, I sometimes feel as if I am usuing razor wire or something!  I'm always on the lookout for something different!   bear_grin The "button & craft" thread always broke on me, though it appears that it would be stronger than the upholstery thread.  Heavy duty beading thread also works  nicely in a pinch.

Jenny, this whipping twine sounds like it might be interesting.  Yaught chandeliers?  What kind of a store could one go into and ask for whipping twine?  A boat supply place, a craft store, lighting shop?  I'm imagining me heading into JoAnne Fabrics with three kids in tow, asking for some whipping twine, and having the clerk call the police assuming that I mean to beat my kids with it, tie them up or something.... oh that's awful!   bear_laugh

Danni,  Only certain types of dental floss break down over time..... the biodegradable type will eventually break down if exposed to a degree of moisture over a period of time.... meant to save the tummies of marine mammals, birds, and other sea creatures who often accidentially consume our human produced garbage when it makes its way to the sea, oceans, lakes, etc....  I have numerous pairs of point shoes with the ribbons and elastics sewn on with non-biodegradable dental floss, still going strong after 15 years of true abuse.  Ordinarily a pair of point shoes lasts only a few wearings for a professional dancer.... but I ocassionallly slip a pair on one of my old pairs and prance around a bit, just to "remember when..." 

Beary truly yours,
Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

Oh kim, I can just picture you prancing around your house. He he he he I do that to, but without any dance training. Not pretty.  :redface:

I also use strong nylon thread, or clear mono philiament. I have tonnes of that stuff. Tonnes of it!!!!!

Gail, interesting she uses her perle cotton. I find the stuff soo weak, I always break some. i'm not even able to split it in half or it'll break.

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

Yes , Yacht or boat suppliers or Chandlery...In the rope section usually. I get mine from Seamark Nunn here in the UK but you'll get it cheaper locally....I get number 2 which I believe is the finest...I also have no 4 which is a bit thicker and great for sewing up the neck after the joint goes in. The knots really hold too.

I'd shop around because the price can vary.

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