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Johnna's Mohair Store - Specializing in hand dyed mohair and alpaca

toadbriar ToadBriar
western massachusetts
Posts: 532

Hiya!
Well my brother is finally going to be a Dad this summer, so I'd like to make a child-safe
bear for The New Kid. I know to do the plastic joints, & either safety eyes or embroidered
eyes, & polyfil to stuff. But I want to use the very softy-softest fur - got any favorites? Will it
be fine to toss in the washer? I should think so, but you guys know best - I've yet to make a
bear that actually gets to BE someone's binkie, so I would value the wisdom of bearmakers,
moms, & them-who-are-both!

ooooh...maybe I can do a bunny with satin inside the ears....I LOVED to rub blanket-edge satin
on my nose when I was a littlun....

If you've made bears for wee tiny kids & babies, can I see 'em?  bear_grin

thanks!
-Kim

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

milan2.jpgmilanbeer.jpgHi Kim,

I've just made a bear for a friend's new born baby boy.  I made it out of a really warm, comforting and cuddly sheepskin effect material (that would be washable) and then all the usual safety joints, eyes and fillings.  I have never made a bear for a baby from mohair or alpaca, not sure about the washing aspect of them.

I'll attach some photos to show you the bear and the cuttie little baby -

Good luck
Catherine

toadbriar ToadBriar
western massachusetts
Posts: 532

Oh Catherine how lovely! What a lucky child bear_wub His new friend is bigger than he is - he really is a NEW baby isn't he!
I was wondering about using a synthetic for washability. But then so many bear books I've got talk about making
child-safe bears from mohair like it's not a big deal. I should like this bear to be played with, loved, dragged around, fed jam,
etc. Maybe synthetic is the way to go, but I look at all those beautiful beloved BATTERED & balding bears from 100 years ago
& I think 'why not?' Surely they got washed too? I look at my old soft synthetic toys, & the softest plushest furs got the most
clumped & matted. I like your sheepskin-like fabric, I think it will age very well!

Do the nice synthetics from intercal & edinburgh have knit backs or woven backs like mohair?

It's VERY early - I have til JULY to figure it out but I am taking the opportunity to learn stuff, lol!
thanks so much for sharing the photos & your experience  bear_grin

TeddyTyke Posts: 65

I dunno about alpaca fabric, but as a handspinner who's worked with it, I know alpaca fibres tend to shed - as babies put everything in their mouths, might not be wise... Mohair on the other hand, if it was good quality why not? I have my old mohair bear from the 1960s and my brother's from the 50s, and the fur on them is still immaculate. (Never been washed, though!)

I'm new at bear making but understand Schulte make very high quality woven backed synthetics which presumably would be washable? Maybe wise to pre-wash the fabric before you cut it out, to make sure? Also you'd pre-empt any possible shrinkage then?

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367
Website

Kim, I made mohair bears for my sons and nieces and nephew what they were born. Schulte mohair is wonderfully soft but surface washable only. I made my son's bears rather firmly stuffed, but I got smart after that and their cousins have squishy bears. The girls are more attached to theirs because of this I think. ( I know it's not just because they are girls, because my sons have become attached to OTHER bears!

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568
Website

I'd venture to say that any animal fiber... mohair, alpaca, wool... regardless of what mill it comes from.... is only surface washable.

I used synthetic similar to what Catherine used for the baby bears I've made. You could also use a berber fleece. I made a mohair bear for my nephew and his parents won't let him touch it... it sits on a shelf. I've assured them it can be spot cleaned and is OK to play with but they won't hear of it. So I don't make fancy bears for babies anymore so that they WILL be allowed to play, sleep, drool and spit up on it! bear_original

Koala Adorable Bears
Shepparton/Victoria
Posts: 149

I would go for a woven back synthetic...as much as I prefer both Alpaca and mohair.It would be very soft plus it would wash more easily.
Then when they are older you can make a very special bear using a more expensive fur.
enjoy making your bear,
Susan

toadbriar ToadBriar
western massachusetts
Posts: 532

ah you guys are so helpful! thank you all so much for your input.
I think upon further reading that I am going to do no joints at all -
for a totally floppy, entirely soft huggable guy. embroidered eyes
too.

The fact that you absolutely have to get plastic joints right the FIRST time
is definitely a factor too!  :redface:  :crackup:

naturally I'll share the teddy when I've made him!

faizul Posts: 1

I haven't had my boy yet though have had a daughter and bought many boy gifts!

I suppose the obvious thing is to ask if there is anything practical that they need, maybe even something for further down the line if they have all the baby essentials for now.

If you don't want to ask or they can't think of anything then I know something I have bought for quite a few friends and been told is great is a "first 12mths" photo frame. Basically a slot for each month of the 1st year and it means you are reminded to take a photo each month. I found I had loads of new born and first month or two pics then nothing til her 1st birthday!!

Or if you are looking to spend a large amount of money then what about a voucher for a family photo shoot?






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