Beginner’s Guide to Bear Making Fabrics

FREE PDF BEAR MAKING FABRICS CHEAT SHEET

 

Click Here for Your Cheat Sheet

 

Hi, I’m Laura Lynn of www.TeddiesbyLauraLynn.com  and www.TeddyBearAcademy.net .  I’d like to introduce you to the Beginners Guide to Bear Making Fabrics.

I’m going to start this guide with a few faux fur fabrics that I found at my local fabric store.  I have found that my local fabric store does not have a very large selection of fur fabrics and that most of them are not suitable for making quality teddy bears.  Every once in a while, though, you can sometimes find a great fabric to work with.  The video above will show you which fabrics I found suitable for making teddy bears.

A step up from the fabric store furs are the teddy bear fabrics from an online shop called www.CrsCrafts.com.  They have a large selection of synthetic faux furs, but I have found that I prefer those that start at about $17 per yard.  My three favorite fake furs at this supplier are “teddy bear short”, “cubby short”, and “teddy bear”.  I show them in the video as well.

Ultra-premium synthetic faux fur fabrics can be found at specialty bear making supply shops.  The cost ranges from $100-$300 per yard.  These furs are very thick.  I recommend them for someone who has a little experience with trimming faces.  These are so soft you would think you are touching real fur!

The very first teddy bears ever made were created out of a fabric called mohair.  Mohair fabric is made from the sheared wool of the Angora goat.  The fiber is spun and then woven onto a cotton backing.  Because mohair is a natural fabric, it comes in many colors, finishes and lengths.

It can be straight, wavy, curly or a number of other finishes.  It comes on a woven backing so it does not stretch out of shape.   I like working with mohair the best.  I find it the easiest bear making fabric to work with and it comes in the widest variety of appearances.  I show you a sample of some of the mohair that I happen to have in my mohair fabric stash.

Finally, we need to discuss the fabric you use for your teddy bear’s paw pads.  The first teddy bears had wool felt paw pads and many of today’s bear makers use wool felt as well.  I recommend using wool felt, and not the cheap thin acrylic felt.  You can find some wool felt at your local fabric store and also online.

Another material often used for paw pads is called Ultrasuede.  It is a made made suede like material and comes in a wide range of colors.  You can find Ultrasuede at teddy bear making supply shops.  Because it is a synthetic material, it cannot be dyed at home.

FREE PDF BEAR MAKING FABRICS CHEAT SHEET

 

Click Here for Your Cheat Sheet

 

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What Size Disc Should I Use?

I had a friend of mine ask which jointing hardware she should use if she enlarged the 12" Marco teddy bear pattern.  Here is a quick basic tutorial on how I determine what size joint discs I use for my bears.

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Marco Bear Making Kits

12 inch bear making class

 

Kits for making Marco are available in several colors for $25 + $6 shipping (US).

Shipping to Canada is $10, Rest of the World $15 - via US First Class Mail

Each kit includes the mohair, paw pad fabric, pearle cotton for the nose & mouth, glass eyes, artificial sinew &  joint assemblies (I will include both cotter pins and bolts and lock nuts as we will go over pros and cons of both.)

Here is a photo of the colors available.  The color may not be exact as the color on computer monitors does vary.

Be sure to mention what color you want when you check out.

*Rust & White colors are now sold out*

MarcoKitColors


Shipping Destination



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How to Download the Premium and Free Teddy Bear Patterns

Download the Pattern

Print the Pattern

 

 

I hope that helps you to download the teddy bear patterns here at Teddy Bear Academy.net!

 

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Alligator Clips instead of Pins

alligator clips alligator-clipAlligator clips instead of pins:  I used to use pins to hold my mohair fabric pieces together while I sewed.  Then I discovered alligator clips!  They are so much faster to use.  They don’t pucker my fabric like the pins did.  An added bonus is that they don’t put pin sized holes in my fabric!   I originally found them at Radio Shack.  I had to ask at the counter as they were not out on the shelves.  Recently I’ve been buying them online at eBay (link).   I prefer the type with teeth.

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Teddy Bear Eyes

teddy bear eyesTeddy bear eyes are what give bears their personality, but what do you use for bear eyes?

When the first teddy bears made in the early 1900's in both the United States and eyes for teddy bearsGermany at the same time, the bear makers used leather covered boot or shoe buttons for his eyes.    But eventually, shoe makers started using laces instead of buttons, and teddy bear makers had to find a replacement to use for those beautiful soul searching eyes.

Many teddy bear factories started using amber or glass eyes, shaped just like a boot button.  Later, in the 1950's, manufacturers started using plastic safety eyes instead of glass eyes because of the danger.  A child could  pull a glass or boot button eye off his teddy bear and swallow it!

Glass teddy bear eyes and sometimes even antique shoe buttons are still used today in teddy bears for collectors.  They just bring so much more life and personality to the bear than plastic eyes do.

Where is the world do you find glass teddy bear eyes?  Antique shoe buttons?  Well, it is hard to find them in local craft stores.  If you are lucky you can find the plastic safety eyes there.  Thank goodness for online shopping!  You can find many types of teddy bear eyes from teddy bear suppliers around the world .  You can even buy teddy bear eyes on eBay.

Maybe you want to use antique shoe button eyes on your bears?  I have found them by poking around in antique stores - and of course it is so easy to buy antique shoe buttons on eBay too.

 

 

 

 

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Share Photos of the Bears you Made in Class!

Share Photos of the Bears you Made in Class!

I love seeing photos of the bears you've made from the classes here.  Share those photos here!  You can upload them with your comment.  I only ask that you limit your photos to bears you made from Teddy Bear Academy classes or patterns.    They will not show up immediately as they have to be approved to prevent spam.  Thank you, I look forward to seeing many adorable teddy bears!

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A Look into a German Teddy Bear Factory

The Martin Teddy Bear Company has been making teddy bears for almost 100 years.  This teddy bear factory crafts handmade bears.  They create up to 30,000 teddy bears each year.  Here is an interesting peek behind the scenes of a large teddy bear "factory".

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The Grand Opening Date Has Been Set!

Teddy Bear Academy is almost ready! We've set the date of JULY 15th. The free video has been "filmed" and edited. Now to work on the first 2 premium videos. A little bit more work on the actual site and we are ready to rock!

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How to Download and Print your Teddy Bear Class Pattern

Not sure how to get the pattern for your class downloaded?  Here is a quick video explaining the process:

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