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Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Hi everyone!  bear_flower
I ran out of stuffing.  Boo.  So, rather than buy the super lofty, squishy, uncontrollable stuffing, I opted to try a rather spendy bag of bamboo fiber.  My thinking is that because it has a more dense feeling and heft to it, it will equal out to the loftiness of the other stuff.  We'll see!!  Has anyone out there tried it?  I'm thinking it will be fine for limbs and tummy but I'm now wondering if a needle will go through it for nose sewing and setting eyes.  Hmmm.  I'll get back to you.....

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

lulu sweet souls
canton, new york
Posts: 340

I've been tempted to try it because, like you, I was hoping it would be easier to work with.  I squeeze the bag everytime I'm in the fabric shop :0) but haven't made the leap yet.  I'm anxious to hear if you like it!

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,011
Website

I tried it and didn't like it. As you say, it isn't lofty, so that's good. But the fibers were very...crumbly? (Aleta, I hope you like it better than I did, and that you can describe it better, too. ;))

Becky

wubbiebear Braille Teddies
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Posts: 671

How cuddly was the bear that you stuffed with it?  Personally I just like good ol' fiverfil and I stuff my bears so that you have no choice but to give them a squuz.  Well, kidding, of course you have a choice, but that's what they're for.

rowarrior The Littlest Thistle
Glasgow
Posts: 6,212

Not tried the bamboo stuffing, but as a wool-allergy sufferer, I can tell you that bamboo fibre makes fabulous walking socks, soft too!

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,011
Website

I only got as far as stuffing a head, and it came out even harder than usual. (My heads are always stuffed firmly.)

Becky

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,239

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

'Crumbly' is a good description, Becky.  I have some, but haven't stuffed with it yet.  In the interest of trying to find something to stuff with besides unrenewable petroleum products, I tried hemp.  It stuffs hard (which I like), but it was lumpy.  I had to spend more time trying to it get evenly distributed and it really tried my patience.  Will try the bamboo some day.

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Thank you all for your input!  I will give it a try this evening and report back.   bear_original

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

Jennskains Posts: 2,203

I am currently working on chrocheting with bamboo and I love how it feels.

binglebears bingle bears
Upstate, NY
Posts: 1,559
Website

I have some bamboo stuffing, but everytime I try to use it I wind up pullling it out again.  bear_wacko  It just gets so lumpy and bumpy.  I really would like it to work because I would love to use a stuffing made from renewable fibers.  I've thought of using wool, but I'm afraid to try it in case someone from Australia bought the bear--I don't think wool is allowed to go into Australia.

Anyways, I hope it works well for you Aleta and that you can give us some pointers.

Warmly,
Cheryl

Linda Benson Bears
Tasmania
Posts: 562

I would have thought if it was cleaned and scoured, then wool is ok in your bears Cheryl. I've had a look on the AQIS website and can't find anything. I think New Zealand is stricter about wool. Even if you add in a sample of what's inside the bear so that they can see that it's clean, they're worried about biosecurity, (bugs and weeds) so if it's properly cleaned it should be fine. They let bears with wood wool in them in, which seems more of a biosecurity risk, to me than wool.
There is also corn fibre, I've had a go with it. It comes in different qualities, one is really slippery and bouncy so not very good. But the Raw fibre quality was pretty good, I prefer using wool myself.

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,011
Website
Linda wrote:

I've had a look on the AQIS website and can't find anything.

Thanks for checking, Linda. I love using wool, especially for stuffing heads.

Becky

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

...it has a more dense feeling and heft to it, it will equal out to the loftiness of the other stuff.  We'll see!!  Has anyone out there tried it?
....but I'm now wondering if a needle will go through it...

There is also corn fibre, I've had a go with it.

LOL - I wondered if this subject would ever come up - but never imagined it would under this thread!
I've only used these fibers to attempt to needle felt with, and let me tell you that they did not do well at all!! (Corn is called Inego™) But not for the reasons that you'd suspect—that like linen, cotton and flax and other vegetable fibers, they don't have the scales on the cuticle layer like our hair and the other mammal fibers do that can interlock with each with each other, because vegetable fibers don't have any scales.

But they reacted in the same manner that you found in regular stuffing - firmness to the point of hardness.

The needle was able to push the fibers down into the mass rather easily in the beginning with both types but the mass soon became so solid that the needle no longer penetrated, no matter how small a shaft size I reduced down to, and I was no where near getting to the shaping that I needed.

So that was an experiment that I chalked up to Experience!

binglebears bingle bears
Upstate, NY
Posts: 1,559
Website

Thanks, Linda.  I looked at the AQIS site and found some things that confuse me.  For example, in the"What Can't be Mailed to Australia" brochure it says  "souvenirs, artefacts and goods made of animal products such as raw hide, feathers, teeth, bones, wool and animal hair" are not allowed.  Would that include stuffed bears or not?  And specifically regarding wool, it sounds like items made with scoured wool are subject to inspection and may require some sort of certification that the wool has been scoured--I found this on the following page:  http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/gene … 09/46-2009.  I don't even know if the wool that I use has been scoured the way they want it or if's just been cleaned and carded.  I just don't know what it all means.  But you probably have a better sense of it and are probably right.

Warmly,
Cheryl

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Sorry to have left this thread hanging.....no put intended.  My granddaughter was diagnosed with Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes on July 13th and we spent a few days in the hospital with her.  She is just two years old.  We are in shock.  It's a huge life change that we are slowly coming to terms with.  As soon as I can get back to bears, I will let you know how the bamboo works for me.  After reading this thread though, I'm thinking it may not do well for stuffing a head.  Maybe just filling a tummy instead!  Thank you Bobbi, for that tidbit of info.

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

It's also quite heavy for its volume, so a tummy weight would be good.

Aleta, I feel so deeply for you! Our oldest, now 46 was diagnosed at 10 with juv. diabetes. He was old enough to understand what had happened and what he had to do now, but he also felt isolated in that it now made him so 'different' from all of his friends and 2 sibs.
Try a Scout camp for 2 weeks, when everyone else is enjoying S'mores or spending their cash at the commissary on ice cream and candy bars and your folks packed dried fruit and canned tuna fish. Thk goodness he likes all food! But it doesn't replace sweets as a kid when you've known them...

The first 2 days back to school were hell, because he was to manage his own injections and I wasn't gong to rush him. We sat at the table for more than 2 hours both days before he finally got up the courage to do it.
There were many give many many bad times involved—this from a loner who wished it gone and if he chose to ignore something, in his mind it just wasn't there.
In the past decade he's now had 2 kidney transplants and received a pancreas with the first: the diabetes was gone and he'd take diabetes over dialysis any day!

Times have changed now, for testing and better control of blood sugars. Being alert for peanut allergies, gluten free (our other son) and the like—well we live in a world where there's just so much more knowledge about individual health care issues.
Yes, it is a shock knowing that all of your lives have taken a 180° turn, but having your darling girl have this happen now means that she will not know any different lifestyle and that makes it a bit easier than one which has to suddenly give up or substitute the sweets in their former life. You're all on my prayer list - for acceptance and peace.

rowarrior The Littlest Thistle
Glasgow
Posts: 6,212

Aleta, sorry to hear about your granddaughter, however 2 might be the time for it to happen.  I had a good friend at school that was type 1 diabetic from the age of 2, and she didn't remember sweets or things like that, so she wasn't bothered when she didn't get to have them when the rest of us did.  IIRC, her parents kept the diet the same for her and her younger sister, although she wasn't diabetic, but I think the thinking was that if there weren't sweets and cakes available in the house, then she wouldn't want them either.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Yes, we too (mostly) switched over to what Brian could eat - it made it easier on the whole family.

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

First off, thank you for kind thoughts and prayers.  We are getting through this diabetes thing.  It's just so maddening when the numbers just don't seem to want to stay in a normal range for any length of time.  They're still working out the insulin doses.  I understand it is a process and we have to be patient.  We'll get there.

In the meantime, I've had a little time here and there to work with the bamboo fibre.  Not a lot but thought I'd share what I've found so far.  Keeping in mind that there are most likely different manufacturers of this stuff and they may all be a little different, I didn't find it to be half bad to work with.  However, I was only stuffing tummies because that's the point I've reached with all my bears at the moment.  It was soft, yet not slippery.  It had a bit of grab to it so when I put it in place it stayed there so I guess if there is one lesson here it is to make sure you want it where you're putting it.  It was, however, movable under the mohair with a needle so if I missed a little space I could easily move it from underneath.  Am I being clear as mud here?

I guess, at this point, I'd say the jury is still out.  I like it so far with what I'm doing with it but I think more investigation still needs to be done.  Will report back again.

I'm using Bamboo Fiber in a green and white  12 oz. bag.  Another name on the bag is Nature-Fil.  It's from the makers of poly-fil, by Fairfield, out of Danbury, CT USA

Warmest bear hugs, :hug:
Aleta

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