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pittapatta Cape Town
Posts: 13

Has anyone heard of or used the product made by LOUBEAR?
Once I have gained confidence in my skills, and want to start making collectable bears, I will be using them as a source, with them being right here on my doorstep, so to speak, and having travelled in the Eastern Cape area, I know that it produces very fine mohair for knitting and weaving. 
From what I have seen on their site, www.loubear.com it looks perfectly good to me, but then, I am a total novice.
What particularly appealed to me was the loomstate versions, which one can dye to any colour one wishes.
I would much appreciate feedback from anyone who has used it, it would be very valuable to me.

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399

J.Livingston.Desertmtnbear.witches.jpg-400x214.jpgI have used Lou Bear.  I have some of their unfinished 100% mohair.  I like it very much.  I have 3 styles of the unfinished they sell.  It is not dense enough for me to use on the realistic type bears, but for regular, or vintage type teddy it is just great.   With the exception of one all of these bears were made with Lou Bear which I dyed myself.

Joanne

pittapatta Cape Town
Posts: 13

Thanks Joanne,
Your realistic bears are truly artworks, and at this point I do not aspire to anything approaching your skill.   I do like working with the denser fur, and prefer the lush effect on the finished bear, even if it is a fantasy type bear, which is what I enjoy creating.
Are all of LouBears' qualities less dense?  Where would I need to go to get the denser varieties, keeping in mind that for a while to come I will be only making regular bears, not collectors pieces?

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399

The thickest they make is a medium density fur.  When making the real type bears I use dense stuff.  That is hard to come by today.  Most of what I have in dense mohair is vintage stuff from the Norton Mill in England.  It is out of business.  The bears in the picture are make with LouBear sparse distressed, I think.  The medium density mohair they sell is nice and fluffy.  Of course like I said I am using string, so I need to wash it or dye it to make it fluffy, but it does fluff up nicely.

You can request sample cards from them.  They are very nice people to work with. 

Joanne

gugu"s teddies gugu;s teddies
durban
Posts: 203

Hi Charron
Nice to see another South African on TT
I have used Loubear  Fabric ,I found when i tried dying with cool aid it doesnt dye the back and the back is rubbery,im going to try with Dylon see if thats better
Apart from that, mohair is fine,there customer services great very helpful folk
For German Shultz mohair there is a wonderful outlet in KZN i will PM you there web site
Good Luck

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

Hi,
I have dyed the LouBear fabric with Cushing's dye which is sold here at Teddy-Talk.  It dyes the fiber but not the backing.  I have used Rit dye on it and everything dyes.  If you dye the fabric from LouBear that is 30% viscose and 70% mohair the fibers will take the dye differently and you will have a more natural look.  Our hair is not all the same shade.  I dye with hot or boiling water.  The hot water will make the back tacky while it is wet.  After the fabric drys the latex on the back is not as thick but is fine to work with, no tacky feel.  I have had one customer (I sell the fabric to artists) complain that the LouBear fabric will not feed through her machine.  I am guessing it is the latex backing is somehow causing the problem. 
Donna

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399

I have used Procion to dye the backing of the fabric.  This is dye for cotton so it barely touches the mohair, and then used Kool Aid (which is an acid and will not dye cotton but will dye mohair)  It makes for interesting fabric. 

I have never had a problem getting this fabric through my machine, but I think that maybe it does not glide as easily as other fabrics.

Joanne

gugu"s teddies gugu;s teddies
durban
Posts: 203

Hi Donna and Joanne
I am goig to see if i can buy Prociun and Rite Dye here
I was actually going to make a thick paste from Koolaid and paint the backing of the mohair ill try it see if works
I dont like to see the white backing showing,glad for the tip
Keerp Hugging

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
gugu"s teddies wrote:

Hi Donna and Joanne
I am goig to see if i can buy Prociun and Rite Dye here
I was actually going to make a thick paste from Koolaid and paint the backing of the mohair ill try it see if works
I dont like to see the white backing showing,glad for the tip
Keerp Hugging

Don't waste your time with Kool Aid, it will not dye the back.  I did all kinds of experiments adding salt and vinegar.  It works like and acid dye and acid dyes really only dye protein, which would be the fur.

But something else I experimented with which works really great is using hair color.  If you have ever used hair color you know it will dye anything it touches.  I have painted that on the back of mohair to get one color and then used kool aid.  And I have dyed fur and back with it.  It works well.  The fur stayed in beautiful condition, after all it is meant to dye hair.

It is not cheap though,  I cut all of my pieces out first plus a little extra. To cover a full 1/4 m of fabric would require probably 2 bottles if you were doing back and fur. 

Joanne

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

There is also the dye you get from Australia that you can mix and paint on the backing and leave the fiber for the acid dye or dye the entire piece with it.  For the life of me I can't think of the name of it now.  I have a set of it at the other house.  It makes some interesting bears because it is thick enough to make designs.  You let it dry before you rinse it so the colors do not run together.

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Donna wrote:

There is also the dye you get from Australia that you can mix and paint on the backing and leave the fiber for the acid dye or dye the entire piece with it.  For the life of me I can't think of the name of it now.  I have a set of it at the other house.  It makes some interesting bears because it is thick enough to make designs.  You let it dry before you rinse it so the colors do not run together.

Earth Palette dyes are probably what you are thinking about.  They have dyes for cotton and well as acid dyes for the fur.

Joanne

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