I 'haunted' TT many years ago when I first started making bears, but about 5 years ago I had to give up on them because of arthritis in my hands. But now I want to make one more bear - a Paddington Bear lookalike - but I want him to look as much like the character in the P.B.II film as I can get him. I have found a suitable pattern which allows for a lighter coloured muzzle, and I'm aiming for an almost realistic and expressive bear face with shaded and colour blended muzzle, needle felted paw & foot pads, and maybe small claws and armatured arms. Most of these techniques I have done before but my confidence has waned a bit over the years and my first stumbling block is which fabric to use! I would like to use Mohair (Hembold or Schulte) perhaps with a slight wave, but I'm unsure what length of pile would best suit a 12 inch bear. I've never made a bear that small before, mine were usually between 16 to 24 inches. I know to some extent it's a matter of personal taste, and I've been looking at 15-18mm lengths, but am I being too conservative, would something a bit longer be better? There is such a wide range of fabrics to choose from now! Any advice or suggestions would be so much appreciated. No doubt I will have a few more questions once I get started but I'll try not to ask things that have already been answered in existing topics.
Hi, Frances . . . so pleased you're going to make at least one more bear! When you used to visit Teddy Talk, did you ever look at our "Library" section? It has tons of information on many different aspects of making teddy bears. This is just my preference, but if I were making a 12 inch bear, I wouldn't use a mohair longer than 1 inch or around 25mm - so I think the 15-18mm range you're thinking about is good. If you can't find the information you need in the library, please feel free to ask questions and we'll do our best to answer them. Much luck with your Paddington!
Thank you for your quick reply. I used to spend a lot of time in the Library here, and over the past week I have spent hours and hours and HOURS in there reading about materials and techniques. I'm really back in bear mode now! I found a couple of references to fur pile length but nothing that quite answered my questions. But I think you may have now. It's interesting that you mention up to 1" (25mm). When I started looking at fabrics I thought would be too long, but there again a bear does have a lot of fur and should be a bit fluffy I think. I'll take another look at the 21-23mm fabrics.
Many thanks for your help