I was just wondering if any of you lovely people could help please.
Do you use cotton natural fibre filling for your bears, and if so, are you happy with the results? I am wondering whether this will "break down" after time or whether it goes lumpy when you are stuffing. Is it good for paw and footpad stuffing? What are its good points and what are its bad points, if any! Can you stuff heads nicely with it? Sorry for all the questions!
I used to use cotton years ago, and liked it then- but I tried it again last year and hated it this time!:) I found it really hard to get the needle through when I did the nose, and it tended to lump up as well. I still have some of the bears I stuffed with it maybe ten years ago and they are ok, don't seem to have had any breakdown in the filling.
Now I use wool to stuff with- I wool!
Hi Marilyn, I recently used cotton as a substitute to kapok for creating an old style bear. I found it really got up my nose and it clung to everything too ... I don't think I would have like to use it for the head, but I did like the finished result for the body etc and didn't find any probs with the paws ... but I line those first anyway, which really helps to get an even, whatever I stuff with. My preferred filler is a polyester and cotton blend which is quite a heavyweight filling. I decided that cotton was quite hard to work with for filling and the poly/cotton blend gives the best of both worlds.
Thank you so much Karen and Paula, so kind of you.
Karen, Yes I had wondered whether it would be hard to get a needle through a tightly stuffed head with this. I can imagine that a wool filling would be nice to work with.
Paula, I love the sound of the poly/cotton blend as it sounds perfect for what I am needing at the moment. I didn't realise such a thing existed in the stuffing world.
Many thanks girls!! Happy stuffing!
I use natural cotton batting (with the little brown bits, etc.) that I got from an upholsterer . I use it in combination with excelsior. I like it a lot because it stuffs firmly and is not "bouncy". I put excelsior in the noses and tend to have the cotton more towards the interior middle of pieces with the excelsior as the outer layer. I like the crunchiness the excelsior gives. I haven't had any problems with lumps. I tend to wear a mask with all stuffings as they all bother me. My bears are also on the smallish side. I don't know how it would be for large bears.
Many thanks for your information and I can certainly see that the use of the cotton with the excelsior would be a nice combination for a bear. I managed to get a small sample of the cotton filling from a supplier and I can see that a face mask would be a good thing when using this! Happy bearing!
For minis I use kapok or cotton, for the bigger guys I use a polyester-from CRS crafts....it packs so nicely and lumpy free.....
I hate how the cottn and the Kapok go all over the place, and up your nose, in your tea, in the shower, in the cat's water......is there no where this sryff wont show up?
The only time I use it is of I have a heavy music box or similar in the body or a waggy shaft or nod and no mechanism in the head. It doesn't move or break down. As others have said it is very difficult to sew a nose ot get the eye needle through for the head. If you do use it in the head you have to coat the needle in talcum powder and use a screwing motion to get it through.
It has its uses but not my first choice at all. As for paw pads, if you trying to do pulled toes it has no 'give' as such and unless you are very good at stuffing it can get lumpy as well.
Hi Dilu and Sandra,
Thank you so much for your replies! It seems that the cotton fibre sure gets around! Your poor cat Dilu!! He!
I like my bears to feel really substantial and the filling to be nice and firm. I use polyester fibre generally but find that with my current batch, I can stuff a bear to feel fine, but then a couple of days later, I find I can stuff far more in again as it seems to have "softened". This is why I never stuff a bear and then go and sew it up straight away (not that I usually feel like doing that anyway!!). It can get quite expensive though when you try different things and find that they are not producing the feel and performance that you want! .
Thank you all for your help. Have a good bearing day!
Hello Sandra ,
Ah, thank you so much for coming back again on this - you are a sweetie!
Yes, the thought of using wool would be brilliant. Karen has also mentioned using this and I think it would be a very good thing to try. The thought of a cuddly bear stuffed with soft warm inviting wool is rather nice. I will have to try and find a supplier in the UK but it is not something that my usual suppliers have - unless anyone know where it can be bought from??? hint hint!!!
Thank you for all your help Sandra - it is most appreciated.
Peacock fibres sell cotton fibre for stuffing...it's quite weighty unlike kapok not flyaway and I sometimes mix it with the polyfibre as it really packs down very tightly...with nice neat results..not lumpy. I get round the nose stitching issue by stuffing the front of the muzzle first with woodwool...
Hope that's a help..
Thank you for your help! Yes, I received a sample of the cotton fibre from Peacocks earlier this week but before going ahead and ordering a lot of it, I thought I would see how other TT-ers had got on with it. I had just wondered if it would break down in time or go lumpy. I think I will be trying this plus a couple of other fillings too which sound nice and maybe just use different qualities for different styles of bear. How lovely to have a choice though!