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How to Make a Mohair Teddy Bear

Updated on January 16, 2014

Mohair Teddy Bears are the Comfort Classic!

Wouldn't you love to be able to create your own special teddy bear? Whether you choose to hand-stitch or work on a machine, a special, hand-created teddy bear makes a wonderful gift and a great heirloom!

This page will tell you a bit more about mohair and teddy bear making, as well as providing you with some great resources for making your own bears.

Mohair comes from the Angora goat
Mohair comes from the Angora goat

What is Mohair?

The fiber used for Classic Teddy Bears

Mohair is a silky-textured fiber that was used to make early Teddy Bears. It is soft, durable and lightweight.

Mohair is the hair of the Angora goat which is then spun into yarn and used in knit, crochet and woven applications. Because of its strength and durability as well as its light weight, mohair is popular in application as knit or crochet scarves.

Mohair is a fiber that is commonly used in creating Teddy Bears. It is soft and "furry" and creates a beautiful and endearing effect.

While Teddy Bears did go through a dry spell when cheap synthetic fibers were more popular than the natural texture of the mohair, many artisans are going back to the roots of the Teddy Bear crafting in order to create unique and classic bears.

Purchase Mohair on Ebay - If you want to make a good bear, you need Mohair

If you are going to make a classic Teddy Bear you are going to need to purchase some Mohair fabric. This fabric varies in price and is, in fact, going down in cost. If you take making Teddy Bears seriously, then you will want to make this sacrifice in order to have the best of the best.

Mohair comes in several colors and is usually dyed to the color that you want, though Angora goats are now being bred in a variety of colors and some whites, creams, reds and shades of black and gray may be natural.

Please purchase the fur fabric!

Should Teddy Bears be Sewn by Hand or Machine?

The choice is yours... but....

Teddy Bears come in a variety of sizes. You can make them very large or very, very small, depending on your preferences and whether or not you are sewing the bear for a toy or as a collectible. Unless your bear is particularly small, you have a choice of whether or not to stitch your bear by hand or by machine (I recommend hand-sewing very small Teddy Bears).

That being said, hand sewing your Teddy Bear is considered traditional and gives you significantly more control over the pile (the fur) of the fabric. Having sewn bears and other plush toys both ways, I personally very much prefer to do this work by hand. Unless your bear is particularly large, you won't gain a lot of speed on a sewing machine.

Just be sure to reinforce your seams if you are stitching by hand.

Hand Sewing Vs. Machine Sewing

Many people believe that the integrity of the hand-made bear is marred by machine sewing. What is your opinion on the subject?

Should Teddy Bears be Sewn by Hand or Machine?

Only by hand and NEVER by Machine. Have some integrity!

Only by hand and NEVER by Machine. Have some integrity!

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    • Fit And Fab 4 years ago

      This bear looks soooo cute. Yeah, I can't imagine using a machine for a small bear...it would be harder I think..having to twist and turn the material so you can follow the edge. Nice lens.

    • CCGAL 5 years ago

      A collectible, one of a kind Teddy that is hand sewn is practically priceless to the one who receives it. Let other people have their machine sewn, mass produced bears, but I'll have a hand sewn one to cherish, thank you.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Im at peace either way but there is something extra special about anything hand sewn.

    Machine sewing is fine, if you have the skill. It speeds up the process!

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      • renagirl 5 years ago

        I would love it either way

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        whatever you prefer, i use both

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        A bit of both, I don't see what's wrong with using machine! It saves time and makes a stronger seam. Once you're skilled with it, you can even do "fiddly" bits!

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        I say depends how you feel more confrotable with hand sewing or machine and which one you are better at the most

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        Why should there be an integrity issue when comparing machine sewing vs. hand sewing? Much of the teddy bear making process involves hand crafting & sewing, so when HAND GUIDED machine sewing can be used to accurately, securely and quickly sew the main seams (excluding miniatures) why would that imply less integrity? One can make other comparisons, like typing versus handwriting your literary work of art or using a power jigsaw in woodworking versus hand sawing. Is it working hard or working smart?

      How to Sew a Teddy Bear - Hand sewing your teddy bear

      You may need to watch this on Youtube, since there is a transcript of the video on the Youtube page. The young man who is doing the demonstration speaks very quietly throughout (you may also try turning your speaker volume up) but he does a wonderful job of illustrating how to make your own Teddy Bear. The bear in this video is hand sewn.

      Items you will need to make your Teddy Bear

      Notions and other supplies for making Mohair Teddy Bears

      • Mohair Fabric. Please purchase the fur!
      • Microfiber or felt for paws if the pattern calls for it.
      • Sewing machine or sturdy hand-sewing needle.
      • Filling/stuffing. I use polyester fiberfill but there are other fibers available.
      • Doll joints for a jointed bear.
      • Teddy Bear Eyes.

      Purchase your Teddy Bear Parts - Notions and parts are essential!

      I couldn't find glass Teddy Bear eyes anywhere on either Amazon or Ebay. These can be purchased from craft stores or specialty shops and are very easy to find (unlike the doll joints below!).

      To Create or to Buy a Pattern...

      Which should you choose?

      The decision of whether or not to purchase a Teddy Bear pattern or to create your own is entirely up to you. There are books (some of which are listed below) which will teach you how to create a Teddy Bear from scratch, including teaching you how to make your own pattern.

      Creating a pattern from scratch isn't particularly difficult, though it is ambitious. You will need to know Teddy Bear basics, including details such as how to create and sew the head gusset (shown in the video above). Purchasing a good instruction book or taking a class in bear-making is an excellent way to learn these skills.

      In any case, I recommend starting with a pattern that has already been put together for you. While this method isn't foolproof by any means, it will make your journey into learning to make Teddy Bears much easier. You will be surprised by how easy and fun it is!

      Get Started with a Teddy Bear Making Book! - Some suggestions...

      I started out making Mohair Teddy Bears by purchasing a book that I found at a second-hand book store. I was amazed at how easy this art form was, even if some of the supplies are just a little bit difficult to find.

      The following books are just some suggestions that might help you to get started in making your own Teddy Bears.

      Teddy Bears Make Terrific Gifts

      Whatever the age or gender, Teddy Bears make fantastic gifts!

      Teddy Bears make fantastic gifts for "children" of all ages. Whether you are looking for an excellent keepsake for a new baby in the family or are trying to comfort an elderly relative who has lost his or her spouse, a Teddy Bear is a great way for you to show somebody how much you love them and know them.

      It is absolutely worth it to try your hand at making your own Mohair Teddy Bears. It is much easier than you may initially think and is very much worth the time it takes to put together a new friend.

      Better yet, making your own Teddy Bears gives you a hobby that can be very fulfilling and even financially lucrative! If you get the hang of making these little darlings, you may even find yourself creating your own patterns -- in giant sizes or in miniatures.

      Teddy Bears have so much personality because their artisans have such personality. There are many, many great patterns available and some excellent artists.

      Don't Want to Take the Teddy Bear Plunge? - Try the Original!

      If you don't feel that you are ready to take the plunge and begin making your own Teddy Bears from a pattern or from scratch, you may be interested in the original: Steiff. These are the classic Teddy Bear and are surprisingly affordable. These bears make excellent gifts for anyone of any age, but particularly for collectors!

      Will you try your hand at making a Mohair Teddy Bear? If not, what's holding you back?

      Will you give it a try? - Making Teddy Bears is for you, too!

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        • steadytracker lm profile image

          steadytracker lm 3 years ago

          What a great lens, and very inspirational too. I love the idea of recycling things in to toys for the kids. Thank you for taking the time to share.

        • Fit And Fab profile image

          Fit And Fab 4 years ago

          Great lens. I like the idea of recycling material so if you have some on hand that is still good quality then would be good to put it to good use. Great tips here.

        • CCGAL profile image

          CCGAL 5 years ago

          I have a vintage mink stole that I've kept, along with a dozen or so books about Teddy bears, in order to make a very special one of a kind Teddy for my daughter. However ... a mohair bear would also be awesome. I loved the photo of the angora goat because we had 3 of them when I was a young girl and I haven't seen any for a very, very long time.

        • renagirl profile image

          renagirl 5 years ago

          No Ill leave that to the experts

        • renstar lm profile image

          renstar lm 6 years ago

          Great Lens the moment i try to make one my rottweiler cross staffie Kingston would eat it for dinner, very nice bears thou

        • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

          Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

          Hi do you know that there is a stuffed toys section in hobbies and games that this would fit wonderfully in? Hope so and I am definitely ready to be tagged. Fun one please :)

        • CathyLou LM profile image

          CathyLou LM 6 years ago

          Hopefully once my sewing room is finished being renovated, I will add one of these cute bears to my project list!

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          I probably won't get to making a mohair Teddy Bear any time soon but you have struck my interest for somewhere down the road. Your intro picture is precious, well done!

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          marsha32 6 years ago

          I featured you un the rocketmoms section here http://www.squidoo.com/makeastripquilt

        • SoyCandleLover profile image

          BW Duerr 7 years ago from Henrietta, New York

          How precious. Thanks for providing all the tools and resources to make your own teddy. :D

        • Everyday-Miracles profile image
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          Everyday-Miracles 7 years ago

          @puzzlerpaige: The only part that is even remotely tricky to me is the head. And even that isn't particularly difficult. Mistakes just add character to the bear!

        • puzzlerpaige profile image

          puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

          I would like to give it a try one day. I sew, but never sewed a teddy bear. I do have a teddy bear I've had for 30 years though. His name? Teddy! Love this les.

        • Everyday-Miracles profile image
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          Everyday-Miracles 7 years ago

          @WindyWintersHubs: Thank you!

        • WindyWintersHubs profile image

          WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

          Adorable. I would love to make a teddy bear. Thank you for providing the instructions. Lensrolling to my Teddy Bear lenses. :)