How to Make a Mohair Teddy Bear
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.
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?
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!
More Mohair Teddy Bear Artists
- Artist Bears, Handmade Teddy Bears and Mohair Teddy Bears
Artist Bears, Handmade Teddy Bears and Mohair Bears. Original One of a Kind Collectible Custom handmade Mohair Artist Teddy Bears and Friends by Award Winning Needle Sculpture Artist Denise Purrington
- Artist Teddy Bears - Teddies by Laura Lynn
Fully jointed, mohair teddy bears created by Laura Lynn Matthews. Most are one of a kind. My bears are designed as adult collectibles.
- Big Feet Bears
This morning our cat trod on the keyboard of the computer, and somehow managed to change the settings so that every time I bring up a photograph on screen, it looks short and fat. I've no idea how to rectify this - I suppose I'll have to wait until h
- Edinburgh Imports, Inc
Edinburgh Imports, Inc. Your source for teddy bear making supplies & 100% Schulte German Mohair.
- Handmade Bears by LoriBelle Designs
LoriBelle Bears are handmade artist bears crafted with mohair, recycled fur coats and high quality plush fur. Memory bears are also made from your loved one's clothing.
- Whendi's Bears - Maker of Vintage Style Bears & Folk Art
Maker of Vintage & Whimsical style mohair teddy bears, rabbits, elephants, dogs, giraffes and now zebras too! All my designs are original and created by me.
Will you try your hand at making a Mohair Teddy Bear? If not, what's holding you back?