Thursday, October 4, 2012

Perhaps there's a Reason that it's Called Magic Tape!

 
This guy looks like a pretty happy fellow now, doesn't he?  However, in my opinion at least, it wasn't always the case.  A little magic was necessary first!
 
This is how he looked after he was pretty much "finished."  (Though I still have to wax his nose.)
 

As you can see, his fur is all higgledy-piggledy.  Yes, that is a technical term!  For those uninitiated with my technical terms, his fur is all over the place and his seams are quite visible.  Sometimes no matter how carefully you lay out your pattern, the fur on the cut pieces will go "this way and that."
 
Now I was told that he looked cute this way, but I personally prefer a more finished look.  Every bear maker has their preferences and I want my bears to look like their fur grows just like a real bear's fur does.
 

 
So with my arsenal of "magic tape" (also known as "Scotch Tape") and a brush, I set to work.  Yes, I use a dog's brush that I bought specifically for the purpose of brushing my bears.

 
First I dampen the fur and try not to get the backing too wet--we don't want the fabric to stretch funny.  After combing the fur in the direction I want, I then lay piece after piece of tape gently on the fur to hold it in place.

 
Here he is above with his head "done."  But, as you can see, his body still needs some work.  After more water, more brushing, and LOTS more tape, here's a photo of him below as he waits to dry.  I generally do this procedure in the evening and let the bear sit overnight, or stand as the case may be, until I take off all of the tape.

 
After removing wads and wads of tape (perhaps I should invest in 3M?) and a quick comb-out, this little bear looks much happier, in my opinion.

 
I've started doing this technique on almost all of my bears now because I really like the result.  I can't remember where I learned about this, but I have a hunch that it's from Nancy Tillberg.  
 
This works wonderfully with natural fibers such as mohair and alpaca, however I would guess that it wouldn't work so well with synthetic furs.  I've found though that the nap of synthetic fibers tend to be more "in line" with the grain of the backing rather than on a diagonal as are many mohairs.  Therefore, I haven't felt compelled to try this on one of my Tissavel bears yet.
 
I suppose I'd better go wax this fellow's nose now.  I always wait to do the waxing until after I'm finished with the water--water spots on noses aren't a happy thing.
 
Take good care of yourself!
Cheryl

27 comments:

  1. I want my mummy! Ha ha! I couldn't resist saying that since it's the month of Halloween. What will they think up next?

    I use tape too but I haven't gotten to where I wrap them in it - yet. There maybe be hope for me eventually.

    Good for you figuring out what works!

    ~ginger

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    1. LOL!!! He does look like a mummy!! I never thought of that!

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  2. Great tip! He looks like the mummy with his tape costume on. I do remember hair tape when I was a teenager and would tape my wet hair before bed...much more comfortable than hair culers. Cute, cute bear!

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    1. Both you and Ginger are on the same page! I'll never look at one of my taped up bears the same again. LOL!!

      Thanks, Jeanie! I'm glad you like him.
      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  3. I would have never dreamed to do this, and now I will. I use a blow dryer and brush. This looks a whole lot easier and more effective. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. You're very welcome, Joanne! I used to use a blow dryer and brush and it just wasn't always as effective as I wanted it to be. This technique hasn't failed me yet!

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  4. I love this! What a cute picture of him standing there all covered in Scotch tape! :o) Does the tape leave any residue on the fur? Such a cute bear. xx

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    1. Thanks, Debora! No, I've never noticed any residue from the tape left on the fur. Perhaps there might be a residue if the tape was left on for a very, very long time. However, I always take it off the next day or, if I do the taping in the morning, much later on the same day. I'm just too impatient to see the results to wait any longer than that. LOL!!

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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    2. Oh, I would be impatient, too! :o) Thanks so much for the tip, and it's good to hear there's no residue. Most of the mohairs I use are wavy and distressed...I think some very creative use of water and tape will have to be employed. ;o)

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  5. Hee hee, I totally do this on bear heads, and when I'm stitching the nose to keep the surrounding fur out of it, I'm also thinking of investing in 3M ;o)

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    1. Yes, we should invest in 3M. I use tape when I wax the noses and when I'm embroidering noses on long haired bears--particularly faux fur ones that have really, really dense fur.

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  6. Thank you for sharing! So simple but so effective!

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  7. Thanks so much for the tip, Cheryl. I dampen my fur and comb it several times in the drying process. This sounds easy, just comb, tape and forget.
    Hugs
    Kay

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    1. I'm glad you like the tip, Kay! Yes, I like the "forget" it part. LOL!!

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  8. This is a great tip! I also wet the mohair/fur a bit and do brushing to get it going in the same direction, but I would've never thought to use tape to hold it in place. He looks adorable!

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    1. Thanks, Tyler! I hope the tip is helpful.

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  9. LOL......poor little thing taped all over. But it's the best thing you can do Cheryl. I do it the same way just like you and sometimes I make the fur soaking wet too.
    And dog brushes are pretty good to use as well. They are also in my stash.

    Hugs from Holland, Thea x

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    1. Oh good, Thea! I was starting to think that I was the only crazy person taping my poor bears up like mummies! And, yes, like you, I'll get the fur soaking wet too--I just try not to get the backing TOO wet (although it sometimes still gets wet in spots).

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  10. Love this tip, Cheryl! I definitely will use it in the future! Hugs, Janice p.s. Thanks for the link to the on line show, too! I had no idea there was going to be an on line show next weekend!

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    1. I'm glad that you like it, Janice!! And enjoy the show next weekend!

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  11. Oh this is such a wonderful technique. Does it ever remove any of the mohair though? I'm tempted to try this on minky as well. Ahhh must go and pick up lots of scotch tape.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Maggie

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    1. No, it's never removed any of the mohair when I've done it. However, I put the tape on gently because I often want the mohair to have some body and "fluff," if you know what I mean. The tape just needs to lightly touch the mohair to do the job--just enough to hold some of the strands in the direction you want.

      Hope this helps!
      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  12. Very, very nice thought out, Cheryl! 'll Take on a note, thanks! Bear is perfect!)))Hugs, Julia.

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    1. Thanks, Julia!! I'm glad that you like the post and the bear!

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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  13. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl. He's adorable!

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I'm glad you like the post and the bear!

      Heaps of Hugs,
      Cheryl

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