Loading... Please wait...

Clemens Bears of Germany since 1948 | teddy Bears and collectibles and soft toys | wholesale and retail


How the Bears are Made

clemens-creation-1.jpg

Once the decision is made to create a new bear, the materials and high quality mohair have to be carefully sourced and the dunnage prepared for stuffing the bear.   This is an exciting time when arms, legs, head and body are cut out and then lovingly stitched together.

The bear tailor is consumed in his work and can hardly wait to see what the first bear will look like.

It is usual for the first bear to be kept by the Bear Artist and the others in the limitation will then be offered for sale.

However no two bears are ever exactly alike even if the tailor uses the same cuts and follows the pattern as carefully as possible and this is the great attraction of bears, for a slight difference in the texture or colour of the mohair or the slightest difference in the glass eyes can change the expression and the whole emotional feel of the individual bear.

SO WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO MAKING THAT PERFECT BEAR?

The slice – the secret of sewing lies in the precision of the cutting. The more careful the material is cut, the easier the stitching will be later. Since the material is thick, it is best to produce the outline in cardboard and transfer the parts with carbon paper. It is important to record the thread runs and the lines for the tucks. Every different material part needs to be noted.

The material – it is important that the material is natural wherever possible although fur, plush and velvet are often used. Web substances are used to keep the shape when stuffing and an active agent Vlieseline may be ironed onto the back.

The tailor uses her hand to find out which direction the hair runs before she carefully makes her cuts using small and very sharp scissors.

The eyes – glass eyes give the bear his expression. The two eyes are either set separately or in pairs where the wire is divided and bent with a flat-nose plier to each eye. You need a very firm twisted thread for this. With the head already stuffed, lead the needle at an angle and come out above the muzzle at the seam. Take hold of the eye and sew it into place. Later any sewing traces will be covered by the ears. For small children it is safer to embroider the eyes so they are machine washable.

clemens-creation-2.jpg

The nose and mouth – thick, black wool or shiny mercerized yarn are suitable for embroidering. The size of the nose and mouth is determined by the size of the bear. Start on the tip of the nose and fill out the nose triangle with narrow stitches. For clean edges put some stitches crossways over the upper nose edge. The mouth is a “Y” upside down and several stitches should be put on top of each other so they remain visible through the fur.

The pinch – use the same thread to embroider the claws and hide the thread end in the fur.

The sewing thread – mattress thread is one of the most suitable sewing threads for fur as it yields an almost invisible seam and is particularly good for the bearskin parts. The “Cross Stich” is primarily used to prevent cutting edges from fraying and for stitching the paw covers.

The voice – it is easy to teach a bear to growl by inserting a growler in the tummy.

The plates – the plates are the joints of the bear. Through these the arms and legs can move and the head rotate. The size of the plates depends on the diameter of the neck, the upper arms and the thigh. Two plates, two washers and a cotton pin are needed for every joint.

The dunnage – the dunnage is the material used to stuff the bear and the appearance of the bear will depend on what is used. Cotton is the most common material because it can be easily processed, doesn’t get “lumpy” and is fully washable. Many old bears are stuffed with “wood-wool” but this should never get wet or it will lose its form. Another material is “kapok” which can help in “firming” the bear, and raw sheep wool is a wonderful filler. Alternatively foam material scraps are used to fill smaller bears. It is always important to check the seams before stuffing. Start slowly with the head, arms and legs to avoid lumps and air pockets. The bear needs to be beautifully solid and smooth all around.

A spoon handle is used to make sure everywhere is filled perfectly.

Every bear has it’s own personality and expression and remember that the most important thing is the happiness it can offer to children and collectors alike!


 
 
 
 

Connect with us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Subscribe to the Clemens Bears newsletter