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Dye your Teddy's Fur

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Create a unique and different look for each of your teddy bears. Now you can dye the fur to get young and old looking bears. You can do this by using your stove top or washing machine.

Dyeing mohair fabric is easy. You can create unique, one-of-a-kind bears by dyeing their fur.
 

Rit dyes are easy to use and the easiest to find in stores. Their liquid dyes create bright colors, while their powdered dyes are a better choice for that "old bear" look. A tea bath after the fabric has dried will tone down the brightness of liquid dyes. Also, adding a very small amount of black, dark brown or khaki dye will help to achieve an old look to the fur.

You may cut the fabric out, then dye it, or even sew it together before dyeing. Depending on the temperature of the water, the cotton backing may shrink. If you sew before you dye you must pick all the fur out of the seams first. Fur caught in the seams will not take the dye as dark as the rest of the fabric.

You do not need to begin with white fabric. You may dye over another color. Even when using the same dye bath, you will get a totally unique look if each fabric is a different base color.

Test a swatch before dyeing the whole piece of fur fabric. Keep a record of amounts of water and dye, water temperature and length of time you have the fur in the dye solution. Dye enough fabric to complete your entire bear. Regardless of how carefully you follow your dyeing "recipe", no two dye baths will produce exactly the same color. Include the felt or suede fabric you will be using on your bear in the dyeing process. Be sure to do a test of the paw pad fabric also.

Stove Top Method:

You will need a container large enough to hold sufficient water to cover the fabric, a measuring cup and spoon, wire grooming brush, stirring stick or spoon, and dye.
Read and follow directions on the dye package for stove top method.

  1. In your stove top pot, mix enough dye bath to more than over your fabric.
     
  2. Heat dye bath to the same temperature you would wash 100% cotton--backing of mohair is 100% cotton.
     
  3. Wet down the fabric in clear tap water. A very important step so the dye takes evenly.
     
  4. Submerge the wet fabric in the dye bath, stirring frequently for 20 minutes or until the fabric is the desired color. It will dry a lighter shade.
     
  5. Rinse in cool water until rinse water is clear.
     
  6. Squeeze out excess water.
     
  7. If the fabric is a straight pile you may dry the fabric in the dryer on a low setting. For distressed fur fabric, it is best to hang by the salvage edge or lay flat to dry.
     

Washing Machine Method:

You will need dye and bleach.
Read and follow directions on the dye package for washing machine method.

  1. Wet down the fabric in clear tap water. A very important step so the dye takes evenly.
     
  2. Mix dye in washer before you put the fabric in.
     
  3. Set washing time to longest setting.
     
  4. Be sure to run one load of bleach water through a full cycle immediately after dye load. Wipe all the surfaces of the washer to be sure all dye is cleaned up.
     
  5. If the fabric is a straight pile, you may dry the fabric in the dryer on a low setting. For distressed fur fabric, it is best to hang by the salvage edge or lay flat to dry.
     

 

 

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