Friday, 17 April 2009

Hubble, Bubble!

When I was first invited to create this special bear by a dedicated collector of artist bears, I wondered how I could ensure the bear would be the perfect colourway ... my collector loves brightly coloured bears and as intense mohair colours are more often than not, difficult to source direct from suppliers, I knew it wouldn't be easy to find the perfect colours 'off the shelf'' for this particular bear. So I put my thinking cap on, sought advice from other bearmakers and found myself pointed firmly in the direction of Woodland Witch (in the nicest possible sense) Rita, who is the font of all knowledge regarding such matters!

Rita's Rainbow Dyes

I arranged to have a chat with Rita at the Hugglets show in London earlier this year, to discuss how best to proceed and she kindly spent a considerable time prior to show opening (!) guiding me through my options to achieve the perfect hand dyed mohair with her 'Rainbow' dyes, created especially for use with mohair.

I mixed the carrot dye with hot water as directed and after dunking a small sample of mohair to test the colour strength, (one Marigold glove is inadequate by the way - I couldn't find the other one and consequently dyed my other hand!) plunged my mohair into the dye and left it for about twenty minutes to achieve the colour I needed.

Then I dunked my other piece of mohair into the pink potion - by this time I'd given up using the single rubber glove and dyed my hands shocking pink!

I rinsed both pieces of mohair in clear warm water, with a little fabric softener ...

At Rita's suggestion, I stored the leftover dye in a screw cap container when it had cooled, for use another time ...

... let my mohair dry in the breeze ...

... and finally, hubble, bubble, a little toil and not much trouble, here's my very colourful bespoke bear 'Calypso' a few days' later, ready to fly to the US to meet his owner!

If you would like to learn more about hand dyed mohair using Rita's 'Rainbow' dyes, please visit


  1. he's FABULOUS Paula, love those colours, isn't dying fun :) Even if our hands do turn a funny colour ;)
    Catherine x

  2. Well done Paula! A stunning bear in stunning colours love it! I use Rita's dyes as well and she is a good friend of mine too and when it comes to dying she has the answers to it all. Now, don't want to step on tooties or put a nose out of place here but they are not Earth Palette Dyes (whispering) as those are made here in Aussie - they are actually Rainbow Dyes ending with a big smile:o))

    Have a good weekend. Hugs Lyn x

  3. Oh, the dyed mohair turned out really well. congrats on achieving the colours and look you want for the bear! the bear's really very pretty. fantastic job, paula.

  4. Wow! great colours Paula.... he's so soft and fuzzy.... looks like apricot and pink candy floss to me... ....

  5. I bet your collector is ecstatic, I know I would be. He is gorgeous and you have pulled the colour combo off brilliantly
    Sue xx

  6. Great to hear you all like this cheerful bear! His new owner is really pleased with him too, so a good outcome all round!

    Lyn, thanks for setting me straight ... I'll make the amendment!

  7. oooooh he reminds me of the 'Drumstick' lollies. Yummy!

    Great to see his creation from beginning to end.

    Hugs, Sarah x

  8. mmm these colours make me think of lovely Italian Gelati! Delicious colour combination.


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