CARE FOR YOUR BEAR
Display And Storage
Teddy Bears are made from a variety of fabrics and stuffing so need to be preserved from a number of different destructive elements; dust, sunlight, damp, pests and smoke. A glass dome or cabinet is the best way to display and protect your Teddy Bears from dust, which is one of their biggest enemies. Dust clogs and attracts moths and other pests into the fabric. Some pot pourri or a sachet of lavender nearby will deter moths. Beware of sitting your bear in direct sunlight as light can cause the fur to oxidise and change colour.The dye in coloured old Bears will fade naturally but direct sunlight will speed up the process and may cause the fabric to rot. Also, avoid leaving ted near radiators, pipes or air conditioning outlets as the mohair, will, over time become brittle. Clothing your bear will offer some protection from dust and sunlight. Choose clothes that are not too tight in order to allow air to circulate around the mohair. You may even enhance the character of your bear in the process.
To store your Bears long term, wrap them in WHITE, acid-free tissue paper or alternatively a WHITE cotton pillowcase. DO NOT use colours as the dye may rub off. Place Ted in a suitable box and add some cedar-wood shavings or a sachet of lavender to deter insects. Always store in a cool, dry place. Remember your roof space may get very hot during the summer months.
Regular Care of Antique/Vintage Bears
It is important to regularly check the fur of your Antique/Vintage Bears as their fur attracts larvae from carpet beetles and moths which feed on the wool fibres. Larvae from furniture beetles may attack wood-wool/excelsior stuffing and even animal fleas can cause a problem with mohair. Part the mohair fibres and check for larvae castings (small oval papery castings); pay special attention to joint crevices and where the ears attach to the head. One of the first signs of infestation is tiny holes in the felt pads. If your bear shows signs of infestation either:
1: Put him in a plastic bag and put him in the freezer for 4 - 7 days (depending on the size of the bear). When he emerges, take him out of the plastic bag and leave him to dry out naturally. When completely dry, give him a gentle brushing.
2: Place him in a large plastic bag or bin liner, spray inside with insect/moth repellant, seal the bag and leave for approximately ten days. When he emerges, give him a gentle brushing to remove any debris.
N.B: Please seek specialist advice before treating mechanical or musical bears in either of these ways.
Regularly vacuum your bear using low power setting with gauze/stockings/old tights over the end of the nozzle, but be careful not to damage claw stitching and be sure to keep clear of eyes, buttons, labels, (they significantly improve the value of a bear). A good way to get rid of nasty dust mites.
Very occasionaly, give Ted a blanket bath. Use a JUST DAMP, WHITE cloth to wipe over the SURFACE of his fur only. Don't dampen/touch his pads. When THOROUGHLY dry, give him a gentle brushing.
Some modern, synthetic teddy bears can be washed, mainly children's bears, but some modern materials react badly to water - so BEWARE. Pay attention to care labels which may indicate "Surface Wash Only". Never attach a bear to a clothes line by his ears - always place him in a muslin bag and peg the bag to the line to dry the bear. When completely dry, brush the fur with a teasel brush to seperate the matted plush fibres.
If your bear IS washable (NOT just surface washable); immerse in a bowl of warm water with either baby shampoo or a detergent for woollens. Gently remove any stains with a bristled brush e.g a toothbrush is good for this. Rinse and leave to dry completely.
Surface wash a modern teddy bear the same as with the Antique/Vintage bears, using a JUST DAMP, WHITE cloth to wipe over the surface of his fur only. Do not dampen/touch his pads. When THOROUGHLY dry, give him a gentle brushing.
NEVER NEVER NEVER .............
subject your bear to the dry cleaners - the chemicals used are harmful to him
put your bear in the washing machine - unless instructions clearly indicate that he will survive
immerse jointed bears in water - the card/wooden joints will fall apart/deteriorate
store your bear in a plastic bag - moisture may build up causing mold growth
We have only covered regular, basic care here, but with the proper care, display and storage, your teddy bear should give you many years of pleasure and be an heirloom to leave behind you. Please feel free to email us here at The House Of Genista if you have any questions regarding the care of your Teddy Bear:
If you are ever in any doubt about the care of your bear, or for major repairs, please take him to a reputable, skilled restorer - someone who specialises in restoring Antique/Vintage Teddy Bears, so that they retain their original charm