Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Thread Bears...

For the last 25 years, 3 raggedy old teds have weathered cold, damp, dust and neglect, stuffed into a box in the well room of my parent's house. Once in a while, I dig around in it, hunting for this or that and I take them out, give them a squeeze and put them back.  Seems a sad fate for the bears I loved best of all.

So, this summer I brought them home.

Children I think have a natural instinct to love the underdog and despite his piles of adored new animals with hypo-allergenic super-soft stuffing, the boy has taken my old bears to heart.  Teddy, Panda, (apparently I was not a particularly imaginative child) and Timmy (originally my Father's and dating from the 1930s) have a place on his pillow at night - and by day, take their turns being allowed to watch him do his homework, play Minecraft, or build Lego.

Recently however, I noticed that Teddy had a particular smell.  Not a bad smell - a sort of sweet, chemical smell and I began to think critically about what a bear made in the 60s might have for stuffing.  The answer, apparently is 'powder'.

I ended up taking them all apart.

Timmy was the best.  Hand made, most likely by a relation, in the 1930s he was originally stuffed with sawdust, (some of which still lingered around the odd paw) however had been re-stuffed, with wool.   Panda had a remarkably sound but very weird moulded rubbery inner - but Teddy was stuffed with foam which had completely broken down.

Anyway, I found the whole thing fascinating.  I opened them, emptied them, turned them inside out and mended them, soaked them and washed them, re-filled them with washable stuffing which should take them through another 40-odd years, put new chamois behind Timmy's nose, bought Teddy some new eyes and stitched them up - and this is how it went.


Not that tubby or chubby and definitely not stuffed with fluff:

(except for Timmy here...)

 ...and nobody knows (tiddly pom) how cold my toes... etc...*:

...and here they are.  Not quite like new, but as good as it gets for 3 bears with a combined age of 150:
And that's about it.  They might not look it, but I think they're pretty happy as teds go. They get cuddled and carted around and dropped on the stairs like real bears and, more importantly, when it drops below freezing in the well room they will be clean, dry and snuggled up underneath a duvet with someone who loves them. 

Sounds like a good winter to me.

 *obvious thanks to AA Milne for this bit