I had a suspicion confirmed this week. Yes, I am indeed, without a doubt, allergic to mohair.
Those of you who are bear artists know exactly how momentous that discovery was. You see, the standard material used in the artist bear world is mohair.
Although I first suspected this months ago when I started making my bears for the Cobblestone Court line, I wasn't entirely sure that the condition of my hands was due to the mohair or something else. The scientist in me (yes, it is still in there) couldn't rule out if it were perhaps due to dry weather or something I'd touched in the garden, or a new cleaning solutions, etc, etc. But after having not sewn with mohair for a month or so until this past week, I am sure.
Sigh . . . now what do I use? Luckily there is a plethora of faux furs available now. I spent a good portion of this weekend browsing the internet in search of "the good stuff." And I'm happy to say the UPS man will be busy making deliveries to my house very soon!
In the meantime, I found a few faux pieces in my stash that I had forgotten about. One is the fur I used on the dormouse I shared here. It is much more dense than the mohair I've been using and while I just adore the way it feels and behaves, it may take me a while to adjust the patterns for the next Gentry. I am confident these new bears will be just what I envision as this type of material really does appeal more to my own aesthetics.
I also came across a piece of upholstery velvet that has now been sewn into a new mouse ~ a traveling salesman is coming to Cobblestone Circle! Stay tuned.