Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Stretched to breaking point..........

I am distraught.

Worried and distraught.

On the verge of panic, worried and distraught.

The cause of this distress?


Or to be more precise, tiny elastic.

For the past 15 years, I have been purchasing supplies of tiny elastic, suitable for stringing tiny dolls, from the US, but earlier this year, the company who made the elastic was bought out and the new owners seem to have changed the composition, so the tiny elastic is no longer as 'tiny' as it was. It's thicker and much less stretchy, which is disastrous.

I have a special tool which I use for making stringing holes in greenware, which is (or rather WAS) absolutely perfect for purpose. It made holes EXACTLY the right size to accommodate the elastic being pulled through after it had been bisque fired.

So what? (I hear you say).

Just make the holes bigger (you might advise)

Well it's just not that simple. It took maybe a year of trial and error to find a tool which would make just the right size of holes. This is because, when the porcelain arms and legs are fired, they shrink by up to 30%.

And the size of the hole shrinks in proportion.

And in any case, making bigger stringing holes in the doll's arms and legs will result in them looking clunky, clumsy and out of proportion.

In short, AWFUL!

You see the problem?

However that's only the half of it. The original tiny elastic was very thin but not so thin as shirring elastic. It was also very stretchy, but strong, unlike shirring elastic.

In short, it was perfect in every way.

The new elastic is ALL WRONG. It won't pull through the stringing holes. If I try to use pliers to pull it through, 9 times out of 10 the top of the arm or leg will break off.
If by some miracle I DO manage to get it through the hole, it is is too thick to make a neat knot.

I am in despair. Especially as I have somewhere in the region of 100 assorted tiny dolls and babies, destined for my new range of kits, awaiting stringing.

*holds head in hands*

It's going to be one of those days............


Tabitha Corsica said...

I am going to assume you have contacted the company in question about this developement? It never ceases to amaze me when things like this happen...and I find them happening all too frequently of late. Why can't they leave well enough alone? Why do they think change is improvement. But maybe they cannot get the same raw materials on there end...

Good luck with this.

Tabitha Corsica said...

forgot to mention...

Maybe someone has a stash of the "old" product around somewhere?? Just a thought.

Sandra Morris said...

Thanks Tabitha,

Yes I am investigating both your suggestions but time is of the essence.

The company who manufactures the elastic is somewhere in the far east, probably China. As far as they're concerned, one tiny elastic looks much like any other. The difference in thickness is minimal but critical, but the lack of stretchiness is even more of a problem. Perhaps they don't have the original 'recipe'.

It's very, VERY frustrating.