I started to experiment by adding different fur materials to a sphere, what surprised me was how many different styles of fur there are and that the majority of them were nowhere near suitable for what we wanted for the teddy bear. Below are some of the render tests I did with different types of fur.
This fur is a bit too smooth and tidy.
Too long and scruffy.
The colour patches are not needed for Karens design.
A possible winner, but the fur looks a bit rough and hard instead of the soft feel that we want.
Too spikey, could be used for grass or wheat.
Too curly, almost looks like it could be itchy and uncomfortable.
Looks too sharp and rough.
The clumps look a little strange and don't suit our design choices.
The settings for each fur type can be manipulated so they can be changed to look more like you want them too, but getting the right style is incredibly difficult and requires a lot of time and effort which I can't afford right now as it's being spent on more relevant areas of work at the moment.
The render time was generally pretty long for just fur applied to a static sphere with no lights or anything else in the scene, plus the fur hasn't been animated so that would definitely bump up the render time. These shots are also rendered in low quality, the final renders of our animation will be in HD which will significantly increase the render time, depending on the amount of time we have for rendering this will not be practical to use. I will also play around with animating fur soon, just to see if it is practical or not to use on our project.