Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Learning To Make The Top - Vertex and Crown

After I spent some time just practicing ventilation - single and double knots - on small pieces of tulle, I decided that a good mini-project to get me started would be to learn how to make the top of a wig. This would also constitute valuable practice at making a topper or closure as essentially such hair pieces cover some of, or the whole of, that area.

Ventilating technical issues with making the crown and the vertex, in my opinion, centre around the following:

  1. Realistic flow and placement of hair at the crown and "corners" of the rear vertex, in order to simulate bio hair growth
  2. The part line being realistic
  3. Establishing the correct density for the individual - not wanting it too "pouffy" or "wiggy"
  4. Graduated density at the front hair line
  5. A hair line that is not too 'perfect' or moon-shaped looking
  6. Neat, small knots
So far I have managed to conquer number 1 and number 3. I am getting there on number 4, 5 and 6. Number 2 is harder at this stage. I am still working out how to make the part line how I want it. I would ideally like to do a drawn through part line. I don't mind having a fixed part line at this stage, as I think doing an entire drawn-through vertex would be too ambitious and a lot of work. 

So here's some pictures of the WIP (work-in-progress) -

I have actually nearly finished it, so I will post pictures of the final piece shortly. 

This work was done on the styrofoam head as I had yet to purchase the canvas wig block. The hair piece is made using tulle with blue paper underneath to highlight the tulle/hair and to reduce eye strain. It has double knots in the lower back portion & single knots on the rest. I used a mixture of a #1 and #2 needle - the #1 is perfect for doing single hair knots and the #2 is good for picking up 2 hairs for the lower back where you might want more density. 

The hair used was cut from the wefts of an old processed human hair wig. The downside of using this type of hair for practice and/or for making an actual wearable hair piece or wig is that it can be variable in thickness, strand colour and durability. Some of the strands in the hair I have been using are very thick and dark, others are incredibly fine and almost translucent, while the rest are more what I would call normal. When ventilating using the very thick or fine strands, there can be quite a bit of breakage, so I have tended to bin those hairs. I would certainly not use hair like this to make anything other than a practice piece or practice wig. The hair quality is extremely poor and it is not worth the effort to hand tie all this hair for actual wearing! However, I would definitely recommend using hair like this to practice with at first. Later you might want to switch to a hair type that mimics or is the same as what you will be using to make your first wearable wig or hair piece. For example, I want to ultimately use caucasian or European hair, so at some point I will switch to that in order to get a feel for it. It is much finer than the hair I am currently using and I will, most probably, need to use a very small/fine needle. I will also experiment with Indian remy hair as this is another hair type that I would like to use. 

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