Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Ventilation - The Art of Knotting Hair

I have had a couple of queries regarding how to learn to ventilate and/or comments from people who remarked that they were struggling to ventilate, so I thought I would post a little help here.

Ventilation is a difficult process to describe accurately solely by words, so I thought I would post the video that I found most helpful when I was learning:

  1. Get a large piece of tulle or wig net instead of lace, a ventilating needle & holder and some hair. Pin a piece of the tulle or wig net to your block SECURELY. Ricky doesn't have his pinned very securely, but then he is a professional so he can get away with this, but if you are learning and your tulle/net is flapping, it makes it just that bit harder as you don't know - at this stage - how to compensate for it.
  2. Practice catching one hair in the needle. It is much easier to learn to ventilate if you focus on one hair.
  3. It's all about the tension! - The way that a knot is formed relies very heavily on the wig maker having the correct tensions between the hair that is held in a loop in one hand and the needle that has caught the hair and is pulling it through in the other hand... if the tension on the needle is not strong enough, you will struggle and end up losing the hair out of the needle.
  4. Don't pull too much! If you pull the hair strand hooked on the needle too far away from the loop in your other hand you will struggle to maintain the correct tension. Keep it small and neat. You need enough hair pulled through but not too much that it becomes loose and falls off the hook. 
Once you have mastered ventilating several rows of single strand hair, you can then progress onto using a piece of lace (which has smaller holes) and practice some rows on there. 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Back to the Wig Block - Working on a Small Hairpiece

It's September and I am finally back to normal - so my blogging and answering emails should become more frequent. Apologies to anyone who has been waiting for a reply! I shall be catching up with replies this week. I was away for much of August, so had put down the ventilating hook and the computer/blogging/emailing and taken a break. I think sometimes this is just what we need when we work so hard at a craft that is quite physically and mentally demanding.

Anyway, back to the wig block! I am in the midst of working on another hairpiece. This particular one is the smallest I have made so far and I shall be interested to see how it works on the wearer's head. I am hoping it will function as intended. It is a clip-on hairpiece that has a seamed/galloon edge. My concern is that with length being far greater than width, it may not sit as flat as I would like.

Tiny Hairpiece Base - Parting Piece
One issue with making a hairpiece is that it is very hard to tell exactly how it will behave until you have finished it as the weight of the ventilated hair adds an element of structure/stiffness to the 'floppy' base and that, in turn, helps to keep the hairpiece flush to the wearer's head (I guess the force of the weight of the hair is being exerted downwards onto the scalp). As a result, I shall have to see what the end result is and will report back with some pictures.

I have some wig pictures to post of a lace front wig that I made - will post them at some point in the next few weeks.