A Mini Lesson in Wig Making

There are two techniques of attaching hair to a wig. The 1st and oldest technique is to weave the root ends of the hair onto a warp of three silk threads to form a sort of fringe called a “weft”. The wefts are then stitched to a base created of net or other material.

In the 19th century, the second technique came into use. This method required a needle that had a small hook which was called a “ventilating needle”. This was similar to the tambour hooks used for decorating fabric with the chain-stitch embroidery, at that period it was used to knot some strands of hair directly to a proper foundation material.

This newer technique makes a lighter and more natural looking wig. High-quality custom wigs, and those used for film and theatrical productions are commonly produced this way. It’s also possible to merge the two techniques, using weft for the main part of the wig and ventilating hair at the edges and partings to give a fine finish.

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