I love plaiting and weaving hair, so when the postman bough this bundle of red lusciousness to my door it was the perfect opportunity to have a play and see what could be done! Most of the styling I've been doing recently has been quite bold and theatrical with lots of accessorize so this time around I decided to bring more focus to the hair by going more modest in size and aiming for a classical look with intricate woven detailing.
Victorian Mourning Art 'Hair Flower'
I've been very inspired recently by Victorian Mourning Art - a practice in which locks of hair were collected from the recently deceased by close friends and/or family and then woven into intricately detailed patterns to be either framed or placed in lockets. As I couldn't seem to find any instructions or tutorials for how to do this (which surprised me greatly as I thought there was a tutorial for everything on the internet) I studied a series of photographs and spent a couple of afternoons experimenting until I'd come up with some pieces I was happy with. I then had quite a lot of fun playing with variations on the base technique I'd devised and happily wove away until I had a nice selection both in red and in the dark purple which has to bee used to lowlight the wig hair.
To style the hair I started off with the section at the top of the head where I have used a very basic basket weave which feeds back into itself- this shows up rather nicely thanks to the contrast the purple undertones give. Next I plaited vertically back from each ear using 4 sections of hair and both French plait and waterfall braid techniques, joining the two braids where they met and decorating over the top with pre-woven sections of hair. Lastly to hide the hairline around the back of the head I used similar plaiting techniques as before as well as weaving in some twisted sections.
Once all the hair was styled I added in some extra sections of 'mourning art' and finished by sewing in some aged fake pearls - these haven't come up very well in the photos but in life they have a nice iridescent pearly finish.