HAIR

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HAIR

Postby Richard Coombs » 09 Jul 2012, 19:00

Just wondered how others out there do hair on puppets ?

For me it is a puppet by puppet thing : sometimes fake fur fabric , sometimes wool , other times sculpted or just painted hair ( some puppets have no hair and are baldies ).


After making Queen Victorias parted front fringe as a 'wig' section of wool sewn into a strip of backing fabric- I realised there were quite a lot of possibilities when working with wool.Image

So for a current character I am knotting a full wig onto a crotched base.
( This puppet is based - loosely- on a real life lady where I do my Summer Season ) ..she has a 'mass' of very thick , bushy hair which she ties back in a big bunch , or off to the side in two bunches ..it is a wild , bold shape , and a defining characteristic .

I want the puppets hair to have plenty of movement as she bobs about ...so I realised the only probable alternative to the way I have tried , would be to stick wool strands on individually with glue ...one at a time !

And as time consuming as the crotchet method is -- it is still faster , and easier ( for me ) than the glueing method.

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Crotched 'bonnet' shape to fit desired hairline - used thin wool
( left overs from Queen Victoria)

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Then used chunkier wool for the 'hair' .
Cut into roughly equal ..but oversized lengths ( the whole thing can be trimmed when finally glued to the head)
Each strand is doubled and the crochet needle pushed through the bonnet , and the strand pulled back through and looped through itself , much as wigmaker would do with hair onto a fine wig net.


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This is with just the first row done ( I am starting at the nape -back- of the head and working forward )
Im guessing about 12 to 15 rows will be needed ?
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Re: HAIR

Postby Chris » 09 Jul 2012, 21:46

I used to use a lot of crepe hair - the stuff you buy, in hanks in all sorts of colours, for stage make-up moustaches and beards. It is dense and very curly when purchased and needs to be steamed, and teased out to the density and curliness, or straightness you need. It is then glued on in layers.
When cut and sculpted to the effect required it can be held in position with spray fixitive or varnish.

Spray varnish can also be used to make angel hair (dreadful stuff) managable.

I also used a lot of fur fabric - the long pile fabric - which when glued on can be cut, styled, glued and fixed.

Also go to a craft-wool shop and discover all the near wool materials used for knitting. There's various kinds of soft string used for knitting dishcloths and the like. This can be dyed. Then there are various wool type materials which have tinsels and metallics spun into them - these are for novelty textured sweaters - lovely stuff for wigs for clowns or mermaids. Then there are rug wools in various thickness, and rag strips for carpet pegging.

Male styles can be achieved with a layer of plastic wood, car filler, or similar, worked over with a nail brush.

The toe of a sock (or child's sock) can make a stretchy skull cap on which to construct your wig.
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Wigs 1, 2, 3, 4 show use of fur fabric - 5 is modelled in plasticine and cast in papie mache. 6 is a plastic wood layer, stippled
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Re: HAIR

Postby Richard Coombs » 10 Jul 2012, 09:42

Some fantastic ideas , useful info and nice photos there Chris.

..Not actually new info to me ...'coz I was posing the question a bit rhetorically , hoping to illicit just such stuff from you , and Les , and CvdC and Miraiker , Geoff etc .

Like you , I am aware that lots of first time puppet makers come to this forum for info and inspiration.
Well you have given plenty in that post :-) Thank You

And actually I did learn a new thing ...I never thought of using a sock heel as a scull cap on which to sew/ crochet/ stick hair to make a complete wig prior to gluing it to puppets head.
For anyone that doesn't crotchet or knit , that would make things much easier.

I had intended to take a pic halfway through the rows of my wool wig...but I sat down with my wool and crotchet hook and put the recent BBC Shakespeares Richard 2nd on the iPlayer ...Im afraid i got so engrossed that by the Bolingbroke had snatched the crown ...my wooly 'crown' was done.

It would have made a good pic halfway through if I had stopped ...now it looks just like a woollen 'Mop' head ( which was the desired effect)

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The hair will get some trimming and shaping when the puppet is finished ...but less than you might think ! ( the key to this lady really is the wild hair ..I will try to get a pic of the real Sarah with her puppet later in the Summer )
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Re: HAIR

Postby CvdC » 10 Jul 2012, 10:32

okay then
I have been known to get the tip of an old sock and darn onto it lengths of fine wool. I then give the puppet a bit of a hair cut as above.
I have used sheep skin with long strands of wool. Raw wool being better than the bleached and combed stuff as it has nice tufts. I once bought a red sheep skin at a tourist market. It was tacky but I continue to use it for Joey hair. Trouble with wool like this is that it can be thick. The synthetic imitation is better but this seems to have gone out of fashion and I cannot find it. I like the hair of Punch a bit straggly with that Tommy Cooper look around the ears. Our talents are wasted we should have become a barbers and tailors.
I have for a Pretty Polly used lengths of carded fine wool that is used by crafts people for something or another.
You buy it in plastic bags and it is coloured.
I have never even thought about dolls' wigs and the like as it seems a bit characterless.
I have used horse tail but suspect I ought to have used the mane as this may be finer. Short horse hair gets rather stiff. This may involve climbing over fences in the middle of the night but while I'm out crop circling I might as well. But it seems horse riders fake it when it comes to swishy tails and long flowing manes and you can buy it. The hair I sewed to a cloth and glued it. This was for my Piccini Punch which has long straight hair.
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
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Re: HAIR

Postby Chris » 10 Jul 2012, 22:15

Richard, I realised that you were not yourself seeking advice, but rather were curious about other people's methods, and of course such discussions can usefully offer ideas to those less experienced. Here are a few more examples of different wigging materials I've used. These are obviously not Punch puppets, but these materials can be used on any type of figure:
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Re: HAIR

Postby Richard Coombs » 30 Dec 2012, 02:08

Others seem to be trawling back through old postings this week , so thought I would too .
- perhaps its something to do with another Year drawing to an end.

New postings are nice its true ..but there is such a wealth of stuff on this Board it is also nice to have a root through the older stuff.

Having looked at this thread afresh , I realise I do now have the pics needed to complete the set:

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Re: HAIR

Postby Richard Coombs » 18 Jan 2013, 00:50

Queen of Hearts , needed a bun and a very formal looking hair . Could have carved and painted it.
Decided to use wool instead.

Anchored the pre rolled ball 'Bun' to the back of head by 'sewing' it with matching wool to 3 small screw eyes set into the wood.
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Then more screw eyes made points around the head into which to construct a 'web' of wool strands ( a bit like one of those 1970's wool /thread/ or string picture sculptures done with nails on a bit of blockboard )
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Then just kept on filing it in by sewing wool into itself ..a bit like 'darning' across a gap in a sock ?
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Done
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Why not just glue the wool strands on once the bun is on ?
(a) I actually find this method easier and less messy ( as it is now something I have done on several different heads- I am am getting faster at doing it each time
(b) I plan , at some stage, to weave some thin ribbons of red and yellow and gold through the hair in a geometric pattern - couldnt do this if the hair was glued on.

Hope that gives others some ideas.
Richard
Last edited by Richard Coombs on 21 Oct 2013, 10:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HAIR

Postby ShayneThill » 21 Oct 2013, 03:09

I really enjoy changing hair wigs for my puppet. :P :P
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