November 03, 2011

Wig Making - Blocking

In wig making class this week we all moved on from the wig wraps and learned how to block a lace front wig so it can be set and dressed. This process involves securing the wig to a malleable block so it can be shampooed, dried and styled to whatever look is trying to be achieved.

First, we start by collecting our resources. For this we need:
  • A lace front wig
  • Malleable block - this is a head-shaped block stuffed with sawdust. It is soft to touch but firm inside as the sawdust is packed together. The wigs are pinned on to it for washing and dressing.
  • Cling film - The whole block is covered in cling film before the wig is washed. This protects it from water damage.
  • Lills - also known as dressmaking pins. Small, thin pins used to attach the wig to the block.
  • Stonkers - large, longer pins used to hold the wig in place on the block. They can be taken out onces the first few lills have been inserted.
  • Galloon - a ribbon-like piece of material, which is used with lills to secure down the lace section of the wig. As the lace is delicate and could rip, the galloon acts as an extra layer of protection against the pins.
We have to secure the wig entirely, so lills are pinned all round the hairline. Where there is lace, a galloon is used to protect it, so the galloon is placed on the edge of the lace and normally goes across the front of the hairline (at the forehead) and taken round the sideburns. The lills are inserted into the block through the galloon about half an inch apart, and in a zig-zag shape. This ensures the galloon is secure. Around the back of the wig, at the nape, a galloon is not needed. So the lills are simply inserted evenly until they meet the galloon at the front. If there is any excess left of the galloon once the entire wig is pinned, these are pinned at the front (where the chin would be on the face) so they are kept out of the way.

The following is mine and Debbie's finished blocked wig. From here, this can be washed and dressed accordingly. I've labelled the pictures so you can see each individual part:
Here's a close up of the galloon, secured with lills at the side of the head:

I've enlarged both of the pictures so it is clear to see the lills. I found the process a bit fiddly at first - I kept dropping the lills and jabbing myself with them! - but with practise I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

More to come next week :) x

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