Doll wigs are miniature headpieces used as hairstyles for dolls. When selecting a wig, there are three factors to consider: material, construction and style. Each type of wig will have its own strengths and weaknesses, so always think of the pros and cons in terms of the particular doll you are working on. This method will help you to find the best doll wig every time.
The material used to make doll wigs can be natural, synthetic or mixed. Natural doll wigs made from animal pelts are called skin wigs. They feature a clean, dry section of skin with hair attached to it. Pelts from sheep, camels, cows, rabbits, goats and other animals have all been used in the creation of doll wigs.
Skin wigs are incredibly durable. Samples found on antique dolls have remained intact through years of rough handling and sun exposure. Skin doll wigs provide a realistic result. This means that hair will part, fall and style naturally. These wigs are the best choice when working on a vintage or antique doll because they produce a historically correct replica.
Synthetic wigs are made from manmade fibers, such artificial silk, rayon or nylon. Hair fibers are attached to a single piece of fabric, an artificial scalp, with stitches, glue or knots. Synthetic material wigs are available in a wide range of hair styles, colors and lengths. They are the easiest doll wig to produce and are thus the least expensive to purchase.
If you are new to the art of doll-making, are practicing a new technique or are seeking a consistent wig material, synthetic wigs are the best option. Bear in mind that synthetic wigs are considered to be aesthetically inferior to natural wigs. Mixed-material wigs combine a natural material with a synthetic. Usually, the scalp and binder material are synthetic, and the hair fibers are natural, but antique dolls can feature a natural binder, such as hide glue. Repaired dolls sometimes have a skin wig with several synthetic fibers rooted into the natural scalp to fill gaps.
Human hair, cotton and silk are examples of natural materials used in the creation of mixed-material doll wigs. These fibers are either sewn, glued or knotted to a faux scalp. Sewn wigs usually are constructed in the same way as weft hair pieces — loose fibers are sewn to a stable, non-elastic fabric in rows. Sewn wigs are superior to glued or knotted wigs in appearance and durability. These mixed-material wigs are less expensive than all-natural wigs and easier to re-size, making them the best wig style after skin wigs.