Making Cheap “Witch” Wigs into Good Japanese Styles for “The Mikado”, “Rashomon” and Other Plays (3D+10C)
Ok, I admit this whole project has to do with my loathing of cheap “Geisha” wigs in productions of the Mikado, as well as my love of cheap witch wigs, which cost half as much. I also love the hanging hair bits you see in Anime and Samurai movies, and figured I could do the same with witch wigs for our production of The Mikado and so get prettier wigs for less money than usually paid out for those annoying ready-dressed “Geisha” wigs.
Our Mikado wigs were each done in a slightly different style, so that each girl looked like an individual, but they all included the trailing bits of hair one associates with female Japanese hairstyles prior to the late 18th Century:
The instructions below detail how to do a wig in the style shown below, but you may choose to design a different style of wig, like those above and can extrapolate your own process based on your design crossed with the instructions below.
You will need
- A wig head and table mount
- A long haired black wig
- A pair of old black nylons
- Net or tulle, preferably black
- Needle and thread.
- Trimmings as preferred.
Pin the wig to the head form, stretching it out at all edges so it won’t “shrink” as you work. IF the wig is in bad shape, brush out thoroughly, from the bottom to the top, making it as smooth and flat as possible. If you have just pulled the wig out of it’s package, omit this step.
Take your pair of old nylons and cut them into pairs of smaller bits as shown. Sew up one end, Stuff with net scraps, and sew up the other end making something that looks like a sausage or potato. These are called “rats”. the rats in pairs based on size.Place the rats onto the wig where you want hair rolls or puffs.
Put Wrap or roll hair around the rats smoothly, spraying the hair in neat sheets as you go.Pin in place. Using heavy black thread, sew as pinned.
When it is finished, photograph your wig as jpeg files and post them to your File folder at the class eGroup. Post a message to the group letting everyone know you have posted these pictures so you can get feedback.