Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hairing with Mohair - Part 1, Making the Hair Swatches

Everyone has their own technique for hairing a model, this is the process I use.

Supplies:
  • Mohair (I buy mine from Horsing Around)
  • Glue (PVA or Tacky)
  • Rigid plastic sheet of some sort (I use take-away box lids)
  • Scissors
  • Something to spread glue - popsicle stick or plastic glue spready thing (you can find them in the children's art section in many stores)


1. Select your hair colour and remove it from the package. (At this point I get a larger zip baggie, peel the label off the bag the hair came in and stick it on the zip baggie and use that instead as I can never get the hair back into those tube baggies)

Grasp the hair hank firmly in one hand with the end dangling out. Pinch the end of the hair and gently pull out a small swatch. This allows the fibers to come apart in their natural lengths and reduces waste. Lay the swatch on the table and pull a few more, making a neat pile of hair. For me, I usually take five or six pulls for a mane or tail.



2. Leave your hair for a moment and get your plastic sheet, I like take-away box lids. Draw a line of glue on the surface; stay away from the edge or you'll get a mess.



3. Carefully pick up your hair pile, trying not to disturb the hair too much. Grasp it firmly and cut one end evenly. Discard hair scraps or save them for flocking material.



4. Separate the hair swatch in half. Feather the cut end out a bit so it's not in clumps and lay the cut end onto the glue line you just drew. Don't worry about pressing it down, just lay it on softly. Do the same with the rest of your hair.



5. Now the tricky part, getting things gluey. Carefully press your hand firmly down on the hair, near the edge of your plastic surface. Take your spreading tool of choice and start drawing it over the ends of the hair, pulling away from your hand, through the glue. Don't be afraid to press, you want to force the hair into the glue, saturating the hair and pressing it as flat as possible.



6. If you are wanting to add layered colours or stripes, repeat the steps above, placing the new hair on the existing layer. Add a few drops of glue to the top of the new layer, press your hand back down on the dry hair section, and spread the new glue through the hair.



7. Set the hair aside to dry. I like to use the radiator to speed up the process in the winter. You'll know it's dry when the glue goes clear.



8. Gently peel the hair swatch from the plastic. Don't worry if it doesn't come in one piece, it's not essential to have it all in one strip.



9. Cut the end of the glue tab off evenly. Leave a good half to quarter of an inch of glue all along the length of your swatch.



10. Finally, you need to lightly comb the swatch to remove the loose hair. I find a soft surface works best; your leg is always handy. You're going to lose some hair, so don't worry.






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