Monday, 18 March 2013

Choosing Wig Lace and an Update

I have been away for a while battling flu and sinusitis. I am still struggling with the latter, but hope to be back to blogging more regularly now.

I had a comment to my post about laying your lace down on the block, and I thought I would quickly address the reply/response here as the information may be useful to other blog readers.

The question was this:

Hello, thank you for all the info!
I just have a question though..
What type of lace do you recommend?
I'm from Greece so I have a hard time using english terms for the lace I need. (Simply saying swiss or french lace won't do it)
Maybe you could tell me how this lace should look like? (how soft, how large are the wholes, is it strechy etc) so i would know what I'm looking for...
Also, one last thing, I search my lace at fabric stores, do you think there's another place more qualified for me to search?

The lace - whether termed Swiss, French, German - is a specific type of 'lace' (which is actually a net fabric) that is designed for wig making. Although certain types of it are often considered fragile, it is quite strong and usually made from a monofilament type fibre (similar to the thread used in fishing lines). You will find net or tulle at the fabric store, but that fabric is designed for dress making or for making underskirts to go under dresses and skirts. What you need is wig making lace. You can buy it from wig making suppliers. 

You can find two suppliers I recommend here:

An example of the type of lace you might wish to buy is this: 
Which is  - 2906Nylon mononet40 denier 60 cm wide skin shade STANDARD STAGE LACE
These would also work:
2905Nylon mononet20/30 den 60 cm wide skin shade FINE STAGE LACE (this will be more fragile and less durable)
3104Ultra fine H/T front lace60 cm wide 20 denier lace skin tone for fine fronts STAGE & FILM (again this will be more fragile and less durable, although it would make a good lace front as it should blend well - it will be unlikely to withstand long-term vigorous bonding over many months)

Terms you see used are: superfine Swiss, Swiss, French, German, monofilament, mononet and tulle. I will be making a blog post shortly with more detailed explanations about these different types of materials. The main thing to do when trying to pick a lace for making a wig is if you are unsure buy from a wig making suppliers. At least this way, you will be using something designed for making a wig. You can also always ask the supplier for their advice.

 In the case of Hugo Royer, the lower the 'den' (or denier) number, the finer the lace or net (meaning it is more fragile and less durable, but also less visible and blends very well if bonded). Sometimes you can ask for a small sample of the lace or net, and the company will send it for the price of shipping. It is always worth asking, as this gives you a chance to see the colour as well as the texture and how fine it is. When starting out, I suggest buying no more than a metre at most . If the lace turns out to be wrong, you have not wasted too much money and you may later find a use for it, or can sell it to someone else who might use it. If the lace is correct, you can always buy more.

One a side note - I have had a discussion recently with someone else who follows this blog and who I am friends with. They wish to use the type of net and tulle found at the regular sewing fabric store. I am not saying it is unusable, as you can definitely use it for certain purposes. I have used it in the past to practice ventilation on and to make prototypes of wig caps - where I did not want to waste the proper wig making lace, which is very expensive. It is good for experimenting with or when you are learning how to make a wig cap so that you can learn to get the right fit for the measurements you have taken. It can also be good for a wig that will be worn as part of a costume or infrequently. The type of net/tulle found at the sewing stores has a tendency to rip or catch more than the wig making lace, and this is especially true if using a wig ventilation needle. Some people are choosing to make wig caps from this type of material and using a latch hook to do their knots - this is better as it is less likely to catch or rip the material because it is not such a sharp tool as a ventilating needle. The downside of this material is that it tends to come colours that are less blendable with people's skin tones, and compared to the type of wig making lace I use, the holes are much more visible as they are far bigger.

I hope this helps.