How is a Wig Made?

Posted by on 12/9/2016 to News

As we have talked before in a previous blog (history of wigs), A wig is a head covering made from human, animal or synthetic fiber. The word wig is short for periwig and first appeared in the English language around 1675. Some people wear wigs to disguise baldness; a wig may be used as a less intrusive and less expensive alternative to medical therapies for restoring hair. Wigs may also be used as an article of apparel, or to fulfill a religious obligation. Actors often wear costume wigs in order to portray characters. There are two methods of attaching hair to wigs. The first and oldest is to weave the root ends of the hair onto a stretch of three silk threads to form a sort of fringe called a "weft".

When I was a kid, I used to say to my Grandmother, “he GG, your wig has honey comb in it. I think you get my meaning as you will see in figure one below, it truly does look like a honey comb. It is then sewn to a foundation made of net or other material. In modern times, the wefts can also be made (a warp is the vertical thread of a weave, the weft is the horizontal thread) with a specially adapted sewing machine, reducing the amount of hand labor involved.

In the 19th century another method came into use. A small hook called a "ventilating needle" or "knotting needle", similar to the tambour hooks used for decorating fabric with chain-stitch embroidery at that period, is used to knot a few strands of hair at a time directly to a suitable foundation material. This newer method produces a lighter and more natural looking wig. High quality custom wigs, and those used for film and theatrical productions are usually done this way. It is also possible to combine the two techniques, using weft for the main part of the wig and ventilating hair at the edges and partings to give a fine finish.

Honey Comb wig cap.

Figure #2

Traditional or Standard Wefted Cap(figure #2)

The traditional, sometimes referred to as classic or standard cap, is a wefted construction where synthetic hair is machine or hand sewn into strips of material. A "weft" is the narrow strip of material that has hair, all going in the same direction, sewn into it. These strips are inter-connected in horizontal planes going back and forth over the entire cap. This provides overlapping layers of hair and simulates natural hair growth. With a standard wefted cap you are buying a wig whose style cannot be altered.


Capless or Open Cap(Figure #3)

One variation on the standard wefted cap construction is the capless wig cap. The "capless" is not really "capless", but the wefts are less dense and have a bit more space between them. This provides a lighter weight cap with better air circulation. Many women who wear wigs for medial reasons prefer a capless construction. Because they will more likely wear their wig for longer periods of time, a lighter weight cap provides more comfort.

Capless wigs are usually secured with tape, medical adhesive, and/or clips, although new advancements in stretch technology now allows some cap constructions with thin resilient dual elastic sides that provides comfort and a precise all day fit. Many cap-less wigs will have adjustment straps at the nape (back neck area) to allow the wig to be sized down for a more snug fit.

Figure #4

Monofilament Top With 100% Hand Tied Base: (Figure#4)
This cap features monofilament in the top area and a 100% hand tied base, resulting in the most natural looking hair movement for the entire wig and the versatility of amazing off-the-face styling.

Figure #5)

Double Monofilament Top:(Figure 5)
Since the knots where the fibers / hair are individually tied into the cap of a mono-top wig may cause irritation, the double monofilament top wig has an extra layer of monofilament to protect people with sensitive scalps. All AJ'S Wigs features a double monofiament cap with a hand tied top construction and machine wefting along the sides and back.


Monofilament Top:(Figure #6)
This cap sometimes referred to as a mono-top, features monofilament in the top area, front to back, providing comfort and the look of natural scalp while allowing the flexibility of parting the hair on the left or the right or in the center.

Now, those were your basic cap constructions. Going back to our Grandmother's days, wigs were heavy and cumbersome. As we say, they were not user friendly. They were also not exactly customized either. Lets go back into the history of wig sales for a minute. When Wig World (circa AJ'S Wigs) started in 1936, we had 40 wigs makers and sold directly to the public through Sears, JC Pennys and a few selected top notch salons. Then, Wig salons popped up in the 70's but when the internet came into play in the late 80's and early 90's, you could purchase them on line. But still, there remained a huge call for personal touch especially when it came to Cancer and hair loss. To be able to actually try a wig on and have it look realistic after it's customized, is never a comparison to purchasing online.

Now that we have talked a bit about the caps, the type of hair we use completes the quality of the wig.

  1. Asian Remy: This is 100% Asian Remy Human Hair from the Asian Race.

  2. Brazilian Remy: This is 100% Brazilian Remy Human Hair from the Brazilian Mixed Race.

  3. European Remy: This is 100% European Remy Human Hair from the Caucasian Race.

  4. Indian Remy: This is 100% Indian Remy Human Hair from the Indian Race

  5. Malaysian Remy: This is 100% Malaysian Remy Human Hair from the Malaysian Race.

  6. Mongolian Remy: This is 100% Mongolian Remy Human Hair from the Mongolian Race.

We will go into the types of hair in a later blog, but the above is just a sample of the types of hair that we use to make wigs. The most natural of the caps, is the Monofilament caps due to the natural scalp. As the old saying goes, the product is only as good as its base.