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I'm a textile fanatic.  If it has to do with fiber, it's for me.  I love my almost fourteen year old son, cats and sheep.  I love historical costuming and most days you'll find me researching or reproducing clothing from any one of many time periods that have caught my fancy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Hairy Issue

Being involved in the Historical Sew Fortnightly has had me doing more research, lately.  I've dove into archive.org to see what I could find, and I found many issues of Godey's Ladies' Magazine and Peterson's Magazine.  That opened up a lot of ideas of items to make and techniques to try, including hair jewelry and hair styles, netting, and various trims.  

Logically, if you're going to make hair jewelry, you are going to need hair.  If you're going to try out various period hair-styles, you're going to need . . . you guessed it - HAIR.  Throughout various periods hair-styles required more hair than you normally would have growing on your own head, which means you'll need to pad it out.  These hair pads, or 'rats' as they were known in the 18th C., were most often made and/or filled with hair.  This hair could be human or horsehair.  Since I don't have a horse of my own, and the only horse I have access to already has had a claim staked on his mane and tail hairs (Coggeshall Farm has more plastering to do, and since they are a 1790's working farm museum, that plaster is of the horse hair variety.  They also need the hair for clothing their costumed interpreters.), I need to save my hair whenever I comb and brush my hair.  Interestingly enough, Godey's actually had instructions for a decorative box for saving  the hair produced by combing.  Unfortunately, I forgot to make a note of which issue I found it in.  I did however make a note of where to find the instructions for preparing hair for making mourning jewelry.  Peterson's Volume 18, January, 1850 (pp. 202-204) link below.
Since I don't want to take the time right now to search for the hair box, I'm saving it up in a cookie tin.  I'm going to take a little time this weekend to decoupage it.  My thinking is that if it looks really nice, maybe George won't decide that the tin needs to be recycled.  I've lost too many shoeboxes, jars with lids, and tins because he thinks they are just junk and not my way of organizing and storing various crafting/sewing materials.  If they look like I've done something with them, then they and their contents are safe.
I know, it doesn't look like much, but the darker lump is my hair too,
 it's just gotten matted up by being kept in a plastic bag in my purse.
The cookie/hair tin, pre-makeover.

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