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Projects, Workshop

Katsura (Geisha wig) project-finally Done! Sugoi!

A few years ago while on tour, I picked up a very, very sad antique Katsura wig for Geisha/Kabuki. Coated in ancient camilla oil & setting wax, tired and snarled I still wanted it to see the actual construction of Geisha/Maiko wig. After all this time, I have finally finished reconditioning, filling in and re-set it. Though not quite perfect, not having the training or skills in making Nihonmagi (Japanese hairstyles) wigs, I am pleased enough with the result. There are folks who may *tut-tut* as I have not styled it in a completely accurate manner and have waaaaay to many Kanzashi (hairpins) in it, but I am wearing it for a series of  costume events & wanted to present the kanzashi I made. So it’s a bit cluttered ;-) This is a big photogallery of step by step through the process as I could when hands allow. (I really need a hands off/foot operated shutter control for my camera so I could better document projects when hands are busy) I’m ready to wander the Streets & Underground of London as a faux Geiko this weekend. Happy Halloween!

Here is the before:

Antique katsura looks sad and tired, let’s fix!

…and after :

ready to stroll the streets of London ;-)

and all the steps in between (sorry for repeats, for some reason WP gallery reinserts copies from post  into gallery again)…


– Antique Katsura base w/ assorted extensions included

-Tres Semme Cool Freeze 5 ultra hold hairspray

-Bintsuke wax

-Bingushi Tsuge- long stemmed comb made of boxwood soaked in camellia oil, which means you can use to pick, style & smooth without it sticking to hair wax or hairspray

-Mottoi waxed paper hair ties

– black mesh donut & bobby pins/slides from Paks (UK version of Sally Beauty Supplies) beauty shop

-Kanoko silk shibori tie w/tassels

– Kanzashi hair ornaments I made (falling flowers w/flutters, crane, red/black flower)

– Kanzashi ornaments bought in Japan ( the back pins; dragon & hanging blue ball and the top bun picks: wooden round one and the silver butterfly flutter)

-Aussi Take the Heat leave in spray for flatironing hair

-Dishwashing liquid to loosen wax & camellia oil for first wash

-cheap clear shampoo for following washes

– Aussi- 3 minute miracle to condition hair.

-Hair straightening iron

(One serious cultural side note; I specifically checked to make sure was a pre-WW2 wig. The reason being, I absolutely not want a wig made from the 40’s, as were potentially made from hair forcibly taken from Korean “Comfort Women”. These horrible 40’s wigs are the most common on eBay, as many American GI’s brought them home after the war for souvenirs.)

About dreamsewing

From Victorian/ Steampunk clothing, Asian inspired hair ornaments to simple alterations, I am an addict to learning new crafts. I've spent now 20 years traveling over the world and touring with various theatre companies, from Shakespearian, to ballet, to Cirque du Soleil. This blog is mainly for talking about current projects & sharing tips & tricks of the trade. Hoping to learn new things from from others and also sharing resource lists. If you have any sewing questions/quandaries, please do ask me, I may have an answer or a new way to fix. I love exchanging ideas on new ways/tricks of stitching! (Small self-plug: If you'd like to discuss a commission, need to hire a professional seamstress or wardrobe person, please feel free to contact me via email: dreamsewing@gmail.com )


One thought on “Katsura (Geisha wig) project-finally Done! Sugoi!

  1. This is ABSOLUTELY stunning. I am simply in awe of your knowledge and ability to revive such a beautiful wig! Words cannot capture how awesome this is. Kudos!! :D

    Posted by Allie Katz (@MissAllieKatz) | October 25, 2012, 10:29 am

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Miss Miko

October 2012
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