Iron Wig Final Round: Character Wig, Tutorial, and RIT Dye Challenge

Character Wig

I let my son choose which pop culture character I would create for this wig, and he surprised me by picking a character from my own books. This is Lokki, from Ninja High School Hawaii and Aesir Corp.

Her design is actually very difficult to reproduce, probably because I created her before I started making wigs, and didn’t know what a pain in the butt I was drawing for future costumers. Her design includes several advanced techniques, which were only compounded by using heat resistant fiber, and the limitations in starting materials provided for the contest. Because of this, I decided to do her violet shade instead of the more common navy blue. (Her hair changes colors throughout the story.)

Tutorial Wig

I asked for visitors to my Facebook Page to give me suggestions for the tutorial they wanted to see. The one I selected is based on the concept of a “quick change” wig, which uses a special hidden compartment, called a “transformation pocket”. I had created trick wigs for shows before, but this was my first time creating a tutorial for the process.

RIT Dye Challenge Wig

For this wig, we were required to use the RIT Proline Dye that was sent to us to color our design. Please note that we were not sent DyeMore which is RIT’s product for synthetic fabrics. As it was explained to me by Arda’s rep, this is because they are unable to ship liquids to the EU, and DyeMore only comes in a liquid form.

Now, I was skeptical that this dye would work on synthetic wig fiber, based on my testing of the version for synthetic fabrics done over a decade ago. But I’m a scientifically minded lady when it comes to wig products, and was willing to put this one through its paces just in case there had been a major breakthrough in their formula that had alleviated the issues it suffered from before. (Heat damage to the fiber, failure to bond pigment, continuous rub-off.) I love to do testing, pushing products to the limits, and thinking beyond the package instructions to see what I can do with them. My conclusion after the controlled experiments and field testing is this: RIT Proline Dye is not suitable for dyeing synthetic fiber wigs. I shared my results with Arda as something to consider before they begin selling this as a “wig dye”.

I used three different delivery methods for this wig: the stovetop package instructions (for the red), a scattered pellet approach (for the green), and a spray-on alcohol hybrid (for the blue).

It took about eight days to make this wig, and four days to clean up the mess. Even now, a month later, I’m still finding dye residue in unexpected places.

All Done with Iron Wig Round 4

For this wig, I chose to make a child version of the character, instead of the mature version most often seen in the series. I knew this was risky, since the judges would be more likely to give a higher score to a grown-up “sexy” version, and didn’t expect to make it to the final round. However, I wanted to be able to add some difficulty to this otherwise simple design, and making wigs for children takes more skill than making them for adults. Child wigs bring a whole new set of considerations, especially when it comes to sizing and comfort.

The completed wig features a fully ventilated edge, extensive hand knotting, and a faux scalp. It uses no glue, and requires no glue, pins, combs, or velcro for a perfect fit. Plus, it is durable enough that my son was able to run, jump, and play on the swings without any issues! I also made a little doll version of “Gold Experience” to go with the design.

Remember, I will be selling any wigs I make during this contest and donating the money to Valley Children’s Hospital. I will also be giving away any gift certificates I receive, so keep an eye on my Facebook Page for more details later on.

http://www.facebook.com/PettingZooWigs/

Since all of the contestants were given the same design to re-create, I posted my “making of” videos live to my facebook page instead of saving them until the end:

Video Playlist: Making of Kid Giorno

Iron Wig Round 3!

All of the entries are in for the third round of Arda Wig’s Iron Wig competition. This was a freestyle round, so we were allowed to do anything except use wig fiber that wasn’t part of the materials sent for the round. (Which was a Jeannie wig in Magenta.) Since I got 1st place in the previous round, I was awarded immunity. This means I was able to take a risk and try something TOTALLY INSANE without worry of being eliminated if the judges didn’t like it.

So I built a working carousel out of the wig, with animals inspired by Discworld. (Except the goldfish. I was going to do a rat, but I didn’t think anyone would ride on him.)

There is no glue, foam, or hairspray in this wig. I took my felting technique to the next level with fabric and wet-felt effects, and everything was dyed using my own Petting Zoo Wig Dye. I also figured out how to dye the fiber a “lighter” color than the original shade through an optical illusion!

Remember, I will be selling any wigs I make during this contest and donating the money to Valley Children’s Hospital. I will also be giving away any gift certificates I receive, so keep an eye on my Facebook Page for more details later on.

https://www.facebook.com/PettingZooWigs/

Here are all of the entries for this round: Iron Wig 2017: Round 3

I also took video while I worked so folks could see into the process of building this wig: Making of Vive la Carousel Wig

Take a Look at the Entries for Iron Wig 2017 Round 2

Even with the time handicap, I managed to complete my entry for the Seasonal Dye Challenge round of Arda Wig’s Iron Wig competition.

I chose summer as my season, because I rarely ever see summer chosen in competitions like this. This is my representation of an old man’s memory of his childhood, on a summer’s day. Specifically, an old man who is losing his memory due to Alzheimer’s. The world of that summer day is small, reduced to just a hill and a tree in his mind. The details are fuzzy, the proportions are off, but the colors and the warmth are clear.

Everything you see is made of wig fiber; there is no glue or foam. The fuzzy details were needle felted using fiber from the wig, and everything was dyed using my own Petting Zoo Wig Dye.

Remember, I will be selling any wigs I make during this contest and donating the money to Valley Children’s Hospital. I will also be giving away any gift certificates I receive, so keep an eye on my Facebook Page for more details later on.

https://www.facebook.com/PettingZooWigs/

Here are all of the entries for this round: Iron Wig 2017: Round 2

I also took video while I worked so folks could see into the process of building this wig: Making of Summer Memories Wig

Iron Wig 2017 Round 1 is Over!

I just discovered this morning that my entry was submitted late, which means I will be penalized 25% of my total score. I’m not gonna lie, that’s a huge chunk of points, and I was quite bummed to find that out, especially since I thought I had until noon to send my photos in. (It was noon CENTRAL time, not local time.) But my son made it to school on time with breakfast in his tummy and brushed teeth. So I’ll take that victory.

Here is my entry for Round 1. I will be selling any wigs I make during this contest and donating the money to Valley Children’s Hospital. I will also be giving away any gift certificates I receive, so keep an eye on my Facebook Page for more details later on.

https://www.facebook.com/PettingZooWigs/

California Dreaming Wig by Katie Bair

ALL of the entries for Round 1 can be seen here: Iron Wig 2017: Round 1

I also took video while I worked so folks could see into the process of building this wig: Making of California Dreaming Wig

Gettin’ Busy!

IMG_4469I just got done with a couple of back-to-back large custom orders, but now I’m popping my head up to say, “yo.”

I have been trying to put up a new type of dread in my Etsy shop every few days, but custom orders take priority. So now that I’ve got that list cleared, I’m looking forward to putting a few new sets up today. I’m excited for spring, so expect some bright and airy colors to come crankin’ out of the dread factory! ^_^

Keeping Busy During the Cold

Flag Dreadlocks on EtsyWe’ve been having an uncommonly chilly and soggy winter here at the Petting Zoo, so I’ve been spending more time inside than I’m used to. To keep myself from getting cabin fever, I’ve been cranking out dreadlocks to offer up on Etsy. Of course, I’m never contented to just make “plain old” anything, so I’ve been testing out some new ideas and processes to come up with dreads nobody has seen before. (Right now I’m working on a PLAID set.)

I’ve also finished testing to see how well Petting Zoo Wig Dye holds up to steam sealing, and I’m very pleased to report it is rocking it. As a result, I’m now able to make true ombré dreadlocks, instead of just transitionals. This is extra exciting for crochet style dreads, where the process is normally too “knotty” to make ombré dreads with gradient fiber.

Folks can also use my dye to change the color of their dreads after they’ve been sealed, by dip-dyeing them, then setting in the color with hot air: the new color stays even through a steam re-sealing.

YAY FOR SCIENCE!

Etsy Shop and Holiday Goodies!

To commemorate the opening of our new Etsy Shop, we’re doing a little giveaway this month. Just click on the image below to be taken to our Facebook Page, then LIKE and SHARE the page to enter for a chance to win! december_2015_promo

Katie has been busy making dreadlocks for Christmas, and we have listed some of the completed sets. In the next few weeks, we’ll be adding more, including holiday colors, and crochet style sets.

Petting Zoo Wigs on Etsy

The Original is Back – Under New Management!

momma_and_tmanHowdy Y’all!
For those of you who may remember the distant past of 2009, I had a baby, and had to stop taking wig commissions. I attempted to keep my store running, but soon found that being a full-time mom didn’t leave me with the energy or focus to provide the on-time quality service my customers had come to expect, and everything got further and further behind. I made the tough decision to close down my shop, since I didn’t know when I’d ever be able to catch up again.

However, that didn’t stop people from asking for my books or dye. So, after searching for an experienced seller for quite some time, I have found someone to run my store. Although I will no longer be directly involved with orders and shipping, you can be sure that each batch of Petting Zoo products will still have the same great quality that only hand-crafting can ensure.

The shop officially reopens 10/10/2015… just in time for Halloween!Katie Bair

So Petting Zoo Wig Dye is back, the World of Wigcraft is back, and my son still gets to see his mommy. Isn’t it nice when everyone wins? ^_^

-Katie