making hair weft tracks

This post continues to describe the process I used to alter wigs intended for wear during Uzbek dance performances.

Because the original waist-length wigs needed an additional foot of hair, I knew I had to add hair extensions but needed to decide what type I would use. Because the hair had to be braided anyway, I could have just added strands of the loose hair as I went. But I wanted the ability to easily rebraid the hair whenever it needed to be neatened up. I decided to create tracks of hair and sew them to the wig cap. In this post, I’ll describe how I made the tracks of extra-long hair.

A track of hair looks a bit like fringe trim. The loose strands are spread out into a thin layer, then sewn together. The sewn edge is then attached to the head, scalp, hair, or wig cap, depending on the application. I sewed the tracks into the wig cap for each of the wigs I altered. I’ll post about that in the near future.

1. For each wig, I used two packages of jumbo braid kanekalon synthetic hair. Normally, I would have connected the hair along the middle of the strands but I needed the entire four foot length so I connected the hair toward one end of the strands.

I used loose synthetic braiding hair…

2. And because I decided to create the tracks by sewing them with my sewing machine, I used a strip of wax paper on each side of the layer of hair to keep the strands from getting caught in my machine. To make it easy on myself, I made the length of each track of hair about the same as the width of the roll of wax paper I had: a little less than one foot. So each strip of wax paper was around 5 inches by 12 inches.

…and sandwiched the ends of each layer between two strips of wax paper.

3. Then, I made three passes down the length of each strip, arranging the layer of hair as needed.  One-half inch separates each line of sewing.

Sew three seams down the length of the wax paper strip.

4. On one side of the sewn strip of hair, I tore off the wax paper. It tears away fairly easily but I still had to be careful because the hair wasn’t anchored yet and could easily slip out of the stitches.

Tear the paper off one side of the weft.

5. To begin locking the hair in place, I folded the strip of hair along the middle seam, making sure that the side with wax paper was on the outside of the fold. Again, the wax paper prevented snagging in the sewing machine.

Fold along the center seam and sew in place.

6. Then, I folded that sewn edge over and sewed again to lock it into place.

Fold again and sew to lock hair in place.

7. After that, I tore all of the wax paper off. Then, the track of hair was ready to be sewn onto the wig cap.

The hair weft track is ready to use.

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