Friday, September 3, 2010

Mohair and wool reroots

I'm in the throes of tracking down a supplier of wool/mohair for Poe's reroot, and thought I might share some of the info that I've gleaned for anyone looking to do the same. There's a lot to take into account!

A natural fibre reroot has a lot going for it - it can be curly or straight, in a natural colour or dyed any colour of the rainbow, full or thin, long or short and even heat styled (straightend or curled) just like you would style your own hair. The reason why I'm keen to use this technique on Poe is for it's camoflaging properties - curly hair tends to hid the scalpline to a much greater degree than saran and unlike saran does not need to fill every hole of the scalp. I am hoping the technique I plan on using will make the reroot go quicker...but I do need to use 10"+ locks.

A search on etsy or ebay will turn up a wealth of choices to wade through. Beware though - any fibre described as roving or batting is not suitable to reroot a Blythe (even if it's tagged as doll hair, which they sometimes are). It's made of tiny tiny pieces and will disintergrate rather than separate when you try to make the plugs. Here's the lowdown on the different hair types as researched by me.


- Mohair is the fibre from an Angora goat.
- Curly or wavy in it's natural state and lustrous.
- It lends itself to both big and poofy styles and does
straightened and whispy equally well.
- It comes in a range of natural colours and is greatly prized by reborn artists and personally, it's for this reason that I believe it's so damned expensive.

The gorgeous mohair prepared for Reborns is usally washed, dyed and combed and looks like this. This is the good stuff!

Beautiful huh? And perfect for a Blythe. Sadly, it is usually sold in bundles of about 1/2 an ounce - from what I've read you need about 2 ounces for a Blythe reroot. All that painstaking work comes at a price - a bundle this size (4-6inches long) will cost anywhere from $18 - $30 and as you can imagine the longer the locks, the higher the price. Mohair this length can only be used with the knot method of rerooting and will result in a shortish head of hair falling somewhere between the shoulders and back. Keep in mind, that like curly hair on humans, the shorter it is, the poofier it will be. The prepared mohair is also available in longer lengths as well (although it's harder to find), so if you chose to go this way you can also use lock and loop if you wish.

Absolutely gorgeous and shiny.
All the hard work is done.
For some reason this kind of mohair tends not to be the frizzy kind (which I'm not a fan of) so you'll get a nice wavey result and not a clown-like afro.
No waste
Can get longer length - more choice of rooting techniques

Price - you pay for someone else to do all the hard work for you.
That's really the only con - it's a beautiful product if you can afford it.

A cheaper way to buy mohair is to get it washed and dyed, but uncombed. It looks like this (ie. a big ole mess!).


Often dyed in fantasy colours (if that's what floats your boat)
Easy to find - more common than the longer combed locks and therefore a great choice of sellers.
Comes in larger quantities


Less predictable result
This kind tends to be much curlier and not as shiny
More waste - much much more waste
More work - much much more work
This kind of mohair is usually a shorter lenghth - fewer rooting methods
Might be vegie matter in there to contend with (ie. bits of grass etc)
Daunting, to say the least!


- Alpaca comes from...well an alpaca, obviously.
- It's very fine and straight and comes in a lovely range of natural colours - lovely blondes and luscious chocolates. You can also find it dyed, although for some reason this isn't as common.
- Great for if you want a natural fibre, but don't want curly.

Reroots done with this look like thick human hair (only Blythe-scale if you know what I mean). Kenners look out-of-this-world amazing with alpaca reroots. This is what the good stuff looks like - all washed and combed and ready for rerooting.

This particular one is one ounce and costs $27 (from mohairhouse on etsy - I've heard they are great!). To be honest, I haven't heard of people buying it all unprocessed and doing it themselves, although I suppose it must be possible. Here's what it looks like washed - very daunting to my eyes, even more so than the mohair as there are no defined locks.

Same pros and cons as the processed mohair vs the unprocessed really.


- Wensleydale and Cotswold wool come from now rare breeds of longhaired sheep.
- This kind of reroot is not as common as the mohair, but is gaining popularity.
- The locks can reach up to 12" long (more options for length and rooting techniques)and are very curly.
- Wool is much much cheaper than mohair and is usually bundled in larger quantities for spinners and fibre artists - around $4 - $8 dollars an ounce.

Wensleydale Locks

- Very fine hairs
- Silky with a pearly lustre (although is less shiny than the quality mohair).
- Has quite a tight curl.

Cotswold Locks

- More of an open curl than the Wensleydale
- Often used in Santa beards
- Has a nice little curl on the end, like the good quality mohair

This is the fibre that I'd like to try, if I could only track some down in the right length! I am beginning to wonder if I'm looking at the wrong time of year perhaps... Will keep you posted on my hunt for the perfect locks for poor baldy Poe.


  1. Love your blog--you always have such wonderful info to share! And to that, thank you!

    Good luck in finding the perfect fibre for Poe. She will undoubtedly look beautiful once you are done!


  2. Thanks so much :) Still looking for fibre...I'm thinking mohair now.