How to Make Doll Hair From Roving

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There are several ways to make doll hair from wool roving, depending upon the doll body materials, the overall appearance of the doll and whether or not the doll is intended for play. Wool roving is available in a number of colors or can be easily dyed at home with protein dyes or food coloring to the color you require. Roving can be used for all types of dolls and, if handled properly, can create sturdy and durable doll hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Wool roving
  • Felting needles and foam block
  • Needle and coordinating thread
  • Scrap of wool felt
  • Completed doll head
  • Food coloring (paste type)
  • Vinegar
  • Slow cooker

Prepare your wool roving. Most wool roving is a natural cream color. To dye it, soak your wool for at least an hour in enough water to cover with approximately 3/4 cup vinegar added to it.

Drain the water and place in your slow cooker with enough fresh water to cover and 1/2 cup vinegar. Allow to heat on high until steaming.

Dissolve food coloring in hot water and pour over your wool roving. Allow to sit with the slow cooker on high until the water is clear and then rinse thoroughly. Hang or lay flat to dry.

Decide on your hairstyle. Roving doll hair can be styled into a flat cap of hair, braids, pigtails or even curls. If your doll head is knit with wool yarn or made of wool felt, you can apply hair directly to it with a felting needle. If not, you will need to create a roving wig for your doll.

Cut wool felt into a shape that will fit on your doll's head. An oval with pointed ends typically works well. You may need to cut two if you are making roving doll hair for a larger doll or want quite long hair.

Use your felting needles to attach strips or strands of roving to your wool felt base. Create a part in the center or side of your wool roving doll hair, or individually felt in small bits or strands of roving doll hair. You can also create a felt doll wig using your felting needles to shape a wig that will fit on the head without additional roving doll hair.

Using a needle and thread, sew your roving doll hair wig into place on your doll's head. Take small, neat stitches along the edge. Attach more roving carefully using a felting needle if needed to hide the edges of the felt doll wig base.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are doing a lot of felting, consider investing in a needle felting tool like those made by Clover to speed the process.
  • Be careful when using felting needles. These barbed needles are quite sharp and can damage skin or surfaces.

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