MiyukiDollfie (Veronica Degli Esposti) tells us how she came to love making BJD wigs and shares some tips for doing it yourself.
BJDmagazine: You have a large collection of BJDs. How did you get into the hobby?
Veronica: Yes, it’s true, and sometimes I realize that I’ve lost count. Above all, the Lati Yellow and similar sizes are my favorites and I will never stop buying them. I find them very nice, and they give me free reign with the fantasy and the combination of clothing and wigs.
In fact, my collection started nearly 5 years ago in a slightly strange way, and not with the much loved small sizes…which, quite to the contrary, I quite frankly snubbed at first. I always collected dolls, especially Barbie, but it had been about 2 to 3 years that I hadn’t had any interest and had not bought them. Then, one day, my sister Daniela (aka Fairy_Dany) came to my house all happy talking to me about this magnificent doll she had bought on eBay. He was a Hound, a beautiful, tall, 70 cm boy. And what can I say… it was love at first sight! So I started to search for my first BJD. At that time it was an easy choice because there weren’t as many dolls manufacturers as there are today: Luts, Volks, DoD, Lati, and a few others. So, one day I found Luts’ Delf Miyu and since then, we’ve never left each other.
BJDmagazine: When did you start making wigs and why?
Veronica: I started making wigs right after I bought my first MSD, and because Tsubasa, my Lati Blue Shaina, didn’t look good with any of the wigs I bought for her. Often the wigs where too big or too tight for her head. So, one day, I had a chance to try an SD fur wig. Seeing how well it suited her, I decided to find one in her size. It was because of this that I discovered the existence of a material called Tibetan lambskin fur. It looked so good in my photographs of her, that commissions started to arrive after I displayed them.
Getting started creating a pattern from scratch was not easy. It helped to think about my granny, who was a very smart and creative person. For her, with enough commitment and a bit of imagination, anyone could create something from nothing. I am grateful to her for her encouraging words, and for teaching me things when I was a child, especially using the sewing machine! Special thanks also go to my boyfriend, who helped me develop the initial SD wig patterns. Today, I have three different patterns to accommodate various doll sizes.
BJDmagazine: You say making wigs is a fun hobby. Why do you love it so much?
Veronica: Basically it stimulates my creativity. When I’m tired and stressed from everyday life, you have no idea how rewarding and happy it makes me to create something that is all mine…that is the fruit of my imagination. When I make wigs from the unique ideas of customers and friends, it’s even more fun! Friends often make me a little drawing of their ideas and what they want, and creating and giving life to that little piece of paper is beautiful. Then, when I complete my hard work, I feel satisfied because the result is really appreciated by those who commissioned it, and more so because I succeeded in creating something that did not exist before.
BJDmagazine: What kind of materials do you use to make your wigs?
Veronica: Mostly Tibetan Lamk Skin fur and synthetic fur, even though I’ve started creating wool wigs. I am currently working on a fur wig with felted wool to give the impression of dreadlocks.
BJDmagazine: How different is a Tibetan Lambskin fur wig from a synthetic fur wig?
Veronica: The most substantial difference is about fiber. Tibetan fur is a natural fiber, soft and very similar to human hair. You can straighten it or curl it and it has a very natural feel. “Synthetic Fur”, by contrast, is a synthetic fiber, is not as soft to the touch, and appears more synthetic and shiny. Personally, I appreciate both because on male BJDs fur looks more masculine than mohair.
BJDmagazine: Do you dye the wigs yourself? Do you use natural dyes or chemical dyes?
Veronica: Yes, I dye the wigs myself. The only dyes that work are chemical. This is because Tibetan fur contains lanolin, a sort of oil that prevents natural color dyes from adhering completely and creating uniform colors. Dying is really fun because it allows me to obtain colors and mixes that I had not been able to obtain before. But it’s also a very long and hard process because you need to pay attention so as not to ruin the skin. In fact, if you mess up the dyeing, the skin can become tighter, or thicker, or, when you sew, the skin can break or flake.
BJDmagazine: What is a Tibetan fur wig, really? Where do you get the fur?
Veronica: Mohair is a natural fiber obtained from Tibetan sheep. It is composed of a skin with naturally attached hair. (The hair is not sewn in.) In the beginning, I bought some abroad because it was a little less expensive. But now, with the new restrictions on importing furs in Europe, I prefer to buy from specialized stores in Italy.
BJDmagazine: What natural colors does the Tibetan fur come in? Is the it always curly or are there variations?Are there variations in the length of the fibers?
Veronica: Basically it’s possible to find Tibetan Fur in ivory white (brilliant white isn’t natural, because it comes from whitened ivory mohair), black, some kind of blonde and brown. Normally it is curly, but it can have straighter or curlier parts only at the ends or at the roots. It is possible to find it in different lengths of fiber too, from 5 to 15 cm, and with different types of skin too. Sometimes the skin can be too thick and is not good for sewing. The fiber is almost always fine but extremely strong. One last thing is that not all Tibetan fur plates are good to create a wig, because they can have scars on the skin, sewn areas or parts with irregular fiber lengths (from very long to very short.)
BJDmagazine: How do you style a Tibetan fur wig? How do you give the wig a hair cut?
Veronica: To tell the truth, I have my hairdressers to thank. They taught me to cut my wigs’ hair following little tips that they use daily. When I have to create a hairstyle, I use water or I use hair gel (with water) to revitalize the hair. The most difficult thing is straightening the fur. Because the fibers are curled, even if I use a hair dryer on every lock of hair, it takes 30 to 40 minutes.
BJDmagazine: How do you care for a Tibetan fur wig?
Veronica: Tibetan fur wigs can be washed with a bit of shampoo or natural soap under lukewarm water. The important thing is not to wet the skin because it could shrink. If the skin gets wet, try to dry it immediately. Open it and fill it with tons of handkerchiefs. Create a ball as big as the doll’s head and put it into the wig, so the skin won’t become smaller, and handkerchiefs will absorb the skin’s humidity.
Join us on Saturday January 15th ( at 8 a.m. Boston time) for the second part of MiyukiDollfie’s Interview.
|You can find MiyukiDollfie on:
Her Blog: http://miyukidollfie.blogspot.com/