A hair tapestry is the new hot hairstyling trend like no other! It exploded after One Direction hairstylist Lou Teasdale Instagrammed her woven hairpiece created by the hairstylist-extraordinaire Alex Brownsell of the famous Bleach London at Port Eliot Festival. Images instantly went viral and the new trend was born.
‘I was inspired by the Traditional Andean tapestry from Argentina during a recent shoot,’ Alex commented later, ‘and wanted to translate that into hair adornments, but in a modern way – hence the idea for hair tapestry’. She used hair, a hoop, embroidery thread, a flat blunt needle and scissors to intermix hair and the thread to create colorful designs that integrate with the hair. Here are step-by-step instructions on how you can make it too.
How to make a hair tapestry quick & easy:
You will need:
- Small embroidery hoop (or a small picture frame);
- Embroidery floss (also known as embroidery thread) 2 or more colors;
- Wooden tapestry needle or 6” plastic kids needle (or just a long blunt end needle, but be extra careful with it);
- Optional – you can use a small clip-on-hair extension instead of weaving directly into a hair
- Select a section of a hair you want to weave the tapestry into. Side hair sections are the most popular, but you certainly are not limited to this.
- Spay this hair section with a bit of water and brush with the comb. Combing will spread your hair evenly and will start dividing it into smaller strands which will make weaving easier and neater.
- Fix a small embroidery hoop on your hair section. Place the inner hoop ring under your hair and the outer ring over your hair. This will bring your hair up to a hoop and it will be much easier for you to work. Anchor it tightly. If you do not have an embroidery hoop you can also use a small picture frame to fix your hair.
- Spay the hair inside the embroidery hoop with a hairspray and comb while it is wet. This will create nice and even small hair strands that you can weave through.
- Put an embroidery floss (also known as embroidery thread) of your chosen color in a blunt needle and tie one end to the first mini-section of a hair in a hoop. We sourced all over the Internet and craft shops trying to find the metal needle-like Alex uses on photos. But it seems to be something custom made. The closest we found is this wooden tapestry needle. In our experience a 6” plastic kids needle works well too – it’s thick and long, gives an easy grip, and it is not sharp for safety.
- Weave through your hair with a blunt needle in one direction alternating by going over and under the small hair strands by turn. When you get to the end turn in an opposite direction and begin to alternate under and over again. As you weave, keep moving the last row of a woven floss closer to the previous one. This way you will get neat and tight tapestry. Continue weaving through your hair until you decide on using another color.
- To change the floss color simply connect a new color floss to the previous thread with a double knot. If you plan to use the first color again you do not need to cut this first thread. Simply leave it for now and weave with the first floss until you decide to change colors again.
- To change to the first color again simply bring the first floss, still attached to your tapestry higher in your design, wrap it few times around the second color floss where you finished working with it, and continue weaving with the first color. You can alternate colors like this for as many times as you like.
- When you get to the end of your design tie each floss with embroidery knot. To make it stronger tie a bit of hair and a thread from the tapestry in your knot. Make your knot on the underside of the tapestry rather than on your side. It will be unnoticeable and your work will work neater. Once your floss is secured with a knot you can cut it.
- You can decorate your tapestry on a top with a small embroidery. Chose a simple design – a star, a hart, a letter, few beads. Embroider your design over the tapestry with a simple chain stitch.
- Now you can take the embroidery hoop off. Enjoy your new festive look!
You can also look through this quick video tutorial to get more idea on how to do a hair tapestry
As a simplified version, you can also make a hair tapestry on a small clip-on hair extension. This will not be as authentic. But it will be much easier to do. You can make it for yourself without any assistance. And you also reuse it whenever you wish.