Rooting, where do I start?


#1

O.K. I have been looking at some tutorials on rooting and I don’t really know where to start.
So do I have to draw on the head the different sections?
How does rooting actually work? I’m confused, how does the needle push the hair into the head.
I see that you can root from the middle of the strip of mohair or the cut end but I’m confused, what is the difference? what about heating the head? do you heat at a lower temp than when baking the paint? and do you heat the head each time you root? what about when there is hair on the head? won’t that melt the hair?
I have never done this before so I’m pretty confused and a little scared to try.
Advise please for an absolute beginner.
Links to any helpful tutorials would be great, especially video/talking ones.
Many Thanks


#2

let’s see if i can help.
-the needles have a little barb on the side that grab the hair and push it through the vinyl with the needle. when you pull the needle out, it stays in.

  • you can heat the head to make it softer and easier to poke the needle through. Although alot of the newer kits from BB are so soft, they don’t need it. To heat the head, you don’t stick it in the oven. You make a rice sock. All that is is an old sock filled with about a cup of uncooked rice. tie it off. you then stick it in the microwave for about a minute and a half sitting beside a measuring cup of water (i don’t do that, but it is recommended so the rice doesn’t burn). When it is done, stuff it inside the head and fill the rest with polyfil. keep it there the whole time you root. when it gets cold, repeat the process. be careful, they get VERY HOT!!!

-Rooting from the end and from the middle are a matter of preference. If you root from th emiddle you will have 2 hairs in each hole (2 halves) if you root from the end (harder) you will have just one hair in each hole.

-if you find you need to reheat the heat to cure paint for touchups after it is rooted, you can cover the hair with a damp washcloth to keep it safe.

I think that was all of the questions Here are some tutorials. Watch them all because they all do it a little different. YOu can choose which way is easiest for you. Best of luck!!!


#3

Most rooting is a matter of practice. Don’t get too frustrated at the first. If the hair goes in wrong, it will easily pull out. (Harder if you have a lot to pull out!). For the hair to lay flat, don’t stick the needle straight down into the head. Put the needle almost parallel to the head. Maybe at less than 45 degrees. I don’t usually have to heat the head on the BB vinyl. I use a hair dryer and heat the spot I’m going to work on if I do need to. If the head gets too warm, I have problems with it giving too much and the vinyl just keeps caving in instead of letting me root. I use bigger needles usually because I still have a hard time getting the mohair to pick up. But this last head went better than I expected with the smaller guage…until we decided not to go with the sparse look. (We being me and my consultant - my 12 year old daughter!).

I’d recommend on the first doll that you root from the middle, just to have less frustration with trying to figure out how to do it. Rooting from the cut end was a lot harder for me. Same with the swirl, etc. For the first one, just keep it simple. I pick a spot for the crown and root towards it from the edges. I plan to get more elaborate as I go on.

The tutorials help a lot but a big part of reborning is just doing it and getting the hang of it just like any other craft. Don’t know if any of this helps…


#4

On the new kits u can pinch the head where urban rooting and it lays flat


#5

Thanks for the great advise and video links.
So do I start root at the swirl thing or nape of neck?
Do I root a line of hair going across the head and then keep adding another line of hair until the head is covered?
How do I do the swirls, it looks complicated!


#6

Here are some photos that I created using photoshop. I hope they are helpful. I tend to start rooting with the front. (I think it’s because I’m anxious to see what the baby is going to look like with hair) I root in sections following the lines I have drawn. I work from the outside edge towards the swirl–always. I then do the sides and finally the back. At the back, I again do a section at a time working towards the swirl. You could root across and use your lines as a guide, especially as you approach the swirl. I keep moving the head so that my needle always points toward the swirl.

I pick a point where I want the center of the swirl to be, then I draw the swirl and continue that line. All my other lines begin at the swirl.

Here’s some samples.

This is one that I am very proud of—a double swirl on Cuddles.


#7

— Begin quote from “kimomax”

Here are some photos that I created using photoshop. I hope they are helpful. I tend to start rooting with the front. (I think it’s because I’m anxious to see what the baby is going to look like with hair) I root in sections following the lines I have drawn. I work from the outside edge towards the swirl–always. I then do the sides and finally the back. At the back, I again do a section at a time working towards the swirl. You could root across and use your lines as a guide, especially as you approach the swirl. I keep moving the head so that my needle always points toward the swirl.

I pick a point where I want the center of the swirl to be, then I draw the swirl and continue that line. All my other lines begin at the swirl.

Here’s some samples.

This is one that I am very proud of—a double swirl on Cuddles.

— End quote

Thanks so much for that, so I follow the line of the swirls when rooting?
What needles so I use? I bought some ages ago but I have no idea what size they are, I know one set is for the crown?

You rooting looks fantastic, I only hope that I will get that good with practice (years!!!)


#8

I use a variety of sizes depending on the mohair and vinyl. I generally use a 42 gauge. The smaller needles leave a smaller hole. The hair I’m rooting with now didn’t work with this size. I changed to a larger needle with more barbs so it would grab the hair. So, it is good to have a variety. Yes, I follow the line and root the section.


#9

Sharon, Welcome! Are you having fun yet? Rooting can test one’s patience, mine anyway! You’ll also have to learn some terminology…for example Crown needles are not for the crown of the head, it is a brand name. And guage…the higher the number, the smaller the point, and the smaller the puncture hole into the vinyl. I know what felting needles are, but some people mention German needles…I only order from BB, so have a question myself on why people use German needles, and where do they order from. On BB supplies, you can look at the needles and click on the picture to show an enlarged photo of what a barbed needle looks like vs. a forked needle. I’m still experimenting to find what works well for me, the vinyl, and the look I want to achieve. And there’s a difference in dolly-world between “hand-rooted,” and “micro-rooted.” Hand rooted is usually with a larger needle (36-38 guage), and more than one hair is rooted at a time. Micro-rooting is with a teeny-tiny needle you need a magnifying glass to see what you’re doing, and roots 1, maybe 2, hairs at a time. Time intensive, no matter which way you go. Hope this helps…happy rooting!


#10

Thanks Rhonda for you advise.
Not started it yet, need to watch tutorials a few more times until I get brave enough to give it a go.
Still it will be practice for me, I will give this doll to my daughter so if it is not perfect, that’s o.k., she will be happy.
One day I hope to get good enough to sell, need plenty of practice first.


#11

Every once and awhile BB will have practice heads. But you can practice on any part. I suggest getting a cheapo $15 kit or practice limb and root away; arms, legs, and head! I would start with a 38g single barb or 40g single barb needles. Plucking hairs is alot cheaper than breaking needles…practice makes perfect.

My tip: Always wipe off your needle, there make be some manufacturing residue on the needle that will transfer onto your doll and leave marks. I just poke mine through a magic eraser a couple times…


#12

You can also wipe the residue off with alcohol wipes.
Dianne


#13

O.K. I took the plunge and had a go at rooting, the needle goes in easily but I can not seem to get the hang of the swirl thing, you know turning the head as you go. I am picking up way too many hairs also so I can see the ‘plugs’, I only did a little bit but pulled it out again because it did not look good.
I am using a 38 reg needle but I also have a size 40 crown needle as well but they are very short.
The hair is ash blonde so it is difficult to see it on the head when it goes in.
I just broke my first needle too and I don’t have many.
I’ll try again another day.


#14

— Begin quote from “sharron2074”

O.K. I took the plunge and had a go at rooting, the needle goes in easily but I can not seem to get the hang of the swirl thing, you know turning the head as you go. I am picking up way too many hairs also so I can see the ‘plugs’, I only did a little bit but pulled it out again because it did not look good.
I am using a 38 reg needle but I also have a size 40 crown needle as well but they are very short.
The hair is ash blonde so it is difficult to see it on the head when it goes in.
I just broke my first needle too and I don’t have many.
I’ll try again another day.

— End quote

Good Job! Practice makes perfect Once you stop breaking 38g needles you should move up to the 40g. Blonde hair is more forgiving with the plugs, for this reason my first dolls were all platinum blondes, lol. I found a lady on ebay that sells variety packs 5 each of 38g 40g and 42g for $5. The perfect amount for gaining experience and graduating to a smaller needle. Now I use a 48g for newborns and facial hairs. But I still use 40g and 42g single barbs for thicker hair on the bigger babies and eyelashes.

Once you become used to getting the hair in, try going at an angle with the needle. Here is an example of angling your needle for directional rooting. First is rooting in the middle and second is rooting at the end. The better you get the more you can angle your needle. Remember the needle is in the direction the hair will come one of the head.


#15

— Begin quote from “Iansmommie”

— Begin quote from “sharron2074”

O.K. I took the plunge and had a go at rooting, the needle goes in easily but I can not seem to get the hang of the swirl thing, you know turning the head as you go. I am picking up way too many hairs also so I can see the ‘plugs’, I only did a little bit but pulled it out again because it did not look good.
I am using a 38 reg needle but I also have a size 40 crown needle as well but they are very short.
The hair is ash blonde so it is difficult to see it on the head when it goes in.
I just broke my first needle too and I don’t have many.
I’ll try again another day.

— End quote

Good Job! Practice makes perfect Once you stop breaking 38g needles you should move up to the 40g. Blonde hair is more forgiving with the plugs, for this reason my first dolls were all platinum blondes, lol. I found a lady on ebay that sells variety packs 5 each of 38g 40g and 42g for $5. The perfect amount for gaining experience and graduating to a smaller needle. Now I use a 48g for newborns and facial hairs. But I still use 40g and 42g single barbs for thicker hair on the bigger babies and eyelashes.

Once you become used to getting the hair in, try going at an angle with the needle. Here is an example of angling your needle for directional rooting. First is rooting in the middle and second is rooting at the end. The better you get the more you can angle your needle. Remember the needle is in the direction the hair will come one of the head.

— End quote

Thanks for that, yes I was trying to angle the needle. I looks like you have the strip of mohair across the head, I had it going in the opposite direction, did I do it wrong? or does it depend on the way you want the hair to lay?