Hairwork during the Victorian Period
- Hairwork flourished as a trade and private craft in mourning jewelry.
- Hairwork included lockets, rings, and bracelets with frames of loved ones' hair in braids, wreaths, or woven into floral patterns.
- Hairwork also depicted mourning scenes such as gravestones or willow trees.
- Hairwork was taught to young women and sometimes mixed with needlework.
- Wearing hair jewelry was seen as a form of carrying sentiments for the deceased.
Rise in mourning practices during the Victorian Period
- The Victorian Period saw a rise in mourning practices due to Queen Victoria's popularity.
- Hair jewelry became popular as a way to carry sentiments for the deceased.
- Human hair does not decay with time, making it a suitable material for hair jewelry.
- Hair artists and wig makers found new opportunities in the sentimentality of the Victorian era.
- Hair jewelry was initially made for the higher classes but became popular with the lower classes with the availability of instructional guides.
Craftsmanship in the home
- Women in the 19th century began crafting their own hairwork in their homes.
- Popular magazines and books offered patterns and instructions for hairwork.
- Women in Mora, Sweden, became skilled in hairwork and made it affordable for others.
- Some women crafted hair jewelry due to a lack of trust in commercial manufacturers.
- Advertisements by hair-working companies sometimes added to the suspicion of hair substitution.
Hairwork in the modern period
- In Våmhus, Sweden, hair art has been continuously practiced for almost 200 years.
- The Hairworkers Society and the Victorian Hairwork Society provide platforms for sharing and preserving hair art.
- Classes, shows, exhibits, and projects are organized by these societies.
- The knowledge of the hairwork trade is considered a treasure in Våmhus.
- Hairwork had gone out of fashion in Europe but was revived in Våmhus.
Long-term preservation of hairwork
- In Victorian and older pieces, the gum used to hold the hair and decorations in place has decayed over time.
- This decay can result in movement of the hair within the pieces.
- Preservation of hairwork requires proper handling and storage techniques.
- Restoration may be necessary to maintain the integrity of hairwork.
- Preservation methods should be employed to prevent further deterioration.
Hair jewellery Data Sources