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Article: Hair jewellery

Hair jewellery

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 VĂ„mhus, 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 VĂ„mhus.
  • Hairwork had gone out of fashion in Europe but was revived in VĂ„mhus.

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

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