How to make dreadlocks
Aug 22, 2011Limited, anyone with the link
Photo: I made doll sized dreadlocks by wet felting wool roving.  

You'll need wool roving in a color of your choice, a bowl of very hot water, a few drops of dish washing liquid and a towel.

I used natural dark wool roving, which matches my dark haired dolls really well.  I bought it on ebay but you can find it at etsy and other places.  It came in a 1 ounce bag.
Photo: This is what it looks like out of the package.
Photo: It's very soft and fluffy.

Decide how long you want your finished dreadlocks to be and cut a piece of roving about twice that length. 

I wanted dreads for Jess and my #25.  I measured their hair and decided that 6" dreads would be good so I cut a piece of roving about 12" long.  

I've read that the dreads get longer as you roll them but I didn't notice that.  Probably because these are so tiny.
Photo: Next, you need to divide it into smaller strips.  Pull off a strip, like string cheese.   
"How big is that strip?" you ask.  
Good question!  About as big around as my thumb, more or less.  It's hard to tell, since the fibers are so fluffy.  Make one dread at a time and adjust the size of the next one accordingly.
Photo: Pull the fibers apart, to make it even fluffier.  (It's a 2 handed job but my other hand is taking pictures.)  This will help it absorb water so it will be easier to felt.
Photo: Fill a bowl with hot tap water (as hot as you can stand to touch) and stir in a couple 2-3 drops of dish washing liquid.  Add the wool and carefully push it under the water.  Let it soak, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes.

Soak only 1 dread at a time or they will get felted together into a big clump.  When your ready to make the next dread, you will need to reheat the water.  I put it in the microwave for a minute or 2.
Photo: Carefully lift one end of the wool out of the water and hold it between the palms of your hands.  Let the other end lay in the water.  Roll it between the palms of your hands, tapering the end.  Continue rolling and working your way down the piece of wool, all the way to the other end.  Taper the other end.

Roll it fast, with a fair amount of pressure, like your making a snake out of play dough.
Photo: This is what it will look like when you finish the first rolling.  It should be felted together and holding it's shape.   If the fibers are still loose, dunk it back in the hot water and roll it some more.
Photo: Lay a towel on your lap and lay the wool on the towel.  Roll it quickly between your hands, the towel and your lap, shaping it nicely.  It should be tapered on the ends and a bit thicker in the middle.
Photo: Keep rolling and fussing with it until your happy.
Photo: Fold it in half and shape as desired.  
Let it dry completely, about 24-48 hours.
Photo: You can add highlights by adding a little strip of another color of wool before you soak it.  Here, I added a little strip of natural light wool.

To make it curly:  After it was felted and rolled, I wrapped it around kabob skewers and let it dry.
Photo: Use a piece of thread to tie it to a hair clip.

You can also sew them to a head band or a bandana or attach them directly to the hair with an elastic band.
Photo: To attach the dreads to your doll, lift up the top layer of hair and attach the hair clip.
Photo: The top layer of hair covers the hair clip.  
And your done!

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