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Rerooting

Click here for my complete Tools & Materials list.

Book, magazine, and online research has given me several methods for rerooting Mod Era Barbie dolls. I'm sure there are others, but on these two pages are the methods I've tried.  My third rerooting page has a neat flash presentation of the Matsumoto reroot method.

Two Needle Anchor Thread Method 
This is the way I prefer to reroot. No constant threading of a needle, no crunchy knots in the head. It takes longer, though. I think using dental floss in the place of thread is a good idea, as it seems to be stronger.

3 ft. strand of dental floss (anchor floss)
2 ft. strand of dental floss (beading floss)
7" beading needle 
3" or 5" doll needle (anchor needle)
Hair cut to double length (approx. 12" to 14")

The idea here is to use one threaded needle to draw the thread (or, in this case, dental floss) from the second needle up through the scalp hole to create an eyelet.  I think it's easier to do than it is to explain. 

I use a 7" beading needle to poke eye first through the hole, because it won't stretch the hole or tear it.  The eye is very small, but I only have to thread it once.

I thread the shorter doll needle with the 3 ft. strand of floss, and tie a couple of knots at the end. I thread the long beading needle with the second piece of floss, no knots at the end. 

I start with an anchor stitch by going in the neck hole with the shorter doll needle, and coming up in the center of head, making the small anchor stitch, and going back through the head and out the neck.  This is now my anchor floss. 

Now, I poke my long beading needle eye first down into the first hole. Since it's 7" long, I can push it far enough out of the neck to run the doll needle through the loop, and then just pull the beading needle back up through the hole. Drawing the anchor floss up through the hole creates an eyelet. I remove the beading floss, and insert 15-20 strands of hair halfway through the eyelet. Then, I pull the anchor floss from the neck until the hair is securely in the hole.  Repeat with the next hole. 

When about half of the head is rooted, I make another anchor stitch.  I tie the end off by knotting it several times, and cutting the floss up inside the neck hole.  Then I start with a new 3 ft. strand of anchor floss.  I do this to avoid fraying the floss.

As above, to finish, I bring the floss up through a created hole, make another anchor stitch, and take the floss back down into the head. I tie the floss off and cut it inside the neck hole.
(Barbie Bazaar January 1994)1
(Thanks to Dollbox for the dental floss idea.)  (This site is no longer active.)

Rooting a Part
Using the anchor thread method, I alternate sides when plugging the part.  Starting at the forehead (or back of the neck for PJ's pigtails) I insert the first plug, then split it in half when inserting the second plug from the opposite side of the part.  I split the second plug in half with the third plug, and so on to the end of the part.  This creates a thatched pattern, and completely covers the scalp.
The Flip's Spit Curl
The spit curl is created from only one plug, so the number of strands is important for it to look correct.  A common mistake is to make this plug too dense.  I use only 8-10 strands, depending upon the thickness of the hair used.  Remember, this curl lays flat against the forehead.  A thinner plug will be easier to train, and will look more like the original.
Rerooting Eyelashes
I use the same type of hair for eyelashes as I use for the head.  I've seen eyelashes done with black thread and, believe me, it looks far from natural!  Remember, the eyelashes need not be black.  I go with my feelings when it comes to the color.  For instance, if I'm doing a blond or redhead, I will use a dark brown shade.  For the more flamboyant hair colors, it depends on how dramatic I want the eyes to look.  I always use a dark shade, though, so the eyelashes will draw attention to the eyes.  Use a little imagination here.

Once I've chosen the color, I thread a needle with about 6 strands of hair.  I usually start at the outside corner, pulling the needle down into the scalp and through the head, and coming out the neck opening.  I remove the strands from the needle and draw them back up into the head, leaving about a 1/2" inside.  I complete one eye to my satisfaction, then do the other.

I don't knot eyelash plugs for two reasons.  If I cut them too short, there's a little extra to pull through. Also, this is a very small work area with narrowly spaced holes.  Knots will tend to get in the way of the needle.  Another thought: If you look inside a head with original lashes, you'll notice that Mattel didn't knot Mod Barbie's lashes.  They actually never knotted anything.
(Barbie Bazaar March 1994)1

Work in Progress
 

This (former blond) TNT is now named Framboise

Rerooting 1 2 3

Cleaning TNTs | Small Repairs | Rerooting | Hair Restyling
Tools and MaterialsBarbie Bazaar Reference


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