So, today I decided I’d try on my traditional Japanese-style wigs (katsura) to see how they fit. They are in the style that geisha/geiko and apprentice maiko wear. I didn’t wear kimono or makeup, as these were just test runs, but I thought I’d share some pictures anyway.
First-up, Taka Shimada-style Geiko Katsura:
Within the course of this year, I have been fortunate enough to have been able to purchase two maiko wigs, as well as a maiko haneri collar. Now it’s my turn to pass on what I have learned to you guys!
Maiko haneri can be very expensive. However, if you’re good at embroidery (or have a nice sewing machine or dedicated embroidery machine), it’s much cheaper to make your own. All you need is a heavily embroidered white design on a piece of chirimen (crepe) red silk, and flecks of golden thread woven beneath. However, even if you do this, you still need an “easy collar” to hold the haneri in place on your neck, or else it’s just a piece of very pretty floppy fabric. In case anyone is interested in creating their own maiko collar, or for those of you just interested in its construction, I have gone through and taken pictures and measurements. I covered everything I could think of, but if you don’t see something that you want, please feel free to contact me, and I’ll be more than happy to take pictures or provide additional measurements.
Here you can see the haneri already attached to the easy collar. The thin white pieces of fabric on the sides are for tying the collar to your chest; you simply wrap them around yourself and tie. They also help keep the collar stable on your neck and prevent it from flopping about everywhere under your kimono. Note that there is also a piece of white fabric under the haneri on each side….I have turned these up in the first photo, as my particular haneri is very stained in that area, and does not make for a nice picture.