Colonial Wigmaker

   

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This page describes the work of a colonial wigmaker. Did you know some colonial wigs were made of horse, goat, or yak hair?

 

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Wigmaker

18th century wig advertisement

In affluent villages and cities, full of wealthy landowners and plantations, the wigmaker was very important. Wigmakers made perukes (wigs), queues (hair pieces that hung from the back of the head) and fashioned the hair of the elite. The ownership of a wig or several wigs was sign of status in colonial America. In the Southern colonies, the ownership of wigs was so tied to social status, that wealthy plantation owners bought wigs for their slaves to wear. Wigs were made of horse, goat, or yak hair and skillful wigmakers could customize a wig to the preferences of the customer or to the styles popular in London. The wigmaker was especially busy when the courts were in session as the judges and attorneys each required their own specialized hair pieces.

 

Wigs in Colonial America