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  • Roach Base Help

    I would like to make a roach for my son but can't find and instructions to make the Base. I have found the instructions to make the rest but not the base can anyone help?

  • #2
    DM

    There are 3 main kinds of roach bases... cord, yarn and tied hair.

    A 'Cord' base is made of cotton cable cord that can be purchased at most fabric stores.

    A yarn base is made from multiple rows or a single strip of braided yarn (normally 12 or more strands but that varies based on the yarn one is using).

    A hair base is made from multiple rows of deer or skunk tail hair tied just as it would be for the outer rows of a roach that are sewn together.

    All are made similarly in that the material they are made of is wound around itself and sewn together to form a base to attach the hair to. For lack of a better way of describing it ... the base is kinda sperm shaped (though some bases, especially hair bases are often more of an elongated tear drop shape) when it is finished. To achieve that shape you have to make several small loops when starting to build up that fatter front end before running longer rows down to form the tail. Below are picture of the 3 types of bases. (L-R the first pic is a cord base, second a hair base and last is a yarn base)

    Might I suggest that if you have not bought guard hair or deer tails yet you purchase a roach kit from NocBay trading post in Escanaba, MI. Their kit is the best on the market and this is my opinion as a professional roach maker. They have detailed instructions on all aspects of making a roach from sorting the hair and tying it to constructing the base and sewing it all together.

    Hope this helps
    Attached Files
    Last edited by powwowbum49; 08-09-2007, 03:18 AM.
    PB49

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


    My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks

      Thanks for the info I hink I am going to try it. I thought of getting one from NCO Bay but I can't I am from Canada and there is a $200 limit and I can only get the horse hair one from there you know the border thing. I think I want to try it with horse hair first so I don't wreak the expensive porky Hair. If it works then I will go ahead with the porky. Thanks for the pics that is how I have learned to make all my stuff. Fancy Shawl Dance, and Grass Dance so far anyhow. I love to create.

      Comment


      • #4
        DM

        Orders can cross the border you just have to pay a wildlife import/export fee which is normally $55 (US funds)

        it is possible to make a roach out of horse hair but they are never close to as nice as one made of porcupine guard hair. I understand not wanting to wreck the hair, but you can do the deer hair first to get used to tying the correct type of knots and maintain a consistent size and tightness to the bundles.

        You see porky guard hair is hollow and horse hair is not. The hollowness of the guard hair is what allows it to stand up correctly. Horse hair roaches are notorious for drooping and looking shaggy. They are also much more susceptible to humidity than guard hair. I can honestly say I have only ever seen one roach made of horse hair that even came close to having a correct shape.

        I am speaking from experience here cause when I was a kid and had no money I decided to make a horse hair roach rather than saving and buying guard hair. I bought deer tails and horse hair and started tying ... once I was done and sewed it to the base the hair would not stand up. It just did not have the rigidity to lay correctly. I had to cut the tied hair way back to get it to even come close to standing up like it should. I ended up with about 6 - 6 1/2 inch front hair and as soon as the humidity hit it the roach would start to have a 'bad hair day' from hell. I basically wasted the time and money put into that roach. I get experience in tying and sewing roaches but had nothing worth wearing to show for it. I would suggest you call Irocrafts (a Canadian craft store in Ontario or Quebec) and order some guard hair. Not sure how they weigh it out up there but one US ounce is enough to make a 15 inch roach (which is a good size for most kids) and should not cost more than $50 Canadian ... though I am guessing on that.
        PB49

        "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

        "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


        My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you.

          Thank you for your advice it is greatly appreciated and respected. I will be getting guard hair to make the roach. My son is 13 and a tall boy do you know what size I should make it I would like it to last for a while he has not stopped growing yet. I am getting excited about starting. I can start the base and do the first row of deer tail while I wait for the hair. I am not sure how much I will need of either guard hair or deer tail. Any advice for me on that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Instructions

            Oh I am going to use the instructions on NOCBay's learning circle to tie the roach it looks informative.

            Comment


            • #7
              DM

              An 18" roach is a good all around size for a young teenager and is long enough to last them into adulthood plus it can be used with multiple dance styles.

              An 18: roach can be made from as little as 1 1/2 ounces of guard hair, however I would suggest buying 2 ounces, especially since I do not know any vendors that sell in 1/2 ounce increments. The number of deer tails varies on the actual size of the tails and whether you are going to be making the roach with a row of deer hair on the inside as well as the outside of the roach. I would say 3 tails if 'outside only' and 5-6 if 'in and out'. would probably be about right.

              As for the instructions on the NocBay site you mentioned...I have never looked at them, but I would assume they are the same as those included in their roach kits and should be top notch.

              When I have taught classes on tying roaches in the past I prefer to use a bit of a different approach to tying the porky hair. Most kits give one instructions on marking the tying cord with incremented marks and then tying from one side to the other. I however suggest to folks that they should tie from the center out in one direction and the turn the tying frame around and repeat out the other way. By doing it this way the crafter is able to make the tallest roach they can out of limited supplies. You see there is no guarentee as to how much long hair you will get in the guard hair you purchase and an incremented tying process may leave long hair if you get a lot or come up short if you do not get much. By working from center out you use up all the long hair you have and thus make the best possible roach from limited supplies.

              If you are wanting I can describe the process of working from center out.
              You
              PB49

              "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

              "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


              My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would be greatful for any help yopu can give me I have now got the deer tail so I can work on that part. How do most people do it with one row on the inside and out side or just one on the out side and do they use a solid color on the inside and colored on the outside. I am going to look at pics that is usually how I try to figure things out but getting it from a master is better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  DM,

                  When I was a kid with all sorts of free time I made a roach. It turned out alright and I used it for twenty years. I made it with deer tail just on the outside of the roach. The porcupine hair really took a beating. If I would make another roach, I difinetely would put deer tail on the outside and inside of the roach. It protects the porcupine hair.

                  Just my two cents..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    DM

                    The other poster is correct that an inside row of deer hair will protect the guard hair and it also gives the roach a cleaner look. Now with that said...going with an outside only is not inappropriate and as long as the correct size spreader is used the guard hair will be fine on it's own. Spreader really is not a correct term for this piece of an outfit cause it should never be used to spread the hair out...it is there to hold the roach to ones head and hold the feathers that are worn inside the roach. A spreader should not press against the hair...laying against the hair is fine but pressing against it will wear any roach out prematurely. I still have and use a roach I made almost 30 years ago that is an outside only. As long as a roach is used correctly and cared for it will last a very long time. Bottom line is in and out or out only on the deer hair is all a matter of personal preference and the same goes for color(s) of deer hair used.

                    The key things to tying hair is to make sure that the hair is folded over the tying cord tightly before making the knots. If the hair is loose the tied bundle with be loose too. How much hair one puts into a bundle will depends on the hair being tied and you will quickly get the feel for that as you tie. Try to maintain about 8-9 bundles to an inch of length down the tying cord but never go below 7 cause less than that tells me that there is too much hair in the bundles and they will thus be loose.

                    I will explain tying the porky in another post later, after you have had some experience tying the deer hair first.

                    Oh yeah...you need to get your base made first so you know how much hair you will need to tie.
                    PB49

                    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

                    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


                    My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you everyone for the info it is so great. I am a non native and my husband of 20 years is native but never grew up knowing what a pow wow was. We took the kids ti on one weekend and my daughter has been dancing ever since and my son has just started. We have know one in the community to help with regaila making so I have taught myself everything. It has been a challenge but very fun I love to do an dlook forward to my next challenge a roach for my son and that will be posible with all your help. But I do have one more question and it is pritty dumb and I think I know the answer but want to know for sure. is the finnished base 18 inches from tip to tip. Thank you

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        DM

                        The only dumb question is the one that is not ask. Yes, the length of the base is the measure from the front edge of the crown to the end of the tail.
                        Last edited by powwowbum49; 08-30-2007, 01:56 AM. Reason: typo
                        PB49

                        "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

                        "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


                        My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi everyone I have another unstupid question LOL and that is what type of thread are you using to tie the hair onto. I know you are supposed to use upolstery thread for the tying of the knots. Oh I got the deer tails and they are great colors they are orange, yellow, purple, blue, and white I have designed a new grass regalia for him to match his was getting to small anyway. I am going to start tying in the next day or two sorting deer hair tonight at work and tomorrow night. Thanks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            DancersMom,

                            When I tied my roach, I used sinew as the base cord.

                            Just my two cents.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              DM

                              I use a nylon cord/twine as the base cord and the tying thread I use is size F nymo beading thread. I personally find artificial sinew too thin for using as a base cord, but everyone does these thing a bit different.
                              PB49

                              "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

                              "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


                              My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

                              Comment

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