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How the Wigs for English Courts Are Made

Since 1689 one company in England (with a name that sounds straight from the pages of a Harry Potter book) has been outfitting the judges and lawyers of the U.K. Like in the U.S. judges wear black gowns, but in the British justice system the ceremony of wearing white wigs still remains from many centuries ago. Ede & Ravenscroft still make all the finery and trappings that barristers and magistrates of the English courts wear today.

Not only is this tradition still alive in the modern era, but there is a hierarchy of wig styles! The rank of the judge determines which type of wig he or she will wear in open court. The same goes for the lawyers presenting their cases. There are three types of “legal” wigs: the barrister’s wig, the judges wig, and the “full-bottom” wig (which is much longer). At this particular establishment, the wigs are made on site in the basement from ribbon, lace, and horsehair. It takes around 3-8 weeks to make one wig.

Have a closer look in the video below at how they make these wigs and what the different types of legal wigs are used for in the U.K.

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