Lord of the Rings Handwovens

Handweavers created some of the clothing for Lord of the Rings

Even today, in this age of computer animation and technology, handweavers play a significant role in the motion picture industry.
Handweavers are able to make small production runs and produce fabrics that have unique structure, colour and design.

Many of the unique costumes featured in the movie “Lord of the Rings” were made of handwoven fabrics.


Lord of the Rings Costumes

Wardrobe Supervisor, Carolyn Fenton describes the detailed process of making the costumes for LOTR. One of the issues faced by the costuming department was the issue of scale. Making Hobbits appear to be only 3 feet tall, next to a 7 foot
Gandalf.

Designs are sketched, with details of necklines, sleeves, etc.
Fabric and dye samples are made.  Mockups are made and adjusted for
sizing.  Several copies of each garment has to be made, both for the
actors and also the doubles that are used in the production of the movie.

The design team was comprised of jewelers, hat and boot makers, pattern makers,
sewing technicians, dyers and weavers.

Elven Cloaks

The fabric for the Elven cloaks was woven in New Zealand by Cheryl Eldridge of Stansborough Fibres.  The yarn
used for the Elven cloaks was a 2 ply blend of Gotland sheep and alpaca, spun
at approx. 35 wpi.  The fabric was woven and processed at a mill inWellington, NZ.  The fleece is a natural grey colour, though it appears to have green tones in parts of the movie.  This is a result of post-production colour adjustments.

History of the horned sheep of Gotland.

Frodo

Acloseup image of Frodo’s cloak. Theonering.net

This website hassome excellent close-up pictures of some of the costumes – taken at the
Toronto exhibit.

Hobbit Costumes

RohanChild

Wormtongue

Saruman
The Toronto exhibit has a good close-up picture of Saruman’s costume. And other costumes as well.

Toronto Exhibit

Lordof the Rings – Official Site


Gandalf

The costume designers and wardrobe managers took the utmost care
in designing each costume to make them look and feel real.  From
Gandalf’s wizard hat to the pastoral nature of the Hobbit cloaks, all the
clothing was influenced by centuries of European culture.

Hand Weaving Books
Weaving on a Little Loom (Everything you need to know to get started with weaving, includes 5 simple projects

The Key to Weaving: A Textbook of Hand Weaving for the Beginning Weaver
The Weaver’s Companion (The Companion Series)
Learning to Weave
The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials
The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory
A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns: From the Friends of Handwoven
Krokbragd: How to Design & Weave
Doubleweave: On Four to Eight Shafts
Double Weave: Theory and Practice<
Magic of Doubleweave: The Best of Weaver’s (Best of Weaver’s series)
Weaving In the Arts: Widening the Learning Circle


Author: Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about traditional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi