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Stansborough Fibres

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Weavers of the "Magic Elven Cloak" fabric

Barry with Greybeard, one of the many fleece producers for Lord or the Rings Fabric

The special fabric used to make the Magic Elven cloaks was woven locally in New Zealand by Stansborough Fibres. They grow their own unique naturally grey wool at their farm just north of Wellington. These rare and unusual grey 'Stansborough Gotland' sheep, are the only flock of their kind in the world and produce fibre which is strong, soft and lustrous. Perfect for weaving designer fabrics.

Alpacas, which are also bred on their farm, produce fibre which was also woven in some of these designs. Classic looms, dating back to the 1890's, were used to weave the Magic Elven Cloak fabric. All their colours are totally natural and no dyes are used. Their designs are all original and inspired by the creative New Zealand landscape. The same back drop for this incredible movie.

The magical swirly woven grey fabric was spotted in New York. Orders for approx 900 metres were placed of this design and some other customized Stansborough fabrics to make the clothing worn by the Elves, Ringwraiths and other characters.

The beautiful weave, soft silky texture, natural hues and its ability to warm, despite its lightweight feel, exactly match the description given by Tolkien.

News links:

A few items in the "magic" fabric

All items are woven in the distinctive twill derived design on Stansborough Fibres's classic looms dating back to the l890's.

  • "Magical Elven Cloak" fabric
    • 100% Stansborough Gotland as per the movie, but finished.  Soft Lustrous and silky with good handle, slightly tighter set than the throws and wraps, etc.
    • Additional fabric details
      • Width, approx 55"
      • The pattern repeat is approx 8 1/2".
      • Fabric must be treated like a "hand woven" fabric.  Seams should be reinforced with stretch bias tape.
  • Genuine Stansborough Gotland fleece
    •  Approx 2 kgs weight  (approx 4 1/2 lbs)
    •  Rovings\silver (Light Mid & Dark Grey).  Approx 1/2 kg ( approx 1lb)
      • For hand spinners. No commercial orders, though group orders are allowed to save on postage.
    • 100% Stansborough Gotland fleece is avail in three shades of grey, light medium and dark grey. We try and keep this as long a staple as possible for hand spinning, however approx 3" to 4" is about the length we need for commercial processing and so most is this length.  The darker shades tend to be the shortest. Please indicate which shade you require (or a mixture) when ordering. Fleece is more readily available than rovings\sliver, though we can organize both if requested to do so.  There may be some waiting time for fleece in between commercial production and shearing.
    • This fleece is silky and lustrous and therefore, sometimes not the easiest to spin because of this. It is better spun as a fine worsted yarn, but one needs to keep this soft at the same time. Woolen spun yarn is very soft, but can felt more easily. Stansborough  wool felts easily , especially the lambswool.
  • Elven Cloak
    • Officially licensed LOTR Elven cloak made from the original fabric using a pattern taken from the original cloaks.
      • Translation:  it's that wonderful half circle cloak that does not close and cover your costume.
      • Wearing tip from Stansborough: We found that the hoods sit much better if you fold the top front piece in slightly when you wear it up
    • These special cloaks will be run as limited editions and numbered as such and will be sold with or without the Fellowship Brooches.
    • Price: $795 NZ by itself, with elven broach $945 NZ
  • Designer Cloak
    • Lined cloak, fully closing
      • Note: this is not the same cloak pattern as the fellowship cloaks.  However, it is a fully functional cloak made by their couturier in Wellington.
    • NZ $1,900  ( + postage & packing) **
    • 100% Stansborough Gotland

See their  web site for ordering details directly from Stansborough Fibres.

Contact Information:

More about Stansborough Fibres

Other fabrics used in the Lord of the Rings Movie: Alpaca\Stansborough Gotland twill derived weaves - used for ...

  • Pin Tucked Jackets in natural grey with natural brown hues - Light and Dark . We make throws out of this weave in blocks of natural colours - it is one of our most popular designs. We also wove some geometric designs in natural alpaca colours. These were for jackets. Utilizing ecru, chocolate & charcoal alpaca. (We think they were used for the hobbits.)
  • We also supplied them with some natural curly grey pelts from our rare sheep and a few felt pieces.
  • Most of it was in three dimensional twill based designs, as per the Cloaks. Some was overdyed to make it look different - some was finished and some was not. The fabric can look quite different using overdyed shades of grey - but still blends very well with natural surroundings as per Tolkien's description.

Details from Cheryl:

We finish all our fabrics to enhance the lustre, drape and handle.  Sometimes this is done commercially, sometimes by hand. This depends on the end use of the fabric. We also weave some in tighter sets for garment manufacture and some for interiors. Throws and wraps are set looser.  

Some raw fleece is available in limited quantities. Sometimes we have sliver\rovings (Light Mid & Dark Grey) also but we don't keep much on hand.

We do supply small runs of designer fabrics commercially. Always utilizing the same yarns as we used in Lord of the Rings fabrics. These are available in a range of unique designs.

We can supply finished products as per throws, wraps and scarves, commercially. We have our own Gallery in Auckland with a range of our product lines: From Felted Floor rugs and pillow covers, to baby wear. Knitted Felted and Woven products for Top End Interiors, Fashion and the Tourist markets.

We also work with individual designer stores around the world to develop lines specifically for them.

Links to even more information about Stansborough.

Please note all information here is present with the approval of Cheryl Eldridge. More information and productions can be found on their web site:

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This page was last updated 04/22/08