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Strider's Grey Shirt

V 3.0 - August 2003

Aragorn wear his grey shirt under his ranger garb for almost all of the Fellowship of the Ring and for the beginning of The Two Towers.


At first glance it is a simple grey shirt.  Study shows it is much more.  It has been weather to grey from it's original black.    It has an odd shaped yoke that is barely finger width at the neck with a neck hole small enough that when the shirt is tied, the collar rolls up to the neck so it appears to be a collar.

The yoke is finished with hand embroidered "X"s along the yoke seam (on the yoke side).  This stitching is in place of the modern top stitching.  The yoke is narrower than standard... maybe only about 6" to 8".

The yoke finishes square, about an 1"-2" down his shoulder.  Sleeves ARE NOT set in.  They are square, there is NO gusset.  The extra movement room comes from the gathering of the body of the shirt.

The body of the shirt is lightly gathered into the yoke both front and back.  It is assumed that that gathering is heaviest at center black.

The shirt is open in front to mid chest.  It has two ties of nylon cord.  Neither is at the top.  The end pf the slit is finished with a patch about 1" square that is top stitched into place. The opening is faced and at the point under the square it looks like the fabric has been pleated together just enough to overlap the two sides of the opening.

The sleeves are weird... they're stage sleeves, not something found in any historical period.  (That's what took us so long.)  Probably the shirt went though some modification for fit and movement before the design stabilized... sooooo....

The sleeves themselves are a fairly loose tube.  They are sewn closed up to the wrist.  There are a double pare of cords sewn in at this point. The sleeve then extend another 2"-3" inches over his hand.  There is no seam showing there, so the fabric must double back all the way to the wrist, forming a cuff.

At the top of the sleeve there is a complex pattern of smocking. However... this is a separate piece from the sleeves.  It is just a rectangle piece of fabric and does not go all around the sleeve.  The under part of the sleeve is again plain fabric that has been stitched to the smocking piece.  (Think lots of rectangles sewn together and the underarm piece is not smocked so he can lower his arm carefully.)

Can see the ties here and vaguely make out the square at the bottom of the opening.   Collar detail
Please note, these are earlier sketches... and wrong... but do show some detail..    
Detail of shirt collar, hand embroidered with small "X"s.  These "X" are actualy on the bottom, not top edge. Preliminary: Detail of shirt front, (prelim, there are two ties in a different place) Preliminary draft of the shirt. Sleeves are a bit fuller than show here.  Tie is placed correctly on sleeves.

Collar is actually a shaped narrow yoke.



Shirt fabric

Fabric documentation:

  • The shirt is fine linen. And it is "delicately embroidered" according to Nigila Dickson.
    • LOTR: FCOMM, V4, "The Costumes of Middle-earth: An Interview with Ngila Dickson" by Dan Madsen
  • Looks almost grey in color after all the aging. Greyish nylon cord ties.  This is also probably stripped black.
  • How to get this effect
    • Wash and thrash the heck out of fine black linen... very hot water. Tennis shoes (no Velcro kind). Lots of hot dryer and wash with color bleach.  Hang out in the sun between times.

Embroidery - Yoke

The shirt is decorated in two places.  "X"s on the yoke and smocking on the top of the sleeves.  Neither are quite what they first look like.

  • The "X"s on collar turns out to be a narrow bit of a yoke.  The  embroidery is actually on the bottom of the yoke where modern stay stitching would be.
  • This can be seen on the extended DVD costume section


Smocking - Sleeve Cap

Can see it in the extended DVD on the


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This page was last updated 04/22/08