Mary Self, of Nancy’s Embroidery, displays golden threads the The Lord of the Rings costumers are buying in bulk, but she’s keeping quiet about details.
Wardrobe Wizards Great for Business
by Michelle Sutton
The Evening Post – June 7, 2000
Costume designers for Lord of the Rings are spending up large in Wellington’s textile businesses, but shop owners are keeping tight-lipped about the materials being sold. The Lord of the Rings film crew arrived in Wellington in October last year, and textiles shop Nancy’s Embroidery, in Thorndon, has dealt regularly with staff who are making costumes and props.
“It’s hard to put a dollar value on it, but we have had quite a lot of business,” said the shop’s co-owner, Mary Self.
Ms Self, who has seen some of the “stunning” costume designs, was wary about giving away too many details of the materials she’d sold. She didn’t want to upset film makers who were trying to keep costume and movie details secret.
She said staff from the costume department had purchased earth-coloured threads for Hobbit costumes, and sewing machines.
Other threads and material in rich colours had also been sold, but costume and props staff were trying to stick to a small budget.
“They’re doing quite a bit of looking around and getting the cheapest prices,” Ms Self said.
Workers at Spotlight in Thorndon have sold thousands of dollars worth of fabric to the film’s costume designers.
Spotlight store manager Maria Smart said the designers often bought entire rolls of particular fabrics to make different costumes.
“[They bought] a lot of lycra for the knights’ costumes and hessian – a very good sort of fabric, it’s like a potato sack.”
Ms Smart said the designers were frequent customers who were known to staff.
The film has given the local textile industry another boost by creating extra jobs.
Ms Self said pupils in her craft classes had been hired to make costumes and props. She also knew of Wellington machinists who were working on the set.