ISSUE 32  |  Down Under

Lightweight Wool: Godmother Stansborough Grayscale Blankets from New Zealand

August 14, 2014 1:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

Spotted online at stylist Katie Lockhart’s Auckland, New Zealand, shop, Everyday Needs: limited-edition, lightweight gray wool blankets with the intriguing label “Woven for Godmother.” We had to know more and Lockhart was happy to fill us in.

The blankets are by Kirsty Cameron, a New Zealand director and costume designer (best known for her costumes for Whale Rider) who designs her own line under the name Godmother. The blankets are made of Stansborough Grey, a wool that turns out to have a complex pedigree. Known for its softness and natural grayscale colors, with glints of metallic sheen, it comes from a rare flock of sheep brought to New Zealand from Denmark in the 1970s. Farmers Barry and Cheryl Eldridge of Stansborough, a sheep station and woolens business in Wellington, have spent the last 12 years carefully breeding the flock for its fleece, which they turn into worsted wool. (Previously the exotic sheep had been farmed for their pelts, but use of the wool dates back to the Vikings, who incorporated it into their longship sails.) Cameron works with the Eldridge’s signature Stansborough Grey lightweight wool, dying some of the fiber in a chemical-free process. It’s then woven at the Stansborough mill and hand-finished.

Above: The blankets are made in limited editions–there are only four to six of each colorway. The shades of gray are natural.

Above: The Godmother Stansborough Grey Wool Blanket in Green is $445 NZD ($376 USD).

Above: Each blanket has a hand-printed label.

Above: The Godmother Stansborough Grey Wool Baby Blanket in a Grey Varied Stripe is $380 NZD ($322 USD).

Above: Cameron is master at achieving muted colors.

Above: The Godmother Stansborough Gray Wool Blanket in a Black Varied Stripe is $445 NZD ($376 USD).

Read more about the Everyday Needs shop in our post Elevating the Everyday in Auckland, New Zealand, and have a look at another of Katie Lockhart’s local favorites: Wendyl Nissen’s “No Nasty Chemicals” Cleaning Products. Go to Blankets & Throws to see more options from our archive.