From The World Of Thrones And Swords

Game of Thrones' Jon Snow's sombre black cloak, complete with fur lining. The sword used by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins. Gryffindor robes in flaming red and yellow, as worn by Harry Potter. With a short glance, you'd expect to find "Made in China" neatly printed inside the inner recesses of such clothing. This time, though, you'd be mistaken. 'Made in India,' it would read. Let’s read the journey of fancy costumes from the land of myths and legends, India.
When India has the most famous props; Image Source: Scoopwhoop

When India has the most famous props; Image Source: Scoopwhoop

For decades now, numerous high-end and popular brands like Dior, Christian Louboutin, and Balenciaga have been making a profitable market in India by selling their applied decoration items. In India, even street fashion labels like Zara, Mango, Promod, and Levi's sell their items at a profit. India has become a prosperous business hub for these humongous companies. While it’s just money and profit for these brands, there have been many reports circling all around the country that says that sweatshop labourers and homeworkers are mistreated and forced to produce clothes in their homes and that too, for deplorable pay.

However, with time, the Indian textile industry is realising its potential. And this very potential allowed them to make high-end, fancy costumes for Hollywood characters like Jon Snow, and Harry Potter. Let’s explore the factory of a Dehradun-based clothes manufacturing company named R.S.Windlass, which has been providing fully licensed props and costumes for major Hollywood productions like Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Batman Begins.

The icy winds have reached the mythical realm of Westeros. Winter has arrived, and Jaime Lannister has left his sister's side for good because of all the malice and hidden planning to battle the Northern army rather than ally with them. Rashi Goil, on the other hand, is too preoccupied to relax. A determined woman of 23 and a family partner in R.S.Windlass, Rashi handles everything with utmost ease.

In Noida, a fourth-generation supervisor and RS Windlass partner stands next to Jon Snow's famed winter gear. The huge cape adorns the 998th Lord Commander's outfit, which appears battle-ready to face the White Walkers, wights, and wildlings. Longclaw, a renowned Valyrian steel sword with a white wolf on its pommel, is displayed in the prop section. Ned Stark's leather doublet is on display next to it.

"Movie goods and set props are a very narrow industry and depends on the film's success." We've had some excellent moments with successful movies and shows, such as the Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings. At the same time, we've had cases where we'd spent thousands of dollars in a project, but when the film tanked at the box office, we were left with a lot of unsold stock."

Windlass has created props and costumes for several Hollywood films, including HBO's Rome, Skyfall, The Tudors, Batman Begins, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pirates of the Caribbean (2 & 3), V for Vendetta, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; Quantum of Solace, Vampire Diaries, and True Blood. Pradeep Windlass, too, boasts:

"We donated HBO's Rome 800 swords, the knife James Bond tosses after Skyfall was ours, and we offered some accolades to The Tudors." Remember Liam Neeson's sword in Batman Begins? That was also ours."

The entire process of making costumes is pretty tedious and complicated. Once the company receives an order, the manufacturing process starts in India. Noida factory becomes the house of sourcing the raw materials, complying with the design standards, and handcrafted detailing. Many designs are pre-decided, and the company has various methods. Once everything is done, the shipment finally reaches its destination.

R.S.Windlass now works with governments on six continents, supplying military equipment such as curved blades, combat knives, dress sabres, personalized trappings, and army-grade fabrics.

Revenue generation is perhaps the most exciting part of this company. R.S.Windlass generates its revenue from high-end licensed replicas. Almost everything can be found in their imitation warehouses, from Harry Potter's Gryffindor uniform to Themistocles' cape in 300. Windlass is like a magical fantasyland for every Hollywood fan, and don’t you dare to think that since it’s an Indian product, it might be pretty cheap. If you want their flawless Obi-Wan Kenobi outfit, it’ll cost you around $4,000.

From modest beginnings in 1943 as a manufacturer of Gurkha kukris, Windlass Steelcrafts has come a long way. Today, the Windlass products are not only popular in India, but all over the world, including the high-end Hollywood production companies. Established in 1943 in a small town in the foothills of the Himalayas, Windlass Group was established by Rashi Goil’s grandfather, Ved Prakash Windlass. Initially, the company was started by Ved to manufacture and supply kukris (a type of knife used mainly by Nepalese) to the British Indian army during the second world war. However, the company progressed towards newer ventures that would give its employees more adventures and exotic experiences with time.

On a sweltering, steamy day, Jon Snow's large, heavy cloak with fur lining reminds how distant Westeros is from India. His cape's fabric is vital—so robust that it might be used to set up camp on a camping trip. It's constructed of cotton duck, a thick, dense canvas fabric.

While the fantastic visuals of GoT mesmerize us, the difficulty that R.S.Windlass faces while making the props and costumes is something that should not go unnoticed. Pradeep Windlass, the Windlass company's representative in America, once stated:

The factory where all the amazing costumes are made; Image Source: Times of India

The factory where all the amazing costumes are made; Image Source: Times of India

Rashi Goil: The woman behind the gorgeous costumes; Image Source: News 18

Rashi Goil: The woman behind the gorgeous costumes; Image Source: News 18

Jon Snow’s iconic cloak; Image Source: Times of India

Jon Snow’s iconic cloak; Image Source: Times of India


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