‘Outlander’: How These Costumes Were Made With Blankets

Outlander might be a sweeping romantic drama with a fascinating undercurrent of time travel fantasy, but for many fans, it’s a period piece first and foremost. For such fans, that means one thing above all: a bounty of costumes.

Earlier seasons of the Starz series explored Scotland in the mid-18th Century, during the days of the Jacobite Uprising, with brief detours to France. More recent seasons have relocated the main characters to pre-Revolutionary colonial America on the brink of the Revolutionary War.

What happens in season 4 of ‘Outlander’?

Sophie Skelton and Caitriona Balfe on 'Outlander'
Sophie Skelton and Caitriona Balfe on ‘Outlander’ | STARZ

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Outlander Season 4 fully moved the series to the American colonies following a shipwreck in season 3. After landing in Georgia, the Frasers found themselves in North Carolina and began trying to build a new life. By season’s end, the British authority in the Colonies had granted the family a parcel of land that came to be known as Fraser’s Ridge.

That new home didn’t come easy, however, as Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) had to whether the harsh frontier wilderness along the way. During this time, a sneaky bit of creative costume work might have escaped the eye of fans. Not just a smart use of on-set resources, the neat trick also helped flesh out the Frasers’ desperate struggle to survive the bitter cold of winter.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Outlander‘s costume designer, Terry Dresbach, revealed some of the tricks and secrets woven into the show’s many outfits. In particular, she singled out a scarf in season 4, episode 4, that was made out of a blanket used as set-dressing in an earlier scene and explained how it helped tell the story.

“If you look really carefully [in Episode 4], you will see a large blanket on their bed in the lean-to, which we then cut up and made into scarves,” Dresbach explained. “They weren’t prepared for the winter, and they had to figure out how the hell to keep warm, so a blanket was up for grabs. And that’s when we start seeing the fur appear, because obviously they’re hunting. You’re not going to throw that fur out. You’re going to use it to be warm.”

How is the series handling Season 6?

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Filming is now underway on Outlander Season 6 in Scotland. The series was originally supposed to continue production in the spring of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic made that plan infeasible, for rather obvious reasons.

While strict health safety protocols are in place on the set, die-hard fans need not worry about Outlander losing what makes it special in the process. Showrunner Matthew B. Roberts has confirmed that they are doing everything in their power to preserve the show’s trademark sex scenes.

“I didn’t want me or the staff changing what the story is for COVID,” Roberts said in an interview with Elle. “We have a lot of intimate scenes—that’s where we live and breathe.”