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Adding Fringe Trim to a Pulpit Fall or Superfrontal

Luther Rose Brocade Liturgical Fabric Higher Things Conferences Fringe trim machine embroidery Church vestments Pulpit fall altar hanging Baxter MN

We have four sets of Trinity Altar hangings in the Ecclesiastical Sewing Studios at the moment. Several of those sets are complete and ready to ship while others are just in the beginning stages of construction.

As one set was having the final touches added for completion, it seems like a good time for a little show and tell. Creating a superfrontal with fringe at the lower edge may seem to a daunting task, but let’s take a moment and work through the fringe part.

Fringe may easily be added to many liturgical items. But to have it turn out well takes a bit of extra care. The fringe that was selected for this project is the antique gold fringe made with rayon threads. This is a nice fringe created for use in making church vestments. It comes in two shades of gold – bright gold and antique gold, red, white (ivory) blue, green, violet, as well as two-toned color combinations. The rayon fringe was selected because this set of vestments is being used for ordinary times. There will be wonderful detail with the machine embroidery, but there is not a great deal of trim. While the gold thread fringe would work, the rayon thread is the preferred choice. This is also a set that will be heavily used for many months throughout the church year. So a more durable fringe option seems appropriate.

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The first thing to do is to figure out the fringe placement line. Where possible, it helps to select a motif in a patterned fabric to ensure the fringe will be in a straight line. For this pulpit fall, the bottom of a circle motif was selected as the fringe placement line.

Depending on your fabric color and your ability to mark and sew accurately, you can either measure and then hand baste a thread line or use a chalk wheel or something similar to mark the sewing line. Please be very careful when using any type of making pencil on liturgical fabrics. If for any reason there is an error, many marks will not come out. It is better to thread baste a line rather than mark with something that might show or not come out of expensive liturgical fabrics.

Once a line is established, measure out the needed amount of fringe.  I often do not cut the fringe until everything has been sewn into place. This ensures that #1 I do not run out from having cut the fringe an inch too short, and #2 that expensive trim is not wasted by cutting too much.

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Starting at one end, carefully place the fringe at top of the line or marking, ensuring that the line is covered exactly without going past the line. Place pins very close together and perpendicular to the fringe. (At right angles). Pinning carefully and accurately and close together helps to ensure the fringe is placed straight and that it will not shift positions when stitching. Once the entire piece of fringe is pinned carefully along the line it is time to sew the fringe.

There are two options for sewing the fringe. The first option is to select a multi-step zigzag stitch. This works well to have one row of stitching that secures both top and bottom of the fringe. The trick here is to ensure that your thread color is a perfect match. Also, keep your stitch width at a wide setting and your stitch length fairly short. The zigs and zags should be about 1/4 inch apart.

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The other method, which is our preferred method to apply fringe, is to use an edge foot and to sew a line of straight stitching with the fringe following along the edge foot. Adjust your sewing machine’s needle position so that it will stitch about 3/16″ from the edge of the fringe. The edge foot keeps your stitches straight and evenly placed on the fringe.

Antique gold fringe costume fringe curtain fringe gold fringe thread fringe cope hood fringe stole fringe trim notionsThe edge of the fringe is placed along the edge of the foot. Sew slowly enough to ensure that the fringe will stay along the edge of the foot. This will keep the stitching perfectly straight and spaced evenly along the entire length of the fringe. This puts an end to wavy stitching lines.

And wouldn’t you know – the camera was put away before the fringe was finished………………..and the piece is at the Ecclesiastical Studio #2 so a final photo of the finished fringe will have to wait until next time!

Here is a bit of a spoiler alert: The lead photo in this post is a beautiful new embroidery collection designed by artist Edward Riojas. The design is part of ” The Sanctified Collection” which will be used this summer for the Higher Things Conference. We never like to completely show a collection until the first person who has ordered the set receives it. We hope to send the first set off within the next two weeks so we will have to keep you waiting for a bit before you can see everything.  We can hardly wait to show you the set and know you’re going to love it!

So stay tuned for more sneak peaks at the new Ecclesiastical Sewing Sanctified Collection!

What images does the word Sanctified bring to your mind? Will your ideas match those of the artist? We would love to know your thoughts, too!

Soli Deo Gloria




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