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Paper Matters

The other day, I posted about framing up my next Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design for the Easter Set pulpit fall

And I have to confess. The pouncing did not go as well as it usually does because of the error that happened at the printers.  Paper Matters. Let me explain.

As I had mentioned before, the design for the pulpit fall came from a very old embroidery book.  I blew the Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design up on the copier, and used my home-made light box to retrace the design.  I had a great original. And, I am protective about my original designs once they are completed. They take hours of work to create.  And it is fun to do that!  Once they are done, they become precious. So, to preserve the original, I headed off to the printer to have them copy my precious hand drawn Ecclesiastical Embroidery Pattern onto another piece of paper that could be pricked, pounced, beat up, and withstand the usual wears and tears of pattern life.  The only problem was – the paper.  Yes, that’s right. The paper.  For some reason, the clerk insisted on using a heavy, glossy on both sides, paper.  I asked for plain paper, simple, ordinary plain paper that would be 12″ x 18″ to fit the design and allow a nice edge on all sides.  The clerk said, “This will work fine. Those little holes will work great in this weight of paper.” So, two copies were made, and home I came with my Embroidery Design on the heavy glossy paper.


I went ahead and pricked the embroidery pattern right away so it would be ready to go.  It has been in a drawer, however, for quite a while, waiting, wondering when it would be used.   I was also waiting for my Millennium Frames to arrive, which took quite a while.


The other night was the night. The design was going to be transferred and placed on the linen.  The pattern was pinned in place, the support books were placed under the design, the charcoal pounce and pounce pad were out, and I started.  That glossy paper was the worst thing imaginable. The charcoal slide all over it.  It was so thick that the pounce did not go through it easily. The first attempt was a disaster. The design was to faint in most places that is could not be seen clearly. Nothing for it but to start over. The patterns was remove, the charcoal pounce was flicked off, and then vacuumed over to remove all residue.


The second attempt was better, but still not the same results that I have had in the past when the design was on a thinner quality of paper.  Today, as I look at the back side of the pattern, I notice that the two uses have ruined it.  There is a hole along the prick lines in several sections of the pattern.

This reminded me of the volunteer work that I do at a Monastery that had an art needlework department. All of their designs were on the thinnest of papers, like a very thin tracing paper. The patterns were used repeatedly until the holes became blocked. Then they would place the pattern over a new piece of paper and prick the design through.  That is how they copied designs. They did not have a copier like we have now.

To conclude this tale, the lesson I learned – go with my original thought, and NEVER let the clerk at the copy store talk me into heavy glossy paper for my patterns again.  I have some vellum, so perhaps it is time to create my own lightweight pattern by hand, the old fashion way.

Solo Dei Gloria

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing  on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest. Sing up for our mailing list  at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.

Filed under: Ecclesiastical Embroidery, Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design, Ecclesiastical Sewing, embroidery design, embroidery patterns, Pulpit Fall Tagged: art needlework, Chi-rho, Ecclesiastical Embroidery, Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design, Ecclesiastical Embroidery pattern, Ecclesiastical Sewing, embroidery books, embroidery design, embroidery pattern, embroidery patterns, Frames, Linen, Prick and Pounce, Pulpit Fall, pulpit falls
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