Advent is a season of preparation that leads up to one of the most Festive seasons in the Church year. Christmas will soon be here, and with it comes the splendor and joy of the birth of our Redeemer, the Christ Child. Each season in the church year is marked by a change in vestment color and symbols. The color for Christmas is white or gold. White is also the color used for Epiphany, Transfiguration Sunday, and Easter, along with several other festivals throughout the church year.
The range of white church vestment fabrics available at Ecclesiastical Sewing for making church vestments is quite nice. Because white is used for more festive seasons, there is an assortment of high quality brocades and silk damask liturgical fabrics, along with the moderate priced brocade fabrics.
If you might be wondering whether I have favorites in this line, the answer is YES! Of course I do. So here is a quick run down of a few of my favorites, but bear in mind that a favorite fabric can vary frequently, depending on the vestment being made, the need, the setting where the finished vestment will be used, and of course budget. Now you might be thinking, what does she mean by that? Let me try to give you an example.
If the setting is a grand church with beautiful stone, woodwork, decorative features, ornate, classic, in a traditional setting, and they use a traditional worship service, I might select one of the silk damask fabrics such as Chelmsford, St. Nicolas or Bramfield. Before a final decision were made on any of these fabrics, I would also take into account whether the fabric was being used on a large high altar, a small side altar, a stole or a cope. St. Nicolas is a lovely damask, but because it is large, it is best suited for a larger altar, cope and the like. That is not to say it could not be made into a handsome stole, but rather as a consideration for a finished vestment that best shows off the large-scale of the pattern. There are also many of the other fabrics that would be the perfect choice or selection for that setting such as Fairford, St. Margaret and Lichfield.
If the place of worship were a small chapel or a mission church with a limited budget, I might favor Cloister, St. Aidan, and Ely Crown. Again, the small church could select a silk damask such as the Ivory Tudor Rose but the fabric might use up an entire budget in this case and not allow for any trim or decoration.
Another consideration that determines my favorites is design and embellishments. I try to keep in mind the embroidery or orphrey trim as it might be used with the fabric so that they compliment without overpowering each other. Granted, this is the “cliff Notes” version of my thought process as vestment sets are considered, and which fabric is my favorite, and as you might now guess, they are all my favorite fabrics when they are used in the proper setting for the proper vestment.
To summarize, here are the following points to be considered when selecting a liturgical fabric:
- Setting, location or item the fabric will be used on.
- Scale and size of the space or article being made.
- Additional design details such as embellishments, hand or machine embroidery, orphrey, galloon, and the like so all pieces compliment each other.
One other thing to note about the white fabrics. When we were in the photography studio almost a year ago taking photos of the fabrics, the white fabrics proved to be the most challenging to capture. Several fabrics were turned upside down, tipped way over with the photographer up on ladders, down on the ground, and our team using reflectors, and all sorts of things to try to capture an image. It took four or five sessions in studio to capture most of the line, and we were often hampered by sunlight or lack there of.
All of the liturgical fabrics are available through the Ecclesiastical Sewing online front found HERE.
Solo Dei Gloria
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Filed under: Altar Frontal, chasuble, church vestment, Cope, Ecclesiastical Fabric, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Ecclesiastical Vestments, Liturgical Fabrics Tagged: Altar Frontal, chasuble, Church Vestment, Cope, Ecclesiastical Fabric, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Ecclesiastical Vestments, Liturgical Fabrics