Shimmering Fabrics and How to Use Them

There is nothing that grabs our attention more that something shiny. That glint and glimmer is sure to catch our glance, make us stop, and take a look. Sometimes shiny objects can be a distraction, sometimes they can make us pause and wonder what is going on.  Shining objects are always guaranteed to capture our attention.

Today I spent some time looking at shiny objects. To be more specific, shiny, glimmering liturgical fabrics for use in making church vestments. I have a special event coming up over the Holidays, and now is the time to start thinking about the project. The project is intended for use during the Christmas Season.  The ideas are in the beginning stages.  First thoughts are of colors: white and gold.  Christmas is a Festival time, and so the use of white is a must, and combining gold is perfectly fine. Thankfully that is settled.  The next thought is budget.  The options are a silk base fabric with gold orphrey trim, or an ivory/gold metallic fabric. At this point, either will work for the budget.

After budget, the next thoughts are of design. It is Christmas, and the Nativity comes to mind.

Nativity Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design byJohn D. Sedding 1874
Nativity Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design by John D. Sedding 1874

I have a lovely Nativity Design that has a prick and pounce pattern ready to go. I like this and it might be an option, but there is no time, even with starting now, to hand embroider an altar frontal for Christmas. There may be time to have a design digitized for machine embroidery, so that option will have to be explored.  And while this design, or a variation there of, might work for the altar frontal, other designs will be needed to coordinate with this for the super frontal, pulpit fall and matching stole. Looks like it is time to get out a sketch pad, or get a design into the computer to modify. Some how, angels might  have a part in this set as well. There are a few hovering around the sewing room these days (that is in books).  The design, or rather, how the design works out, will be the big deciding factor for everything else going forward on this project. Time is the other issue. The design has to be workable in a “fast” way. Thankfully, there is another design that was created last spring, which, if modified will work well as a part of this set.  As I move through the design process, I will try to keep you updated on where the project is at.  Thankfully, there are four months, and I will need every one of them to complete this on time.

Solo Dei Gloria

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  1. So where did you find this amazing and ancient architectural drawing from 1874? That’s amazing, especially with the paint daubs, which were obviously used to determine what colors to use. Is this original in your keeping? Wow!

    • Hi Shannon,
      Yes, I do have this original, as well as several others by the same architect, John D. Sedding, in my possession at the moment. They were a rare find that I happened to stumble upon. The designs were from a monastery that had an art needlework department that eventually closed. Some of the designs in the collection are quite large.

      The little daubs of color are actually little samples of embroidery floss glued to the design, intended for color direction. Beside each swatch of embroidery floss is a notation of where and how to incorporate the colors. That was the beauty of the architects from the mid to late 1800’s. They provided specific instructions for everything. It would be really fun to come across a vintage piece of embroidery from one of the designs some day.

      Best regards,