Planning Your Lent Church Vestment Projects: a Liturgical Fabric Review
It’s the beginning of a New Year! We just finished celebrating the Birth of our Savior, and the 12 Days of Christmas which ended with the Feast of Epiphany. And while we are still in the early days of January, in the life of the church, we must always be looking ahead when it comes to planning sewing projects for the various seasons of the Church Year.
Lent begins this year on February 26th. That is still 6 weeks away, but it’s not too early to be looking at the various violet and Roman Purple fabrics and trims for all of those Do It Yourself Projects in your Church.
There are lots of different things that can be created for a church – with a bit of thought, planning and a willingness to take on the project, your project will be a success and add much joy to your church!. We know it is difficult to “shop” for fabrics and trims in an online world. The very nature of fabrics and trims implore us to hold and to touch and feel and feast our senses on their beauty.
Let’s begin our journey with the two lovely and historic fabrics. The Violet Brocade is Winchester. As is tradition, many of our fine Liturgical Brocade Fabrics take their name from famous Cathedrals in the United Kingdom where the fabrics are woven. Winchester comes in a variety of colors such as Ivory, Red, Green, Rose Gold, Violet, and Roman Purple. The Violet is a rich Royal Shade of Purple. Violet is an appropriate color for Lent. It is associated with pain, suffering, mourning, and loss. Yet it is also the color for Royalty. Winchester is a wonderful Brocade Fabric. It has a nice hand and the weight is designed for use with hand embroidery and goldwork embroidery. It holds up well for machine embroidery. It drapes beautifully for chasubles and copes. What’s not to love!
The Black fabric is one that many may not be as familiar with. It is a 100% Silk Fabric and it is one of the nices fabrics I have had the pleasure of sewing. The pattern is Evesham. We are more familiar with the brocatelle style of the pattern with the gold on gold or gold with colors. The Black Evesham is frequently used for ceremonial robes, too. If you have never experienced working with a silk damask fabric, it is wonderful. It cuts, drapes and sews like nothing else.
Black and violet are two of my favorite colors to combine when it comes to creating a single vestment or an entire collection. The colors are striking and so bold. And there are little tricks along the way that help ensure that the right balance of color and contrast are achieved.
Once fabrics are selected, it is time to think about trims. There are several types of trims and they each have slightly different characteristics and tricks to use when working with them. In this photo, we see Dice Braid, Trail Braid, and St. Dominic 3 inch orphrey banding. They look great with the Black Evesham Silk and the Violet Chelsmford Silk Damask. Both Chelmsford and Evesham have a wonderful drape and hand. They fall in soft rich folds and hang beautifully in vestments!
Many may be concerned that silk damask fabrics are not in their budgets. The same trims would also look wonderful when paired up with Violet or Black Fairford. Florence and Lichfield both have lovely shades of Violet. St. Margaret is available in both black and violet.
Selecting fabrics and trims for an upcoming church vestment project can be a bit daunting. Church Vestments tend to stick around for a long time – and you want to be happy with the results! By taking your time and reviewing fabric swatches, you will make wonderfully imformed decisions and have a vestment set that will be enjoyed for years to come.
We hope you enjoy feasting your eyes on all of the fabrics and trims available for creating Lent Church vestments. We may have a few more photos lying around, and we’ll be sure to share.
Be sure to check out our line of patterns for creating church vestments, too! There are lots of new patterns for you to enjoy. And we hope to soon have written instructions for more of our patterns.
Soli Deo Gloria