Funeral Casket Pall Sewing Pattern

Funeral Casket Pall Sewing Pattern

Funeral Casket Pall Sewing Pattern:  The word pall comes from the Latin pallium meaning cloak.  Thus a cloak or covering – a pall  – is placed over the casket, or in ancient times, the body, of the deceased when a casket was not affordable.

The use of funeral palls has a long-standing tradition dating back to at least the Middle Ages. During this time, the cloth was often rich or brightly colored, and palls were often richly embroidered. Another name for this ancient version of the pall is mort-cloth or even a casket saddle. Wealthy families may have had a special pall and perhaps funeral vestments created and these were often gifted to the church following the funeral.

Some of the finest examples of hand embroidery may be found on the funeral palls or herse cloths belonging to the old guilds. The example shown below belongs to the Saddlers’ Company.


Saddlers Company Vintage casket pall Image

Over the years, palls changed to black as the predominant color.

The Significance of Funeral Pall

In America and Canada, the palls used today are often white. While white is used most often, black or violet palls are part of the tradition within various church bodies.

Palls may be decorated with embroidery or contrasting fabrics. And of course, different churches and denominations will have different traditions and design preferences.

The pall is used or placed over the coffin from the time it arrives at the church and during the funeral service. In some faiths, members of the family drape the pall over the casket of the loved one.

If a church does not have a pall, families may commission a pall as a memorial gift to the church following the funeral.

The video below shows a recent pall that was created in our studios. The pall is made using the rich white Florence brocade fabric. Blue and gold Wakefield orphrey bands have been placed on the pall in the shape of a cross. In the center of the pall, an applique has been added.


Creating Funeral Casket Pall

This spring and summer there were many requests for a casket pall sewing pattern. The use of a white casket pall is often connected with the liturgy and Bible passages that remind us of our baptism.

So people asked questions about how to make a casket pall and expressed their need and desire for a pattern and instructions. Creating a piece that is used for such an important and honored event is a big undertaking for anyone. Funeral palls use many yards of fabrics and trims. And one has no idea how to begin such a project.

After hearing these heartfelt requests,  and the desire of so many who were willing to make these for their church but lacked the knowledge of how to begin the project, we knew that the funeral casket pall sewing pattern needed to be created so that we could continue to be of service to the church.

Funeral Casket Pall Sewing Pattern Ecclesiastical Sewing

Our pattern maker just finished creating a new sewing pattern for a funeral casket pall. Although sewing a casket pall is a big project that requires many yards of fabric, this is a project that can be completed by a dedicated group of seamstresses or members of an altar guild. The skill level for this project is a higher level intermediate to advanced skills seamstress or tailor.

The needs of our clients and the church are important to us. While we lack the means and resources to create every pattern that is requested, we do our best to create the classic vestment and altar hanging patterns that can be of service to many throughout the church.

It is our hope and prayer that for those who make casket palls using this pattern, would be that the work of their hands may bring comfort and hope to the hearts of those who mourn.

Soli Deo Gloria