Funeral Casket Pall Sewing Pattern

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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 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.

The old guilds possess funeral palls or herse cloths that showcase some of the finest examples of hand embroidery. 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. Most church bodies use white palls, but some also incorporate black or violet ones as part of their tradition.

Palls can 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.

Our studios recently created a pall featured in the video below. We utilized the rich white Florence brocade fabric to create the pall and incorporated blue and gold Wakefield orphrey bands in the shape of a cross. Additionally, we included an applique in the center of the pall.

Creating Funeral Casket Pall

This spring and summer there were many requests for a casket pall sewing pattern. Liturgical and Bible passages that remind us of our baptism often associate the use of a white casket pall.

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 recognizing the desire of many who were willing to make these for their church but lacked the knowledge of how to begin the project, we decided to create the funeral casket pall sewing pattern so that we could continue to be of service to the church.

Funeral Casket Pall Sewing Pattern Ecclesiastical Sewing

Finished Project

Our pattern maker just finished creating a new sewing pattern for a funeral casket pall. A dedicated group of seamstresses or members of an altar guild can complete this fulfilling project, although sewing a casket pall is a big project that requires many yards of fabric. 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. Although we may not have the means and resources to fulfill every pattern request, we strive to design the classic vestment and altar hanging patterns that can benefit many within the church.

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

Soli Deo Gloria

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