Well, I’ve just finished making the chalice pall I talked about last time. After having a little think about it I completed the embroidery, made the teeny weeny altar linen for the back, stitched the whole thing together and then sewed on the lace edging.
Let’s have a look…

On the rack!

After the completion of the embroidery I damped and stretched the whole thing. It’s slightly terrifying as there’s always the outside chance that I could ruin the piece, water and silk don’t always play nicely. I was fairly confidant that these threads would hold up and I used the minimum amount of water possible. The merest spritz I assure you…

The backside!

As you can see, the face or ground fabric linen is backed with cotton, the better to support the threads my dear.
Now there are many ways to do things and I like to torment myself by researching different ways and also making up my own variations. You never know what you’ll come up with if you’re brave enough! For this pall I decided to make a sandwich so it was necessary for me to sew a wee hem on the front panel.

The darlingest purificator!

This is the handsewn Irish linen purificator for the underneath part of the pall, the part which actually sits on the rim of the chalice. I can’t make my mind up if its a purificator, which is the linen used upon the rim of the chalice, or if it’s actually a tiny corporal, since it’s actually a square linen as opposed to rectangular…
Hmm, I shall have to have a think about that. In any case it is a little custom linen. It reminds me of the little linens I made for a couple of Montessori teachers a while back.

Anyway after making these two pieces, all that remained was to sew them together around a piece of acid free board. I use museum quality board. Box board if you’re in England or Scotland, matt board in North America.

I used to use a kind of plastic as the inside of palls and an entirely different construction technique. I was thinking about the sacristans and washing things and really liked the idea of not actually having to take the pall apart to clean it. And then, one day, a person, actually a particular person whom I shall not name here but HE KNOWS WHO HE IS… asked me what happened at the end…
Oh shame upon me… because of course eventually things wear out and then what? The proper way to dispose of worn out liturgical items is to return them to the earth, usually by burning them and raking the ashes into the soil.
Burning plastic… groan… from that day I cannot put plastic into a pall.
To the sacristans I apologize; to the earth, I smile.

The back, completed…

The said, same purificator when all was completed. I’m rather pleased with it.

A little relief…

Apologies if I’m repeating myself from the last post; I used silks, cottons, gold threads and glass beads for the surface embroidery. The tiny cross on the purificator is hand stitched in cotton.


And of course I don’t actually have a chalice upon which to model the pall but this pottery goblet suffices.
All in all I am very happy with this. I look forward to it finding a home.

Thanks for reading

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