Friday 31 March 2017


In the last 10 days, the Studio has been beset by difficulties : computer, telephone and related technocrap. Although not being a slave to the modern digital age, we are nevertheless forced to be fellow-travellers.

Correspondents, please bear with us. The actual sewing-work of the Studio has, happily, continued unimpaired.

"Normal service HAS been resumed as soon as possible." Basil Fawlty.

Sunday 26 March 2017

For Laetare Sunday 2017

Twice a year, the Church breaks the tone of its penitential seasons by the use of rose-coloured vestments.  Rose-coloured vestments were never commonplace and they still are not.  Nevertheless, you will find various pronouncements these days (usually on websites) about what the real or authentic shade of rose is which is to be used for vestments.

Newsflash: there is no official shade of Rose designated by the Church, nor has there ever been.  The reason for this is rather simple: only in the last century did the process of dyeing fabric become sufficiently sophisticated to ensure that much the same shade of a colour emerged from one batch of fabric dyeing to another.  Previous to that, dyes were derived from plants etc., made up with a great deal of labour.

Many different colours have been deemed by the Church as acceptable as liturgical rose.  Some of these are a salmon shade; some a silvery-pink, almost mushroom-colour; some close to what we would call Bishop's purple or fuchsia; and some red with overtones of gold.

Another thing is certain: Bubblegum Pink is not Rose, nor has it been a traditional variation for use on these days. Whilst not intending to get into the argument as to whether the use of a such a vibrant pink is a fitting colour for a man to wear, "Bubblegum Pink" certainly manifests a lamentable lack of liturgical good taste. Sadly, pink-coloured vestments, purporting to be Rose, are becoming increasingly commonplace and now even appear at Papal Masses.

Featured in this post is the vestment shewn above, made for a returning customer in the Borromeon style. The vestments are made from a beautiful English silk damask and the orphrey is formed from a Puginesque braid in shades of burgundy, red and ash-grey, designed by and made especially for the Studio.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.


Saturday 25 March 2017

Ladye Day 2017

To commemorate our Lady's Feast, we are pleased to present this Maria Regina chasuble, recently completed for a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Maria Regina chasuble, especially intended for Feasts of the Blessed Virgin, is based on the style of chasuble commonly found in England and the Low Countries in the 15th and 16th centuries: long and pointed, but reaching only to the elbows. A similar cut of chasuble was adopted by AWN Pugin at the times of his Revival of "Gothic" vestments in the 19th century. The braids to ornament these vestments were designed by the Saint Bede Studio, inspired by a Pugin orphrey.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

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Wednesday 22 March 2017

During the Lenten Season

Borromeon chasuble
The Saint Bede Studio recently completed the vestments shewn in the adjacent photograph for a parish in the Diocese of Fall River (USA). This chasuble is in the Borromeon style.

Although there are many different shades used for Lenten and Advent vestments (none of which has a claim to being the correct colour), nevertheless, this particular shade of violet is closer to what was used during the mediaeval period and until the beginning of the 20th century.  It is a subdued colour, but not dark, closer to the shade of the flowers Violets. 

Instead of the ubiquitous treatment of gold ornament, these vestments are ornamented with galloons of charcoal and silver and are lined in taffeta of silver-grey. The vestments are ornamented in the Roman manner.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.


Monday 20 March 2017

Violets are Blue (reposted)

Two shades of "violet".
Often is read here and there vigorous assertions about the "correct" colour of vestments to be used during Lent and Advent. If you have wondered what colour the Church recommends for these Seasons, you may find these posts on our Blog ( here and here) illuminating.

The adjacent photograph depicts two different shades of the colour "violet".  Violet is a blue-tinged colour: it is quite distinct from the colour purple, a shade of which is used as the choir dress for bishops and lesser prelates.

The darker of the two shades is close to that colour described as indigo.

Saturday 18 March 2017

Contrasts : 9

Two images of Solemn Mass both celebrated in Gothic Revival Churches. 

An inventive use of tapestry fabric is shewn in the "gothic" vestments (above);
whilst an anaemic colour palette and awkward construction is demonstrated
in the other, in the manner of the Spanish Baroque.

Thursday 9 March 2017

Studio Milestone

On 26th March, 2007 this Web-log of the Saint Bede Studio was commenced.  Earlier today, after 10 years, a milestone was passed with the ONE MILLIONTH visit to the Blog! In an age of frenetic social media activity, 1,000,000 visits probably doesn't seem too consequential, but for a small enterprise, such as this Studio, it is an important event and occasion to thank God for His Blessings.

The work of the Studio was commenced in 2002 (an uncertain date) and became a full-time enterprise in January 2008. It seems that over these years, 450 - 500 vestments have been made, comprising chasubles, copes and dalmatics; this figure would be doubled if we include chalice veil, burses, stoles and maniples.

Certainly, our most thrilling moment (so far?) was when we made vestments for Pope Benedict, which were used during his visit to Australia in 2008 and thereafter returned with him to Rome to live in the sacristy of Saint Peter's Basilica. Maybe one day, in better times, we will see them used again.

Our prayerful thanks to all those who have visited the Saint Bede Studio Web log over these ten years. We hope our best work is yet to come.

Saturday 4 March 2017

As Lent Begins

This is a chasuble in the Studio's Saint Martin style, being a contemporary interpretation of the mediaeval chasuble. It is a very ample vestment and intended for use in Lent. The vestments are made from a simple silk in a darker shade of purple and ornamented in the Roman style with a braid of the Studio's own design, but based on the work of AWN Pugin. It is fully lined in crimson taffeta.

The vestment described in this post was commissioned by a young priest in the United States.

Click on the adjacent image for an enlarged view.