Recycling holy fabrics means taking linens, and/or church vestments that have been blessed and used in the worship of God and saving those parts that have not been worn or damaged beyond repair. Any reusable fabrics, embroideries, tassels, fringe, etc. that can be reverently and respectfully removed from an original piece can be used in another.
One reason we strive to recycle is simply good stewardship of what we have been given for use in our worship services. Often, the quality of the fabric or the embellishment on a piece is finer than what is available today. Very often, old designs cannot be copied because the basic materials or artistic skills are not available to recreate them.
When working with needlework that was created by someone else, there is a closeness to someone who made it in the past. I am often in awe of the talent, effort and love that have gone into making many of the pieces. It is an honor to be able to save anything that is of practical use in church.
Recycling holy fabrics is a creative process that can be challenging and rewarding. The challenge is in figuring out how to best recycle something and skillfully take it apart so it can be reused. Time spent working on the projects is a calming retreat from the frantic pace of life- a holy time.
On Easter Sunday, a “new” set of paraments were debuted. These pieces recycled parts from the old white frontal. Martha Holyoke, and her band of sewing ladies have been hard at work, deconstructing and repurposing. You can look forward to seeing more new/old pieces.
Many thanks go to Martha, Connie Cooper, Carolyn Bowman, Sue Houghton, Cana Hartman, and Jane Babcock. If you are interested in joining in this special work, know that you are Welcome! There are plans for several more beautiful, well loved pieces to be reborn this year.