Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Well Dressed Friar

Today as I was running around town, buying fabric, shipping packages, and putting out fires in general, I saw a friar waiting at the bus stop. I see them around sometimes. Brown robes. White belt with three knots - very medieval. And they are always wearing cheap cotton robes. Now, maybe that's their everyday about town friar street wear, but it kind of looks cheap. Like you could buy it at any Halloween Superstore. And their robes are always too short. Kind of undignified.

Having been brought up catholic,and having many miserable catholic school experiences, I have an aversion to brown robes, black robes, red and grey plaid, and unhappy women in wimples. But its such a novelty to see these guys in an every day setting, that for me anyway, its like watching a car wreck. You don't want to look, but you just cant help it.

Maybe they save their good robes for mass, special occasions, or for when family comes to visit. I just don't know. Ive been commissioned now and then to make several robes for various people, and I cannot make a plain cotton one. It has to have some weight. Some drape. It has to at least be 1" from the ground or the proportions feel wrong to me. It has to look like, well - like something someone would wear in the middle ages. Like something out of an ancient manuscript. Our new modern monk just isn't cutting it, in my opinion. But I will admit, I don't really pay attention to what the Catholics are doing anymore as I lost interest long ago.

But I kept thinking about this and I googled "monks" and all that goes with: I came across a website that seems to offer both cheap ass friar garb and the good wool stuff. The prices seem reasonable enough, so for all you folks who need a good Friars' robe, ecclesiastical wear or something medieval, and NOT something from the Halloween Super Store, I send you this link:
I don't make em anymore.



Lynne Rutter said...

lawks! if it was a thin, cheap cotton robe maybe it WAS a costume, you can never tell around here!

when i was restoring a franciscan church, the brothers all wore robes made from a linen or ramie material, looked kind of itchy but certainly substantial. and each one of those guys could drink me under the table.

theresa said...

Their is a lot of photos of costumes - habits what have you on this site: http://www.nunsveilshabits.com
definately worth a visit!