Antique Vestment Restorations by Atelier Sirio

We tend to think of restorations primarily in the context of architecture or painting, however the realm of the textile arts is not one we should forget in this regard either. Atelier Sirio, a vestment firm located in Bergamo, Italy, have an interesting feature on their social media page every Friday, #Venerd√¨Restauro (Restoration Friday) wherein they showcase one of their restoration works -- generally happening within the context of a chasuble or other ecclesiastical textile taken from the 18th or 19th century. 

As our primary example, I wanted to show the following 18th century chasuble which evidently is from Milan (given the cappino).

Now this is the chasuble in its restored state, but to give an example of the kind of work that was done, first off there was the matter of disassembling the chasuble and cleaning the gold embroidery:

This next image shows nicely the cleaned vs. uncleaned gold thread:

In addition, some mending of the underlying silk was also required, as well as restoration of some of the embroideries:

By their own description, this was a fairly conservative restoration, but some of their other restorative works show some of the other deeper cleanings and mendings that can be required.

Do take a look at some of Atelier Sirio's other restorations if this is a subject that is of interest to you.

At very least it is good to recall that vestments, when soiled or in a state of disrepair, are not unlike the other liturgical arts: something potentially cleanable and repairable -- particularly if their artistic beauty or historical importance merits it.  In this regard, if your sacristy is in possession of such items take heart, you may yet be able to breathe new liturgical life into them. 

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.