Raised Embroidered Chasuble of the Late Fifteenth Century

The following chasuble comes from Bohemia and is dated to circa 1480-1500.  The main material of the chasuble is a green velvet that has had a pattern created within it by a process called "voiding." Voided velvet is created when the velvet is woven in such a way that some areas are deliberately left without pile to leave the ground revealed; this is done in a patterned way to thus create a design similar to what you see here.

As is evident from the image, the chasuble is a mixture of periods and influences, not directly reflecting the original chasuble which, in this time period, would have been more ample. 

Of course, the primary feature of this particular chasuble is the exquisitely embroidered orphrey depicting Christ crucified with the skull of Adam at the base of the cross and Our Lady and St. John to either side with an ornamental floor and backdrop placed beneath and around the cross. To either side on the arms of the cross are two angels also situated on this tile like floor of blue and gold.

An interesting inclusion in this particular parament is the separate, second scene on the bottom portion of the orphrey which depicts canons in procession vested in their winter, fur almuce. Curiously the lead canon appears to be holding a dagger emitting blood -- no doubt a reference to some miraculous relic or devotion of particular local importance.

As you can see in this image above, the embroidery is very three dimensional in character -- what is called raised embroidery.  This effect was not achieved by mounds of silk thread directly being embroidered directly upon the chasuble but rather by the use a foundational pattern cut from linen to which under-padding (such as coarse linen, even at times small pieces of wood) were then added to build up the texture; that in turn was covered in silk before being finally attached to the vestment itself and then integrated with the vestment by the use additional embroidery around these raised pieces. 

By way of comparison, here is another example of raised embroidery, this time coming from Hungary dated to approximately the same time period:

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