Fr. Z asks help: finding fabrics

Is there anyone out there I could put onto a project?

I need to find some fabric – gold silk – that matches a set of vestments I had made in Rome last year.  During my last trip I went to the store where I bought the bolt.  I was told that they couldn’t get it anymore.

I suspect more is out there.

I would be happy for some advice and help.  I can send swatches if necessary.

The fabric.  Click for larger.

Feel free to work together.





About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Do you have a picture or a transcription of the end of the bolt, where they put the name of the manufacturer and the fabric, fabric number, etc.? (Assuming they do things the same in Europe as in the US.) [I don’t.]

  2. sekman says:


    How I wish I could be of assistance, although I fear this may be a very difficult task especially since the material was sourced overseas.

    I will watch most interestedly to see if anyone digs something up.

  3. majuscule says:

    This will sound facetious but is not meant to be– eBay?

    Or, there may even be small companies online that liquidate fabrics from stores/companies going out of business. (I know there is for yarn!)

    Praying won’t hurt, either!

  4. Not sure if these vendors will help Fr Z but it is worth a try. At least you know where to look in future:

    1) Paxhouse: run by a retired American in Guadalajara, Mexico, she works with nuns to make a handful of high quality vestments every month. Gets fabrics from various places for the vestments so maybe she got some. Also has a website Please support this site! She lives quite humbly in a St Francis way, sacrificing income to save abused dogs in Mexico. There’s no safety net for abused or abandoned animals there. They have a EBay store too. I’ve personally used Paxhouse to purchase items for the work i do with St Patrick’s Gregorian Choir in Toronto and others I’ve helped in the TLM.

    2) EBAY: tresors*vintique: sells a lot of vintage trim and parts, such as lace for fancifying liturgical vestments, even has actual vintage vestments too. Maybe they get rolls of actual material too?

  5. Papabile says:

    Do you have any information related to its manufacturer, a bolt tag or label – a number on the bolt?

  6. Michaeli says:

    Have you called out to Ed at La Lame in NYC? With a sample he typically can match nearly any ecclesiastical fabric. If you need someone to run over there to look at it in person, I’m sure I can arrange that.

  7. andia says:

    Talk to the nuns….

    or if you are in Europe try

    how do you mean “Match” if you want the same pattern but a different tone of gold, it should not be too hard but if you want the exact same color, it will need to be custom dyed

  8. fishonthehill says:

    Michaeli is correct. La Lame is the place in NYC. They are excellent in service. Ed is the owner Billy Pellegrino is the go-to guy in the ecclesiastical department. He can send you a DVD catalogue. In the past 15 years I have purchased material for over 20 vestments, frontals, and tapestries, so have many of my priest friends. The material in the photo looks extremely similar to a honey gold that he has carried. You can’t go wrong with La Lame and prices are reasonable and quality is exceptional.

  9. fishonthehill says:

    I forgot to mention… most of his bolts come from Europe.

  10. CJ6 says:

    It looks like the fabric you purchased is a silk brocade. I would start somewhere like this:

    I just took a quick glance through and found some similar prints:

    I don’t think any of these are exact, but it’s tough to tell. If possible, I would contact these folks with a picture taken of the fabric lying flat. They may be able to tell you whether they carry that exact print. The other thing that will be of help in identifying the original fabric is the length of the repeat. Do you have access to the fabric? I can give directions on how to measure the repeat of the pattern, if it would be helpful.

  11. holyfrocks1 says:

    The fabric does look familiar.

    Many of the fabrics in the shops in Rome are from Leoni Felisi mills.

    I agree about Lalame in NYC. I’ve dealt with them for 35 yrs. A good many of the
    fabrics and trims that Lalame carries are Felisi’s. If that is a Felisi fabric I’m sure Ed can order it for you.

  12. Some of this is helpful! Thanks and, please, keep going. This post could wind up being a useful resource!

  13. MacBride says:



    They have over 1000 silk fabrics.

    I think the idea from above of contacting Ed Schneer at LaLame is a good idea. If you do find a fabric that you think matches…request a sample before ordering…I have learned this from experience.

  14. The Masked Chicken says:

    Possibly an unhelpful comment, but if you want an exact match, find a nearby university and ask them to do UV/VIS spectroscopy to determine the exact wavelengths of light reflected from the fabric. Then test others to get the same wavelengths.

    Better weaving through science :)

    The Chicken

  15. lgoshe says:

    Mary Jo’s Cloth Store will try to find fabrics for you.

  16. Marissa says:

    Can you take a picture of the fabric lying flat with only the fabric in the photo? Then I could do a Google image search and see if anything comes up.

  17. frjim4321 says:

    There is a Google image search? That is amazing!

    Reverend and Dear Host, I don’t have resources for fabric. Cigars, yes, fabric, no.

    I wish you the best on this search …

    [Thanks. I’m going to need it, I think.]

  18. Michaeli says:

    Father, any update on this yet?

Comments are closed.