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Custom Altar Cloths

Our custom altar cloths are made in the finest fair Irish linen, with hemstitching, mitred corners, and made to your exact measurements. They are of the highest quality and will last to fit your altar perfectly for many years.

Step 1. Measure your altar 

We require three measurements to make your altar cloth. We can work in any round number of cm and inches, up to a cloth of 300cm x 650cm (118”-255”).

The first is the width. This measurement is typically between 50-100cm (20”-40”) but can vary on larger or smaller altars.

The second measurement is the length. This is typically not less than 200cm (78”) but again, every altar will vary in size.

The third measurement is the drops, to be added to either the width or the length of the altar, depending on if you would like falls at the front and back, or the sides of the altar, respectively. For example, if the altar width is 75cm, the length is 250cm, and you require two drops of 50cm at either side, the total measurement of the altar cloth will be 75cm x 350cm.

We require three measurements to make your altar cloth. We can work in any round number of cm and inches, up to a cloth of 300cm x 650cm (118”-255”).

The first is the width. This measurement is typically between 50-100cm (20”-40”) but can vary on larger or smaller altars.

The second measurement is the length. This is typically not less than 200cm (78”) but again, every altar will vary in size.

The third measurement is the drops, to be added to either the width or the length of the altar, depending on if you would like falls at the front and back, or the sides of the altar, respectively. For example, if the altar width is 75cm, the length is 250cm, and you require two drops of 50cm at either side, the total measurement of the altar cloth will be 75cm x 350cm.

Step 2. Choose your fabric

The most popular fabric choice is easily our fine plain linen (JE012). This is a smart but durable fabric and is most traditionally used for altar cloths and small altar linens. Our oyster linen (JE088) is much the same, but in a shade closer to ivory. Our damask and double-damasks are more tightly woven, and with more of a sleek, shiny, look. These are available with designs automatically incorporated into the linen.

Our plain, natural linen, is popular as a choice for dust covers, along with our Holland Union cotton and linen blend fabric. Their plain weaves and ‘oatmeal’ like colour are well-suited to simple altar linens.

Each of the fabrics available is sustainable and natural.

JE012 - 170gsm

JE8750 - Damask

JE9750 - Double Damask

JE088 - Oyster

JE089 - Natural

Step 3. Choose your embroidery 

The three designs to your right are our most popular designs for embroidery and can be embroidered in any colour of thread - although white and red are most popular. Each measures 2” x 2” on our bespoke altar cloths. Typically, we embroider the cross in the centre of the cloth, but some churches prefer 5 embroidered mensa crosses. Our embroidery is not restricted to these set designs; recent projects have included the embroidery of the St Alban’s cross, IHS, and the Auspice Maria.

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Chi Rho

Bodley Cross

Cross Pattée

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Step 4. Choose your lace

We offer three different kinds of lace, all of which are intricate and add fine detail to our altar cloths. If you would be interested in one of these, please scroll down to contact us.

Watts Nottingham Lace

Our ‘IHS ‘ Nottingham lace trimmings use the highest quality Egyptian cotton. The preparation, weaving and finishing processes rely on a highly skilled tradition of lace-making handed down for several generations. The Nottingham lace option is available for our cotton, polycotton or linen albs and surplices, and also for our selection of altar linens and altar cloths.

Watts Cantu Lace

Watts & Co. are pleased to offer the highest form of traditional Italian lace making. Dating back to at least the 15th century, this graceful handmade bobbin lace is distinctive with its winding vines flowing through each piece of lace, incorporating leaves, floral motifs and tendrils. Inserts or ‘cartouches’ made of needle lace can also be incorporated. Cantù lace is therefore either chosen in its own right for its particular beauty and artisanship, or it is used as a graceful frame for the ‘cartouche’. Cantù lace is offered as an option on our traditional drawstring linen albs, surplices or rochets. Each piece is made by hand and is therefore unique and made to order only. Please enquire for further details.

Watts Leavers Lace

Our Leavers lace is the result of unique expertise and highly skilled, traditional manufacturing processes, followed by several stages of hand finishing. Our Leavers laces are manufactured on historic lace looms, and come closest to resembling handmade lace. We offer Leavers lace in the Catholic-style rochet, and a ‘re-embroidered’ Leavers lace as an option on our traditional drawstring alb. The mantillas offer both types of lace.

Step 5. Contact us to receive a quote

We are very happy to offer our assistance at any stage of the process. Whether you are just making an enquiry, or have the fabric and measurements all good to go, you can contact us via the form below.

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