Holy Stitch: Tailors in Rome worried about scarlet silk shortage for new cardinals’ vestments
Rome (KNA) Ecclesiastical tailors in Rome are having problems obtaining the scarlet silk needed for the vestments of new cardinals before their elevation to the cardinalate by the pope on Saturday.
During the Covid pandemic, an important supplier of fabric to the industry closed down, the co-owner of the traditional outfitter Barbiconi, Gabriele Barbiconi, told Germany’s Catholic News Agency (KNA) in Rome.
Cardinals would have to pay around 2,000 euros for the basic outfit, which consists of a woolen cassock and a choir shirt in red.
Since then, it can take up to four months for the fabric to be delivered. But the new cardinals don’t have that much time, she added. The 21 churchmen learned of their appointment by the pope on July 9 and must appear before him in scarlet this Saturday. On that day Francis will confer the cardinalate on them in St Peter’s Basilica. Some of them are Barbiconi’s clients.
Barbiconi said the scarlet moire silk now costs 80 euros per metre. Cardinals would have to pay around 2,000 euros for the basic outfit, which consists of a woolen cassock and a choir shirt in red.
Also Belly sash, crown cap and biretta as a hat are made of scarlet moire silk. The blood-red colour symbolises loyalty to the pope to the point of bloodshed.