Churches have a lot to consider when it comes to the upkeep of the facility and the items used for church ceremonies. Church vestments are delicate and should be treated with the upmost respect to help them last a long time. Improper church vestment care can lead to unexpected expenses to purchase new ones or vestments that don’t look their best during the church services. Follow these steps to care for your church vestments for years to come.
What Are Church Vestments and Why Are They Important?
Vestments are items worn by the clergy of the church. They’re important to maintaining the symbolism and traditions of the church. Vestments may look different depending on your position in the church and the event. For example, different vestments are worn for weddings than those worn during funerals.
Church vestments have been worn in some capacity for as long as religion has existed. These intricate, meaningful pieces of clothing set the church clergy apart from the congregation and provide a sense of familiarity from one church to the next. Although different churches may use different vestments, it’s always clear that those wearing the vestments have an important, impactful position in the church.
Storing Church Vestments
Church vestments should be stored in a cool, dry place. Extreme heat and humidity can compromise the integrity of the fabric. Never store vestments in a plastic dry cleaning bag as this can trap moisture and cause the items to become musty.
Vestments should be stored in a dark space out of direct sunlight. Sunlight shining on the vestments can cause discoloration as the sun acts as a natural bleaching agent.
Cleaning Church Vestments
Church vestments should be cleaned by a professional dry-cleaning service who’s experienced with church vestments once every 6 months. Between professional cleanings, the vestments can be spot cleaned with cold water and a soft towel. If something is spilled on the vestment, spot clean right away to limit the risk of staining.
Cleaning church vestments too frequently can cause the material to break down, which is why dry cleaning is only recommended once every 6 months.
Things to Avoid
Church vestments should never be washed with regular laundry or by someone who is inexperienced. Bleach and other harsh chemicals should be avoided, as should ironing. If you’re in doubt, contact a professional vestment cleaning service.
Vestments are usually made of wool or linen, so taking proper care during the cleaning process is vital.
If you have questions about caring for your church vestments, Catholic Purchasing Services can help. We understand the importance of church vestments and want to help you preserve them for many church services to come.