Textiles are fragile, therefore only the best survive. Weavings and embroideries that have been well looked after, or infrequently used for ceremony last longer; only royalty and the Church had the resources to commission and then to care for such excellent quality. However, whilst capable of buying the best materials and workmanship, the most significant factor in the quality of ecclesiastical commissions lies in the intricate designs, which came perhaps from the heartfelt dedication of the craftsmen, who counted their labour over priests’ mantles, cloaks and altar cloths as a privilege and a spiritual act of worship–the giving of their own gifts.
Religious garments and banners of one sort or another have been made throughout the ages all over the world, for every religion and denomination.
J Wippel in Exeter, South West England have been known since 1789 for their handwork–restoring ancient vestments, alongside new commissions.