Ministry

Robe-age

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I think it’s time to upgrade my vestments. I like the shape of my current robe (a "Martha" from WomenSpirit), but the fabric is beginning to pill. They offer the same silhouette in more expensive fabric choices as a "Tabitha." (That’s a Tabitha on the left.)

If you were a woman of a certain age living in this climate of global warming, and you wanted the robe in black, would you choose the 100% wool or the theoretically cooler microfiber? And would the laundering question be important to you?

And while we’re at it, do I want this thing to be lined?

Further, do I possibly love this one more?

I would appreciate your input.

32 thoughts on “Robe-age”

  1. I’d nix the lining, but maybe the microfiber is cooler. That’s what mine is, but I went with the quite voluminous Geneva, so it stil feels hot to me.
    Does New Church have A/C?

  2. I don’t know, cheesehead. But since it’s a one year-ish arrangement, I don’t think I can decide on that basis. Most churches here are not, but lots of clergy here don’t robe in the summer, anyway.

  3. Can they send you swatches? Most other robe makers can. If the microfiber was appealing to the touch, I would pick it.
    But pilling? I’ve had a 100% polyester gown since 1994 and not a pill on it.

  4. I’m appalled at the idea of buying ANYTHING to wear over other clothing INDOORS in wool, but of course I live at the opposite side of the country.
    Me, I’d go for microfiber.

  5. Alas, the website hates me and I cannot see; but as a sewer, I assure you that I have washed many a dry-clean-only garment in cold water (by hand) without damage. But not things as tailored as suit jackets. So it might be okay, but maybe not. Sounds hot though!
    If it’s lined, do you get to wear shorts underneath?

  6. Since I have never lived in a climate such as yours, I have no idea how wool plays in during the summer. I know there is a very small window of time that we would be able to wear wool. When it gets really really hot, I have gone down to my slip underneath a vestment. We have poly/cotton and a few all cotton (those are old) I would go with Microfiber where we are, but this is from a girl who has not experienced snow in her life.

  7. I too have polyester, the geneva, and it’s HOT. I am thinking of getting a microfiber Tabitha or maybe one with the new same-color embroidery, like Esther or something…anyway, nix the wool. AC or no, wool is hot any season in a church. plus the washing issue. Ditto the lining. I personally think only white robes REALLY need to be lined.
    But that’s just me…
    Perhaps also just me: I have trouble seeing the words of links in that shade of blue…

  8. I think I’d go microfiber too. I have the Martha, or maybe its the Tabitha. They look very similar, don’t they. I like the Anna but would those cool swirly things clash with anything? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lining probably isn’t important if its black.
    I have a drycleaner in the area that does mine (well, all clergy robes) for free. Have you checked into that possiblity?

  9. I’ll be the lone vote for wool, here! I have a linen blend (more bledn than linen)Martha or Tabitha, I can’t remember which and an all wool Geneva gown. The Geneva gown is cooler in the summer. It breathes.
    I like Martha/Tabitha, too. Anna I would only get if you had enough money for 2.
    I’ve heard that womenspirit robes do tend to pill, but so far, so good on mine!

  10. net, the Anna only comes in the linen blend, so if I’m saying I don’t want the blend, I ought to look elsewhere.
    I assume it’s a tropical-weight wool, but ppb, since you’re only 27, you probably don’t need to consider the prospect of personal combustion. I worry I’d be at the dry cleaner weekly. Which would be no problem if I found one of those free ones!
    If I understand correctly, the Martha is the Tabitha in the blend fabric. The Tabitha comes in silk noile or microfiber or wool. What worries me is I’ll change my mind before it gets here!

  11. I like the Anna for you.
    I can’t buy that wool is cooler talk. I can’t stand the idea of wearing wool at anytime although a wool cape over my robe at a funeral sounds comfy. For two days every ten years, a cape would be great here in the tropics.
    Why lined?
    Washable sounds cleaner than dry cleaning. Which robe is the most wrinkle-free?
    You know if you buy new robeage, you’ll need new shoeage.
    I’m just saying…

  12. ooooh, I like the Anna for you! I know I don’t know you very well, but there’s something mystical and mother-earthy about it!

  13. I’d nix the lining, but wool really might be cooler than microfiber b/c it breathes.
    You don’t wear anything over it but a stole, right? I mean it gets much hotter if you have to wear something like a chasuble.

  14. The Anna is beautiful, but I don’t think that linen blend would be very comfortable, with all that polyester. I don’t know what microfiber is. Some people (not me!)wear tropical-weight wool suits in Houston in the summer–and that’s some serious heat and humidity–so if the wool one is tropic weight it should be fine where you are.Of course, everything is air conditioned here, which makes a huge difference.

  15. I love the embroidery (but I can”t spell it). Anyhow, it is beautiful and has a classic, yet artsy look.
    And, yes, gotta get new shoes or do like me and preach without shoes.
    It took the oldes folks a little time to get used to it, but now they love it. I jsut always have to be sure my toenials are poished when I preach. Yeah,I know, like folks can see!!!!

  16. microfibre rocks ๐Ÿ™‚ and it’s washable … but if your area offers free dry cleaning for clerical vestments I’d go for that ofcourse ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. i have the tabitha robe and love it! unlined and microfiber–unfortunately it’s still scratchy and still hot. i cannot even imagine what the wool would be like! eek!

  18. Yikes,
    perhaps I served too much in Lutheran churches, but my robe, is it the Tabitha or Martha? is in the flax linen/poly blend that just goes in the washer and dryer!
    How much lighter (light color and weight) it is than the black poly Geneva. I would go unlined, unless you can wear your creation suit underneath!!!!!!!
    I like NOT having to dry clean my robe!! Our sanctuary is a/c and the folks here still say, don’t bother wearing a robe in summer. I appreciate their sensibility, their casual formality, and the a/c!
    Can’t wait to see your new robe.

  19. I love that Celtic embroidery! It looks beautiful!
    I’d suggest a blend — wool is not only hot, but also itchy. If you’d have to forego clothing underneath, you may come home with an itch from Hades!
    What will you do with your old robe? Would a sweater shaver work on it? If you don’t think that you can afford the one with the embroidery, maybe someone will embroider it for you. I’d be happy to do it — I have done lots of Celtic embroidery in the past. I can send you pics of a few samples. I will warn you — I take a while, since I do it all by hand. Email me if you’re interested.

  20. If I can chime in on one point.
    I have microfiber shirts that are soft and wonderful…and hot as the devil because they don’t breathe…AT ALL.
    My wool robe is tropical weight and breathes (and wicks) like a dream…

  21. The other problem with the old robe is the sleeves are too short. Apparently we recorded the measurements incorrectly, or they were interpreted incorrectly. I’ve worn it faithfully despite that since 2002, but I’m ready for the change now.
    St. Casserole, in a private communication, suggested looking for a seamstress to custom-make a robe, but I’m not sure where that person would come from.
    KLee, what a sweet offer! If I end up choosing something other than the Anna, I may take you up on the offer and send the old one.

  22. Oh, this is so fun! Almost as good as shopping for myself!
    I’m voting for wool (yah, but she’s from Duluth….), for unlined and for Anna.
    Looking forward to pix, whatever you choose!
    I have tabitha in white and although it is lined, you still gotta DEFINATELY wear something under it unless you want to have what peacebang calls the festival of inappropriate sharing…

  23. How many layers are you wearing underneath your robe? The only time (thus far) that I would have enjoyed a wool robe was at the graveside burial I did around Christmas. It’s cold up here. Lining might add to that warmth, but I’m not convinced.
    Other than that, I find myself sweating on Sundays — in my Martha. I like the Anna lots. And you would look dazzling in it.

  24. PP, I’m usually pretty comfortable in my Martha. Maybe the linen blend isn’t so bad after all. And maybe going to the dry cleaner is just part of being a grown-up? I’ll know more after I see what it’s like in the new worship setting.

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