Bespoke Clerical Millinery for the Discerning Clergyman

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Back to Black #1

It being spring, as good a time to start as any, we thought we’d begin with a run of plain black birettas, before moving into more exotic waters, and so it is that we present to you, fresh off the production floor at DB Towers: the Simple Priest’s Biretta. Mother Prioress tells us she's never met a simple priest in 470 years of consecrated life, but we're not always sure what she's on about.

Worn also by deacons and seminarians liturgically, it has a black tuft, tassel or pom-pom and three blades. Jesuits and Oratorians do not have a tuft. The material is usually worsted wool, though cotton is sometimes used. The tuft can be of silk or wool. The lining is black cotton or silk. Priests in the household of a cardinal traditionally have a black biretta made out of watered silk rather than wool, as seen here.

To be honest it’s not immensely exciting to look at, but even this staple of catholic millinery is relatively rare. Naturally, here at DB, we have made it our life’s ambition in union with all likeminded fellows, to enjoin in its enthusiastic revival.

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