Vestment Condition

All of our religious items for sale are used, although some are in ‘like new’ condition. Depending on the condition, you may wish to have your garment dry cleaned before use. Please check the item description to see the condition of the vestment – some items, particularly those being auctioned, may show some signs of past use. We generally do not dry clean items before sale due to the large volume of vestments we sell.

Here’s a guide to some of our terminology:

  • Excellent/Very good condition – if you didn’t know differently, this could pass for a new item.
  • Good condition – nothing noticeably wrong, but you can probably tell that it has been worn and didn’t just come out of the bag.
  • Discoloration – not really a stain, perhaps some grayish or yellowish discoloration covering an area, may be small or large.
  • Marks – Small flecks, dots, lines, patches etc, small to medium in area (unless otherwise noted), but more distinct than discoloration.
  • Spots – generally a small stain – a spot of wine or another substance may have fallen on the garment.
  • Spec – a very tiny mark – imagine a period at the end of a sentence, perhaps slightly larger, but still quite small.
  • Stain - heavier, more distinct and noticeable than a mark, may be of any size as described.


Please remember that some of the traditional items may have seen many years of service, and are unlikely to be in perfect condition. I try as far as possible to list any problems I can see with an item, so you know what to expect when you purchase it – so even though you may see three or four “problems” listed for an item, it may still look very nice when you wear it, especially if you are not holding it up to the light at arms length looking for any imperfections. If you should purchase an item, and find something wrong with it that was not mentioned, or not what you expected, please feel free to return it.

Vestment Care

Laundering of items.

Many of the vestments I sell do not come with care tags. If they do, please follow the instructions. When in doubt, the best advice is probably to take the item to a reputable dry-cleaners for cleaning. If you do wish to try laundering your garment, you do so at your own risk, but here are a few tips I have to offer: I have found that plain polyester or cotton-blend garments can generally be laundered, but anything with decoration, banding, embroidery, printing etc. is not a good candidate for laundering since there may be shrinkage of different amounts, causing puckering; colors may run, etc. White albs/surplices made from a cotton-blend or polyester fabric are generally ok to launder, however make sure that they are not a very tight fit before you do so, since there may be some slight shrinkage. If you are laundering a colored item, it is probably best to wash it by itself so that dye isn’t transferred to other items.

Pressing/ironing

Most clergy apparel can be pressed with an iron – but again caution should be used, and you do so at your own risk. The type of fabric is most important when considering ironing your garment. Certain fabrics are not good candidates for ironing – velvet in particular should never be ironed. Also many gold (and silver) fabrics cannot be directly ironed, since it may take the surface color off the fabric. A vestment which is made from a flat gold fabric, and lined with another fabric, can generally be turned inside out so the iron doesn’t come into direct contact with it, or a layer of some other fabric can be placed over the top of it as a buffer. Always test a small inconspicuous area first to see what results you will get, and start at a cool setting. Some fabrics are delicate, and certain man-made fabrics can ‘melt’ if ironed at too high a temperature, so proceed with caution. Also take care not to be too rough with the iron and accidentally tear a delicate fabric. If the fabric seems fairly robust and responds well to a cool setting, you may be able to turn the heat up a little, but again test in an inconspicuous area, and proceed with caution. Again if you are unsure, you can have your item dry cleaned, which should remove any wrinkles as long as you keep it flat afterwards. and accidentally tear a delicate fabric. If the fabric seems fairly robust and responds well to a cool setting, you may be able to turn the heat up a little, but again test in an inconspicuous area, and proceed with caution. Again if you are unsure, you can have your item dry cleaned, which should remove any wrinkles as long as you keep it flat afterwards.