How to fold altar linens

Written by sarah vrba Google
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How to fold altar linens
Altar linens require delicate care and folding techniques. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Altar linens are made of a fine, delicate material that must be carefully treated and cleaned for a long life of use in religious services. They also require gentle and exact folding rituals for the best presentation on the altar. According to Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, there are a number of different altar linens such as, corporals, purificators, chalice palls and chalice veils, which are normally square in shape and adorned with white embroidery.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Prepare the altar linens by washing them in hot water and allowing them to dry naturally. Iron the alter linens on a delicate setting with the embroidery face down to raise the embroidery on the front.

  2. 2

    Fold the alter linen in thirds in one direction. Make these thirds as even as you can and if possible, keep the embroidery uncovered and in the centre of the folds.

  3. 3

    Fold the altar linen in thirds the other way so that you end up with a small, even square. Once again, the goal should be to have the embroidery visible and placed in the centre of the completed folding so you can see it clearly.

Tips and warnings

  • Never dry linens in the dryer and never wash them with bleach.
  • Do not iron the altar linens after they have been folded.

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