CAPTION: The needleworkers would normally be busy sewing items for the Cathedral including clerical robes

Sewing their support: Exeter Cathedral tapisers making NHS scrubs

Posted: 1st May, 2020

A group of Exeter Cathedral needleworkers have swapped vestments and kneelers for NHS scrubs, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The volunteers started stitching together the scrubs two weeks ago and have already completed 10 sets of scrubs, with another 14 in progress.

The Exeter Cathedral response was initiated by Sally Hulin of the Company of Tapisers, in response to a call from Mid Devon Scrubs Angels.

The team of needleworkers say finding the right materials to make the scrubs has been difficult

Since starting the scrubs production line, Ms Hulin has been thrilled with the many offers of help, but says the biggest challenge right now is finding suitable materials:

“It has been really nice to receive such an enthusiastic response from fellow needleworkers, all willing to step in and help meet this urgent need.

“However our biggest struggle at the moment is sourcing suitable fabric — we are now requesting materials from as far away as Bradford, to meet specifications.”

The Company of Tapisers began in 1933 and its members have been stitching for Exeter Cathedral ever since, making vestments, kneelers, banners, cushions, and even rugs and ropes.

A tapiser is the historic name for someone who makes tapestries or does upholstery.

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