Before it was a verb, “interfacing” was the stiffening fabric that goes inside a garment to give it body and crispness.

I use a particular kind of interfacing in the stoles I make for my small business, Woman of the Cloth.  It is called “hair canvas” and it is a blend of several fibers, including 4% horse hair.  It is used in the collars and lapels of good quality jackets and coats and it costs almost as much as the beautiful cotton fabrics that are visible in a finished stole.

But the beautiful fabrics that are visible could not do the job without the interfacing hidden inside.  The hair canvas gives them substance, helps them to hang evenly, and insures that they will last for many years.

Sermons have interfacing, too – the study and reflection that the preacher does before composing a single sentence.  It may not be obvious to the listener that there were hours of research and several discarded drafts, but it is because the pastor has invested time and heart in those that the sermon has strength, coherence, and impact.

Once you start looking for it, interfacing is everywhere:  teachers put it in their lesson plans and lectures, carpenters put it in their framing, musicians in their practice, authors in their editing, hostesses in their cooking … a lot of things depend upon sturdy internal scaffolding.

When people buy a stole, they are always choosing a fabric that they love.  But what they are buying is just decorated interfacing.


Prayer:   Gracious God, we thank you for the sturdy internal scaffolding that makes things strong and beautiful.  Be present in our lives like interfacing, making our work strong and beautiful, whatever it is.  Amen.



Thanks to everyone who came to my booth at the United Church of Christ General Synod — and especially to those who went home with stoles.  It was wonderful to meet so many new people, and to share my love of beautiful fabrics that can enhance and enrich worship.

Today I updated my Etsy Store (click the button on this page to find it) with more stoles — mostly green and red.  The one pictured here is made from a stunning Asian-themed fabric with stylized grapes, leaves, and vines. The beautiful purple on the reverse side makes it two stoles in one (all my stoles are fully reversible). I hope you will come and look!August stoles and whatever 012 (2)

On the Road with Stoles

I am busy packing to go to the UCC General Synod in Long Beach, California.  For the first time, I will have a booth in the Exhibit area .. booth #461.


It’s a really interesting process to be part of an exhibit area in a big convention center.  I have learned about packing and shipping, arranging for electricity and signs for the booth,and getting a California tax number (yes, you will be paying sales tax in California).  [For those of you who don’t know, there is no sales tax on clothing in Minnesota, and clergy vestments are considered clothing.]

I met my goal of making 100 stoles for the booth.  Which means (for those who are interested), 66 yards of interfacing, nearly 2 km of beige thread (for most of the sewing), 50 yards of rayon fringe, 75 yards of beautiful fabric, and more hours than I am willing to confess!

See you in Long Beach — and tell your friends!

I’m an E-Tailer!

I just officially opened my “shop” on — look for me as WomanoftheClothShop there.  WARNING:  Please notice the “shop” at the end of the title; there is another “womanofthecloth” on Etsy — and she is NOT a stolemaker!

I have listed 14 of my stoles in various colors and fabrics.  Take a look and let me know what you think!

Smiling Faces

Another non-traditional stole — this one celebrating particular ministries:  children and youth on one side (those are the smiling faces) and welcome to GLBTQ folks on the other (rainbows).

This is one of the stoles I am taking to Berkeley for next week’s Earl Lectures.  If you are going to be there, stop and say hello.  If you have west coast clergy friends who might be attending, tell them to look for me!

Tulips in Church

The fabric in this stole doesn’t match any of the traditional colors of the church year.  But these bright tulips — with flecks of gold in them — certainly bring a message of joy and new life.  The stripes on the back might qualify as a purple stole, if you really needed to have one.

The congregation spends a good bit of the service watching the minister.  It is not frivolous to be intentional about what they will be looking at — hopefully something that deepens and enriches the experience of being in worship.