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Benedictine habit question

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Oh, I am SOOOO glad I found you!

I am a costume designer for a small theatre. I am creating something that looks like a formal Benedictine habit. I've got the tunic, scapula, and wimple figured out, but I'm having problems with the veil. Should it be a triangle? A rectangle? What are the dimensions?

I SOOOOO hope someone can help me! I'm running out of places to look!

Thanks in advance!

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Lily May Gath

The traditional nun's veil is a rectangle 48" x 36". Not a triangle, and not a semi-circle as you most commonly see on film and tv.

It may, or may not have a partial white lining at the front.

You may, or may not put a seem either folded inside out or out side in to make a permanent point or tails at the back...

You can also do this shaping by pinning.

It depends on the community and the historic period you are looking for.

Let's say you are going for the traditional Sound of Music look:

Easiest to make a partial white underlining of around 36" by 12" which you sew in to the middle of the long hem on one side to give you the white lining round the face. (Trick; you can pin the corners of this behind the back of the neck)

Dan Goggin of Nunsense gives away the tricks of the trade and how you can use pins and Velcro to shape and keep everything together. They also sell the veil and wimple in the Nunsense store.

For pinning and how to wear try the youtube video

Hope this helps...


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