The Altar Cloth is a ritual tool that functions to protect an altar and also to claim the space upon which objects of association are placed. It is a personal backdrop for magikal workings. Each cloth features a sphere sewn onto a square with nautical stitches then embroidered trees at each corner direction. These materials were hand dyed in botanicals, dried in the sunlight, and then pressed to set the hues.
textiles and compliment dyes based on each cloth:
1. antique satin square / logwood dye : cotton denim sphere / logwood dye = black/black
2. cotton canvas square / charcoal dye : plain weave cotton sphere / black beans dye = charcoal grey/hush blue
3. cotton velveteen square / black salt dye : cotton corduroy sphere / black beans dye = smoke/grey
sphere: 23 inches diameter
square: 36 inches each side
Throughout the ages, an altar cloth has been used on many different surfaces and for an infinite amount of reasons. What they all have in common is an ancient association of ceremony. The objects, which are typically set upon the cloth, vary based on function, ritual, practice and personal preference. Some of the objects include: anointing oils, athame, bells, besom, candles, cauldron, censer, dishes for offering food or drink, drawings, figurines, incense, infinite symbol, salt dish, scourge, statues, sword, wand, water cup or goblet.
Each one is peculiar in its own way, the materials are reclaimed from various sources during a lifetime, so far. I have chosen the cotton woven: plain weave, denim, canvas, duck, corduroy, velveteen, and even antique satin. The edges have been retained raw, so as not to discard the fibers and deliver them ready for your personal memories to bleed with them over time. The botanicals and the techniques used to dye the cloths vary in degrees. As my learning curve of working with plant dyes has increased, these beginning stages carry nostalgia and meticulous mistakes.
This altar cloth will come to you cleansed with herbal smoke, rolled, tied, and with a small bundle of the herbs.