ISSUE 15, October 2005
Editorial
Historic: Nelson and Freemasonry
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's Speech
Grand Lodge: Quarterly Communication
Hurricane Katrina: Grand Charity Relief Chest
Royal Arch: John Knight
Masonic Embroidery: A stitch in time...
Travel: Walzing along the Danube
Specialist Lodges: Martial arts
Library & Museum: The two Freemasons' Halls
    Anniversary: Jersey's Liberation
Anniversary: Dorset's 225 years
Obituaries: Lord Swansea OSM
Pro Grand Master: Whither directing our course?
Charmian Hussey: A Mason's wife on Masonry
International: The Grand Lodge of Israel
Education: Sheffield's big plans
Education: Forthcoming events
Education: The Second Degree
Masonic Charities
Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

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     Anna explains what goes into repair of a banner. “First, if a banner has a new design concept for a particular lodge, then it needs Grand Lodge approval.
     “If heraldry is also part of the design, then the design must be reproduced exactly as authorised by the College of Heraldry.
     There are also certain design features required by Grand lodge, and once these have been approved then the Lodge may complete its own design.” She adds: “The next step is to digitise the program, which means that every stitch in every colour is plotted and completed by the machine in the right order and place.”
     The machine has twin heads with eight needles per head. Needles are threaded up with the different colours before “painting a picture with embroidery thread” as Anna describes it.
     The machine cuts off threads as each colour sequence is completed, then needles are changed as the pattern dictates, and the computer droves a pantograph – an instrument for copying a plan or drawing – that moves east and west and north and south.
     A design can involve anything from 100 to several hundred thousand stitches in a Lodge banner. Stitches are expensive, so wherever possible, a system known as appliqué – ornamental work in which fabric is cut out and attached – is used to be more cost-effective.
     Anna explains: “Some component stock designs are available for the customer, who must give his permission for the design to be reproduced in thread to safeguard us under copyright laws.”
     Crucially, she points out that when Masons are promoted and have to change regalia, they do not have to buy expensive new regalia. “We simply replace the old skin embroidered with their new rank.”
     Visitors are always welcome – but please telephone in advance. Mrs Fernandes also gives regular talks to various Masonic and non-Masonic organisations.


   

Left:
Anna Fernandes (centre) with assistants Carol Williams and Zafar Saleem standing by the computerised embroidery machine



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