Embroidered maniple. France, 17th century. Embroidered maniple. France, 17th century.

A maniple (also sometimes known as the fanon) is a liturgical vestment that consists of a band, often embroidered with silver thread, that hangs down the left arm of the wearer. It is a garment, usually made of silk, used mainly in the Catholic Church, during the celebration of the mass and worn together with the chasuble. Its colour follows that of the other liturgical garments and accords with the liturgical calendar.

The most extensively decorated forms date to the nineteenth century and derive from France and Italy. They were often ornamented with three-dimensional embroidery with bullion and galloons.

Originally the maniple was probably a piece of linen that clerics used to wipe their faces and hands, the so-called sudarium. It has been used as part of the Catholic liturgy since at least the sixth century. Its use is optional in the Roman Catholic Church since 1967.

See the maniple that was found in the tomb of St Cuthbert, Durham.


  • BAILEY, Sarah (2013),  Clerical Vestments, Shire Library, Oxford, pp. 21-22.
  • OWEN-CROCKER, Gale R. (2012). 'Maniple', in: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth and Maria Hayward (eds., 2012). Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles, c. 450-1450, Brill: Leiden, pp. 361.


Digital source of illustration (retrieved 11 March 2017).


Last modified on Sunday, 12 March 2017 10:32