The Material of the Brown Scapular

We sometimes receive questions about the material of the Brown Scapular.

About the Material of the Brown Scapular

Every so often, St. Paul Street Evangelization is asked about a requirement for the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel: is it supposed to be 100% wool or another type of material?

In years past, there was a requirement for the Brown Scapular to be made of 100% wool. From at least the year 1996 to the present, this requirement was removed. Present legislation permits, “two brown or dark pieces of material joined together by two ribbons or pieces of string.”[1]

In days past, wool was a standard type of material used for the Carmelite religious habits. Once the means of production advanced, owing largely to the efforts and subsequent cultural effects brought on by the Industrial Revolution, the usage of wool changed. It became “impractical” and the “expense” rose.[2]

Reflecting such shifts in production and culture, the requirement for the material of Brown Scapulars was changed to the legislation given above.

The legislation broadens the kinds of material that can be used. It does not forbid the usage of 100% wool Brown Scapulars. People are free to use wool if they wish, or some other kind of material. What people are not free to do is to declare that any material other than 100% wool renders the Brown Scapular illegitimate, or invalid.

For more information, St. Paul Street Evangelization strongly recommends The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Catechesis and Ritual.

Please also check out our online store for our Scapulars.

[1] North American Provincials of the Carmelite Orders, The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Catechesis and Ritual (Worcester, Massachusetts: Teresian Carmelites, 2000), 17.

[2] Fr. Sam Anthony Morello, OCD, “Scapular Catechesis.” Meditations from Carmel blog

“God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

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