February 15, 2011

How to make a Collapsible Biretta?

If you want to make a biretta by yourself, follow the instruction:

The most important thing is the carton you use inside.
I tried a Tetra Pak used for milk:
Quite good material to start because it is coated on both sides.
But too thin.

If you use the wrong cardboard, if will break if the biretta is folded often or
you will get bluges

You can try to cover your cardboard with foil to make it more stable and to avoid
disruptions and bluges.
I got quiet satisfied results with this method.

The best material you can use is pressboard/presspahn which
is used for isolation in the electrical industry.
The pressboard should be 0.6 mm/0.02 in thick.
For example:
PUCARO Elboard
KREMPEL Presspahn

Have a look at the shape of the horns (blades, wings):
Left a biretta I bought from Poland
Right a biretta from Italy

The silk pompons you need, you can order from Roman tailors. Prices are around 8-10 Euros per piece. These silk pompons (tuft, tassels) are the only ones which do not collapse and where the threads stand upright for a long time.
For an address list, click here.

If you use threads which are too heavy, it looks like that:

Or you use wool threads for the pompon and make the
threads a little bit shorter:

If you want to have an application cord over the edges
you can use twisted cord (not so nice)

 and laced cords,
which looks better and more professional: 

In Germany, Rabanus & Liebmann GmbH & Co. KG, Wuppertal have a
very hughe selection of these cords:
Have a look here.

And they have them in all colors:

Pattern Roman Catholic Biretta

Pattern Spanish Bonete


  1. is there a printable template for the biretta shape you could upload?

  2. @ Anonymous:
    You will find a template on pages 3-5- of the instruction How to make a collapsible biretta

  3. noted. thank you very much!

  4. Has this been tried out?
    I'm trying to make one for my parish priest, but it doesnt seem to be working...

  5. Yes, this has been tried out.
    It need some exercise and several efforts to come to a satisfied result.

  6. Alright. I have been having difficulty with the sewing skills required. Thank you.

  7. I just made it for my son! Thank you so much for the easy instructions!

    God bless you!

  8. Dear Fernanda,

    thank you very much for your comment.
    If you want, you can send me a picture of the biretta you made for your son and I can publish it.
    All the best,
    Dieter Philippi

  9. estimate:

    There any instruction on how to make a fabric biretta (interior and exterior), cover the cardboard with fabric and sewing how to do? There is a video on that?

    1. I have only the information published in this article. I don't know anything about a video showing how to make a biretta.

    2. Where is the guide in covering the paper biretta with cloth? Thank you.

  10. Your links seems to be broken, I'm hoping to make a Biretta for a friend who is about to be ordained. sound you please re link the pdf. thank you.

    1. I have problems with my provider. I have to move the site. Mid February all will be fine again.

  11. Thank you for publishing the pattern and instructions for the bonete español.

    + Gary C. Ferrone
    Aguascalientes. Mexico


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