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ChoralNet: Reviews of robe companies



Here is the compilation of listers' experiences with robe companies.
Shenandoah comes through with flying colors. Five raves out of 14 total
responses is pretty impressive. Gaspard gets sensible praise as does Almay.

Thanks to all you who took time to help.

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We purchased robes for our church choir and bell choir from Shenandoah Robe
Company. They were purchased in the Fall of 1999. Their service and their
robes are first rate in every respect.

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My church choir purchased some new vestments last season. We use a black
cassock and white surplice, not an academic-style robe. I'm not sure what a
mandarin collar is, but can tell you our experience. Our industrious
committee selected a stand-up collar, but one which is still open at the
neck. The design is "double breasted," a wrap-around which is fitted for
height, but not for girth, so that everyone from our bean-poles to our
pumpkins will look good. Three velcro fastenings, two at shoulders, one at
waist.

The supplier was Robert Gaspard of Milwaukee. They have sales quite
frequently, with good prices overall. Our former vestments had lasted since
1954(!!), and we're hoping for good logevity this time. Fabric is a
cotton/poly blend.

PS -- a tip, or perhaps a hunch: Suppliers who cater to the school trade
are accustomed to working with third-party payers (taxpayers mostly) and,
like all academic suppliers, their prices are higher. Those who sell
directly to churches (such as Gaspard) know they are dealing with clients
whose money is dear, and whose spending is closely watched.

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We just purchased robes for my church choir a year ago this Fall from
Shenandoah Robe Co. and have been very satisfied. I cannot tell you right
off what the material is but they claim to be able to match and manufacture
any other company's style for a discount price, which they did for us. The
price we paid was around $93.00 per robe, which was a few dollars less than
the price in another catalog (I agree, $120.00 is somewhat high).
The robes seem to be of good quality and workmanship and were delivered
according to the time frame Shenandoah promised.
As far as this one question of yours is concerned regarding companies with
which to deal, we have been very satisfied with Shenandoah.

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I hope never again to be at a church where I am involved in the project of
ordering choir robes!!

This past year, the two companies we've had dealing with are Collegiate and
Murphy. The local Collegiate Rep....supposedly due to some personal
problems....twice canceled meetings with us, at the Last Minute, to choose
fabrics, robe styles and colors. (I was refered to this local Rep. when I
called Collegiate's national offices. I'm sure her actions don't speak for
them all) Nevertheless, when we finally managed to get some sample robes, we
didn't find most of the fabrics had a good look or feel.

We then picked up business with Murphy through a local church supplies
company called Whittemore's in Needham, Mass. We like the sample robes they
sent, were impressed with the fabrics, and the speed at which they delivered
the samples. We decided to place an order early in July. I was told that our
order would take 8-10 weeks (perfect timing for starting Choir in
september!). When i called the distributor about the 8th week to check up, I
was told they didn't even have the FABRIC yet at the factory, due to some
sort of delay. It would have been nice if the distributor had called ME
first! So, the new shipping date is mid-October. (It's now week 13)

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Just ordered 3 sets of robes. 85 for adults 55 for High School 40 for
children. First used three weeks ago.

Great working with Shenandoah. Excellent service & customized robes.
Everything worked on indicated delivery times.

Price was worked out much below list (in their catalogue!)

Heat is always a problem .... unless you wish to dry-clean, the cotton blends
are warmer but more practical.

Very highly reccomended!

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I use Almy. Part of the reason is that I prefer the styles available, but
the main reason is the fabrics. Even the reds do not fade with repeated
washings. I have seen cassocks of several years' age which match exactly
with new ones. That is a quality you must look for, because you are going to
add to your collection from time to time and need the assurance of exact
match.

The fabrics in the various vestments are blends, and are wrinkle resistant
and as cool as anything else I've ever seen. The cassocks are a poly/cotton
blend, as are the cottas. The albs have a touch of something else in them,
but are still very cool and comfortable. All are washable, so it saves
several hundred dollars a year in dry cleaning costs.

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For our Episcopal church's choirs, both adult and children's, as well as for
acolytes, layreaders, etc., we have had good luck with Almay.

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We just got robes this year. Researched 4 companies, ended up using
Shenandoah in PA. $120. is about average. Avoid polyester and cotton-poly.

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I have used Almy, which has high quality, and , I think , a place called
Gaspard or Garrard in Wisconsin. They have good prices and service. Light
cotton should be all right.

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REGENCY CAP AND GOWN in Jacksonville, Florida. The only limitation they
have is that ALL of their robes zip down the front. The lowest price for
choir robes are about 30.00. I have been using them for years and their
material is the same as other robe companies. Frankly, I never could
understand how they could produce these robes at prices so much lower than
anyone else, BUT, my groups have
been blessed. LYRIC ROBE company is also in Florida and they are slightly
higher than
REGENCY.

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I have never ordered robes from them, but have ordered gowns and tuxes
from SouthEastern for numerous years. I have always be VERY pleased and
the gowns really hold up!

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I have been very please with E.R. Moore robes. I ordered 60 for our youth
choir about 3 years ago, our 8:30 adult choir ordered 40 a year ago and we
are expecting 60 for our 11:00 adult choir soon. The representative was
wonderful to work with and the robes are of superior quality with French
seams. The 8:30 choir ordered the tissue faille fabric which is much
cooler than the fabric we ordered for the youth choir and that is what I
ordered for the 11:00 choir.

The cost for the robes we are ordering right now is about $160 per robe,
which includes the stole, monograming, etc. The stoles can be pretty
expensive because of the embroidery, piping, etc. -- depends on what you
want.

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We're are in the process RIGHT NOW of buying new choir robes. We let the
choir officers make the decision as to company, fabric, everything -- they
chose MURPHY robes.

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My church dealt with Shenandoah (which I believe is a subsidiary of
Southeastern Apparel). We completely designed our robes (color, pattern,
material) and were totally satisfied with what they delivered and the price
was very competitive. That was 7 years ago and they're still in excellent
condition. For what that's worth.

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End of compilation.


Stan W. Yoder Haltom City, Texas, USA
maestro(a)voicemaestro.net http://www.voicemaestro.net
Teacher. Conductor. Singer. Aspiring sage.


on September 10, 2002 10:00pm
I was really surprise to read that one choir waited 8 weeks or more for robes from Murphy. We got ours in less than one week! Was there some sort of special problem involved?
on September 22, 2007 10:00pm
My youth choir needs robes, however, my church is not too enthusiastic about supplying them, the regular choir has had their robes forever! Has anyone dealt with Savemore? Will I be sorry getting graduation style gowns?

Thanks!