First-Year Student Designs Replica of ‘The Sacra Cintola’ Belt for NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’

November 24, 2021
textile weaving tools for creating props on set photographed

Fiber and Textiles student takes on a prop design project for a popular television series just three weeks into her freshman year. 

The Prop Master from NBC’s crime-drama series “The Blacklist” reached out to the College for Creative Studies (CCS) at the end of September with a task for someone to design a replica of “The Sacra Cintola” belt displayed in the Prato Cathedral in Prato, Italy. The name is Italian for “holy belt” and is Virgin Mary’s belt. Medieval traditions and legends state that she handed it to Saint Thomas, known for being the doubting apostle, as proof of her assumption to heaven.

Emilie Yonker got to work with a tight deadline of four days and used a method called “Card Weaving” — also known as “Tablet Weaving” — the method involves strong, narrow and decorative bands being woven together. This method dates back to ancient Egypt around 3400 BC.

Once Yonker completed the belt, it made its way to the “The Blacklist” set where a wooden case was custom made to house the belt.

 Yonker’s prop can be seen in Season 9, Episode 3 of the crime-drama series in the episode titled “The SPK,” which originally aired on November 4, 2021.