In southern Italy, probably under Greek influence, and in Milan (where the custom still survives) the diaconal stole was put on over the dalmatic. Similarly in Spain and Gaul, anterior to the Carolingian age, the stole was worn by deacons over the alba or outer tunic.
Later, it was often the habit to embroider on Greek diaconal stoles the words AFIOz Afioe Ai'Ioe.
The diaconal stole was and continues to be worn usually hanging over the left shoulder, the ends falling straight down before and behind.
Originally the diaconal stole would seem to have been a narrow strip of folded linen, and it appears in the pictures of the 9th century as a narrow band ornamented with crosses.
More careful investigation, moreover, throws very considerable doubt on the possibility of the derivation of the priest's stole from the ancient neck-cloth (orarium) and of the diaconal stole from a napkin used in the liturgy.