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Christmas Stamps 2011

The motifs of the Christmas stamps 2011 are based on goldwork embroidery, a rich national heritage involving techniques used for Icelandic national costumes. Goldwork is the art of embroidery using silver and gold threads. Reference is also made to skattering, an old Icelandic method of embroidering, often used for colourful flower patterns. By her emphasis on this old handicraft the artist, Guðbjörg Ringsted who designed the Christmas stamp, wants to attract attention to this remarkable national tradition. Goldwork embroidery is an old form of embroidery used widely in the world. In Iceland, this technique has been used almost exclusively in making Icelandic costumes and in liturgical embroidery. It can be seen on different styles of costumes, on jacket panels, collars and on 19th and 20th century bodices. Belts were oftern adorned with goldwork embroidery. Although metal threads are usually used, some 19th century examples also use silk.