Embroidery can be a rewarding and relaxing activity; our foremothers knew this too. Often they had no
pattern or picture of what they wanted to produce, but remembered the pattern "more or less". Decorating
their clothes with motifs and patterns was great fun and they put a lot of effort into it. In this way the
craft of embroidery lived through the centuries.
Some styles and techniques flourished better than others in Iceland, partly because it was important to
economise on coloured wool or else because the patterns were attractive. Some of them were relatively simple
and all embroiderers could manage them.
Two types of embroidery will be taught in the workshop, Tapestry stitch and Traditional Icelandic
cross-stitching. Participants choose which one they want to learn.
Tapestry stitch is an ancient embroidery technique. The stitching follows patterns drawn onto the
backing. Halls, churches and houses were decorated with tapestries in the Middle Ages, and altar cloths
from the period using tapestry stitch have survived. Tapestry stitching is done in three stages,
starting with the outlines of the picture. Then the threads are laid with straight or flat stitches, and
then these are crossed at certain intervals and fastened down with small stitches. Almost all the thread
is on the front of the foundation fabric.
Traditional Icelandic cross-stitching was commonly used on bedspreads. It was done using a
gridded pattern. Normally the vertical interval of the stitch was two threads of the foundation fabric,
crossing four threads forwards and two in reverse. The rows are sewn horizontally, each one being
completed in a single round instead of reaching the end and then going all the way back as is done in
modern cross-stitching. It is sometimes called fléttusaumur (plait stitch).
- Tuesdays, see Calendar
- 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Hotel Laxnes, Háholt 7, 270 Mosfellsbær,
- 19,500 ISK
- Included in the price: materials for a trial piece and a soup lunch.