Njáls Saga tapestry

Embroiderers working the Njáls Saga tapestry. Embroiderers working the Njáls Saga tapestry.

The Njáls Saga tapestry (njálurefill) is a modern embroidery that is based on a traditional Icelandic Viking story called Njáls Saga. It is deliberately being designed and embroidered in the same manner as the Bayeux tapestry. The embroidery is being stitched in Hvolsvöllur in southern Iceland.

The design is based on the main events in the Njáls Saga, which describes events that took place in about AD 1000 in the Rangárbing area of southern Iceland. It tells the story of two friends called Gunnar of Hlíðarendi and Njáll of Bergþórshvoll. The story is filled with battles, love, deceit and death.

The project was started by Gunnhildur Edda Kristjánsdóttir and Christina Bengtsson, with funding coming from private sources. The designs for the various panels of the embroidery were created by Kristin Ragna Gunnarsdóttir. It is worked on a linen ground with Icelandic wool yarns dyed with local dye plants. After the designs had been agreed upon, they were printed onto the linen ground.

The individual panels, motifs, texts, etc., are being stitched using a laidwork (Icelandic: refilsaumur) technique. The physical stitching of the embroidery was started on 2 February 2013. It was originally estimated that it would take between six and ten years to make, but due to the popularity of working on the embroidery, the estimate of time needed is now five years (so finishing in 2017/8). On completion the Njáls Saga Tapestry will be about 90 m in length and 50 cm wide.

Address: Njáls Saga Tapestry Sewing Centre, the Saga Centre of Hvolsvöllur, in Hvolsvöllur.

Digital source  (retrieved 25 February 2017).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 25 February 2017).


Last modified on Saturday, 25 February 2017 20:13