EIsa Gudjónsson, Traditional Icelandic Embroidery, Iceland Review 1985. EIsa Gudjónsson, Traditional Icelandic Embroidery, Iceland Review 1985.

Refill is the name for an Islandic form of wall hanging that was decorated with embroidery. This type of wall hanging was popular from the late ninth until the end of the sixteenth centuries. The wall hangings were used to decorate the interiors of Icelandic secular dwellings. With the advent of Christianity in Iceland around AD 1000, refills were also used to decorate churches.

The wall hangings were long and horizontal. They were decorated with laidwork (Icelanic: refilsaumur). One of the few surviving refills dates from about 1450 and comes from the church at Hvammur, Hvammssveit in western Iceland. It is worked in laidwork techniques using tan wool on a black woollen ground material (tvistur). It is now in the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen (inv. no. CLII,1819).

According to Elsa Gudjónsson, it is possible that this type of hanging was brought from the British Isles to Iceland during the early medieval period. If this is correct, then the Bayeux tapestry, which is a very long, horizontal wall hanging worked in laidwork, might be regarded as an example of a refill-style object.

See also the TRC Needles entry on the Njáls Saga tapestry.



Last modified on Sunday, 07 May 2017 17:07
More in this category: « Raised Embroidery Auriphrygium »