Doukhobor Bedcover, Saskatchewan
Date of Issue
April 30, 1993
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
13 x 12.5
Designed by Peter Adam Based on a photograph by Michael Mitchell
To mark the Year of the Craft in the Americas, the commemorative stamps dedicated to the rich textile traditions of Canada will be issued April 30. Today, these types of hand-crafted textiles are fashionable and decorative items adding accent, mood and distinction to a room. Occasionally displayed on walls, they have become "objets d'art". Hundreds of years ago they were mostly - if not strictly - made for warmth and comfort. Their decorative function was to cover bed furnishings during daytime. Quilts, coverlets, "ruggs" and bed cover existed from necessity and gained a place in history because of the techniques used, the rarity or the uniqueness of a piece and mostly as a reflection of a people's talent and culture. All of the items selected can be viewed by the public as each is housed in a Canadian public museum collection. The Doukhobors are a religious sect whose beliefs were challenged in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1785, the Archbishop of Ukraine gave them the name "Doukhobortsi" or Spirit Wrestlers. They kept the name but claimed they were the Spirit, not against it. Traditional Doukhobor bed covers were made of white wool or white and black sheep's wool to create the popular check pattern. The piece was dyed after being woven, traditional colours being red or purple. This cover measures 2 m x 1.65 m, having a purple body with embroidered flower sprays running along the border, five centimeters from the knitted edge. The four-colour knitted band forming the border was added for effect only. The knitting for the edging was done first in narrow sections of white wool and then dyed.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, No. 10, 1993, p. 7-8.
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