December 2022 – Old clothes – new stamp


Postage stamp from old postman shirt


The old service clothing – including that of the postmen (A 1995) – is the basis of the “Postlerhemdmarke”.

The postal workers in Austria were given a new “look” from 2018 onwards. As a consequence their uniforms were completely replaced by new ones designed by Maina Hoermanseder. Thus, 12,000 complete clothing outfits had to be “disposed”. In the spirit of sustainability, however, Austrian Post did not throw away these clothes but has been using them to make practical items of daily use since 2019 as part of a Re:Post recycling and upcycling project. Based on the ideas of 20 students, items such as bags, backpacks, car seat covers, carrying straps but also dog leashes have been created from these service clothes. The idea also realized in the year 2022 was to produce a postage stamp from these clothes – more precisely from the postmen shirts.


The paper mill in a village near Bern, gave its name to the place there. Postmark 22.10.1934

For this purpose, the company turned to an old papermaking technique: handmade rag paper. In the only paper mill still in existence in Austria (since 1789) that retains this technique, in Bad Großpertholz in the Waldviertel, the paper for the postage stamp was finally produced using this age-old process: 950 old shirts were crushed, mixed with water and ground. The paste-like paper pulp was then hand-scooped with sieves, the paper was laid on felt, and the water was pressed out. This is how the sheets of rag paper intended for printing were created. Incidentally, “Hader” in Austria and southern Germany, is equivalent in German to rags.


Paper mill to be operated by hand on the front side of a stamp booklet (Czech Republic 2014)

On each postage stamp (designed by D. Gruber) a postman’s shirt is printed in blue to match the blue fibers of the original shirts still visible in the paper. The stamp itself – quite in the spirit of a laundry item – is marked “do not wash, do not iron, do not bleach – for franking and collecting!

  • Issued on: 2022-10-14
  • Size: 35 x 45 mm
  • Designer: David Gruber
  • Printer: Variusdruck
  • Format: Commemorative
  • Perforation: Die Cut 13
  • Print: Digitalprint
  • Paper: Rag Paper from Postmen shirts
  • Gum: Normal
  • Face value: 820 ct – Euro cent
  • Print run: 150,000