Nalbinding ~ A Thousand Years Older Than Knitting?!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Nalbinding is an amazing technique that makes a beautiful sturdy fabric from yarn. It is often used to make things like mittens, hats, socks, and other great projects. Unlike knitting and crochet which use a continuous ball of yarn, nalbinding is made with shorter pieces of yarn at a time. One end of the yarn is threaded onto a needle, and you make a chain of loops at the other end. Then connecting loops are made by passing the needle and full length of working yarn through previous loops. Which makes new stitches as you go.  To me the process feels like a cross between knitting and hand sewing. But because the stitches in nalbinding are taller than knit stitches the process goes quicker than you might think. 
Because of the way the fabric is made is does not unravel if dropped. And there is not an exact pattern you have to follow. Making it a great project to take with you on the go. The needles can be made with wood, bone, or antler. And some even have beautiful wood burned decorations on them. 
Amazingly it is believed that nalbinding predates knitting by about a thousand years! And examples of ancient items made with nalbinding have been found all over the world. But sadly a lot of people now days do not even know what nalbinding is. So if you are interested in learning more about it be sure to give it a try, and help spread the word about nalbinding! This week I plan to post some reviews of my favorite nalbinding needles and books.
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