Long before humans invented knitting, they created wonderful textiles with a technique called nalbinding. Sometimes called needlebinding or looping, nalbinding is a method of creating a stretchable fabric by pulling individual lengths of thread through loops using a single, eyed needle. The earliest known finds of this type of textile date back to around 6500 BCE in Israel.
There is archaeological evidence of nalbinding being used all over the world, however there are few places where this tradition has been continuous to the present day. Scandinavia is one such place, where this craft, once practiced by the Vikings, has been maintained and revived. The stitches we use today are mostly taken from the Nordic tradition and often have their basis in Viking Age archaeological finds.
Nalbinding creates a warm and durable fabric that won't run or ladder. It is a slow, but portable and versatile craft that despite its ancient origins, can be used to create modern, contemporary textiles.
When we nalbind, we continue a long tradition of textile making that reaches right back into human pre-history.
I have created a series of step by step videos to take you through the basics. I demonstrate how to create a starting chain using the Oslo stitch, how to join together lengths of yarn, how to join your chain into a circle, how to increase and decrease and how to create a neat finish. Links to all the videos are below.
I am based in Newcastle, Australia and I am available to teach private lessons and small groups. For nalbinding I have a maximum group size of four people. If you are interested in organizing a lesson, please get in touch via the contact form at the bottom of the page.
This video will show you how to set up your first stitch and create a starting chain. All you need is some yarn and a needle with a large eye!
This video will show you how to join on another length of yarn using the "spit splice" method.
Learn how to join your starting chain into a circle with an F1 connection.
Learn how to increase and decrease the number of stitches in your work in order to shape your garments.
This video shows how to neaten the "step" at the end of your work and weave in your ends.