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Posted on : 27-06-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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Pronounced: “nawl-bihn-ding

There are many variations of spelling for this term.  Nalebinding, Naalbinding, Nailbinding, Needlebinding

Descriptive phrases include: Needle looped fabric, Free/detached buttonhole stitch, knotless netting/knitting, looped needle netting, needle tying, single needle knitting

Nalbinding is a method of creating fabric dating back atleast 2000 years.  Nalbinding pre-dates knitting & crochet.  Ancient samples of nalbinding have been found in Egypt & Peru. Modern use can be found in Iran for socks & in Scandinavia for hats, gloves, & Viking re-enactment garments.  It is most commonly recognized as a Scandinavian technique.

An exceptionally sturdy item can be fashioned.  The garment is often felted/fulled, causing the loose loops to contract tightly into a thick & very warm fabric.  When snagged or cut, the stitches do not unravel.

A blunt needle is used with a relatively short length of yarn, passing around the thumb and looping under, over, & through previous loops as the thumb & forefinger hold the loops.  Short lengths of yarn (1 to 3 yards) are used, because the entire length of thread must be pulled through each stitch.  New lengths of yarn are attached one end to the other as the piece progresses.  Here is a link to a brief introductory video of the (easiest) Oslo stitch:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8PXk5lTIZo

The next picture shows my experimental sample made of wire in Oslo stitch.  I plan to join the ends into a circle & create a jewelry pin by adding more decoration.

The photo at the top of this entry shows various cords & trims in different stitches.  The ends were eventually finished by knotting as tassels, sewing a hook or clasp on woven back ends, making a loop & button/bead closure, or attaching both ends to form a circular slip-on style bracelet/anklet.  

These bracelet/anklets were made with only one row of stitches; therefore, the original length of cord was long enough for the entire item.  Needless to say, most items (clothing) would consist of many rows & so require connection of numerous lengths of yarn.


 I will continue to experiment with nalbinding, because I’d like to translate this ancient technique into modern materials & styles.  Your experiences & ideas are most welcome. 


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