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Needle and loops - the beginning of Nalbinding.

What is Naalbinding?

Naalbinding is a unique fabric made with a needle and yarn in a looping technique - I call it a “cousin” of knitting and crochet. Practiced in various forms in many cultures, it gets its name from the Scandinavian people. The Americanized pronunciation is "NAWL bihn ding."  

There are various spellings: nalbinding, nadelbinding, nalebinding.  It has also been called single-needle knitting, looping, mitten-stitching, toothbrush rugs, and more.  The resulting textiles have been found in archeological excavations on every continent except Antarctica.

  Examples of mittens and a slipper worked in naalbinding.
Click on photo for close-up view.




A Beginner's Guide to NaalbindingA Beginner's Guide to Naalbinding, Erika Thomenius.
Book and CD set. Explains how to do the Oslo, Broden's and Asle stitch, splicing, increasing, decreasing, working flat and finishing. Also covers the Hansen notation system, Double Helix method, and includes patterns for a hat, scarf and pouch. Black and white photos. Spiral bound 8 1/2" x 11", 50 pages. CD shows the the three stitches, and how to splice. Self-published.  $24.00  #139630

Naalbinding: Edgings and EmbellishmentsEdgings and Embellishments, Larry Schmitt.
A look at an actual historical use of naalbinding as an edging or embellishment to a garment.  Complete directions explain how you can apply naalbinding on your own hand-made garments.  Softcover 8 1/2" x 11", 12 pages.  Self-published.  $8.00  #499005

Great Hats Great Hats, Larry Schmitt.
As Larry explains in the introduction to the book: "The hat patterns presented here are based on observations of hats dating from the 19th and 20th centuries with some new interpretations thrown in to the mix.  I have limited the selection of patterns in this workbook to hats that satisfy two criteria: They must be wearable by moderns standards, and they must derive, in shape or construction, from Scandinavian tradition."  The book begins with some historical background, a detailed explanation of technique, and then proceeds through sixteen hat patterns.  The Appendix includes patterns for six knitted hats.  Soft-covered wire $23.00 #599201



Naalbinding: Lots of SocksLots of Socks, Larry Schmitt.
Socks are always my favorite, so I glommed onto this book right away.  Again, Larry starts the book at the basics and builds in difficulty with more intricate stitches being introduced.  Ten stitches are taught, to be used with the six sock/slipper patterns (with directions for men, women and children's sizes). Also includes instructions on how to make naalbinding needles, a list of appropriate yarns and their uses, and a bibliography.  I feel it has the best compilation of information, and the best explanation of notation.  Wire spiral bound, 8 1/2" x 11", 61 pages. Self-published.  $24.00  #499007



Naalbinding: Mittens, Mittens, MittensMittens, Mittens, Mittens!, Larry Schmitt.
REVISED & UPDATED!!  Get into the meat of the issue - start with basic naalbinding stitches and progress to more intricate ones.  Includes directions for four stitches, six mitten patterns (with directions for men, women and children's sizes), instructions on how to make naalbinding needles, a list of appropriate yarns and their uses, and a bibliography.  Includes a discussion of notation (i.e. UOO/UUOO F2, etc).  Wire spiral bound, 8 1/2" x 11", 66 pages.  Self-published.  $24.00  #499006



Nalbinding Made EasyNalbinding Made Easy, Sigrid Briansdotter (Anne Marie Haymes).
A wonderful introductory book on nalbinding - good step-by-step photos, diagrams and explanations.  8 1/2" x 5 1/2", 70 pages.  Self-published, softcover.  $15.00  #599200



The Asle Mitten StitchNalbinding: The Asle Mitten Stitch, Sigrid Briansdotter.
History and how-to for the Asle stitch, with patterns for using it in mittens, socks, and hats.  Very thorough, with illustrations and bibliography.  8 1/2" x 5 1/2", softcover.  42 pages.   Self-published. $12.00  #599100




Nalbindning: The Easiest, Clearest Ever GuideNalbindning, The Easiest, Clearest Ever Guide, Nusse Mellgren.
A excellent step-by-step full-color photo guide with Swedish and English text to this unique form of needle construction. 19 pages, softcover 8 1/4" x 11 3/4".  $40.00  #169177



New Age Looping by Donna KallnerNew Age Looping: A Handbook for Fiber Artists, Donna Kallner.
Older than weaving, knitting and crochet, looping is a living legacy from the Stone Age that contemporary fiber artists give their own spin. Looping creates a fabric so stable it will not unravel. It's ideal handwork for travel and times when you have frequent distractions. Rediscover this exciting and versatile technique, and begin your own New Age of exploration.  Learn looping techniques and variations you can use with many different fibers to create bags, garments, vessels and more.  In-depth instructions help you master tension control and shaping.  Sample projects help you get started, and you learn to design projects of your own.  See how this ancient craft continues to evolve, and become part of a timeless tradition.

In New Age Looping, you get the benefit of what students have taught Donna in the more than 10 years that she has been teaching this technique. In this book, she has laid out a progression you can follow on your own to build a solid set of skills that includes how to design projects yourself. 

This book focuses on uses for basic looping (basic naalbinding) as Donna has experimented with and interpreted the technique for modern fiber artists.

The book is spiral bound so it lies flat. It's packed with illustrations. Sample projects are pictured in color, but instructions emphasize ways to adapt a basic idea to your own style and materials.  Softcover spiral-bound, 8 1/2" x 5 1/2".  115 pages.  Self-published. $21.95  #599202



Naalbinding: Scarves and WimplesScarves, Wimples and More, Larry Schmitt.
This book is a basic introduction to naalbinding, including the following: What it is, How it got it's name, Making needles, Overview of stitches, Scarves, Wimples, Mobius scarves and Bibliography.  Learn the two "simple-to-intermediate" stitches while making scarves and wimples.  Softcover, 8 1/2" x 11", 10 pages.  Self-published.  $6.00  #499004  OUT OF STOCK



Turning HeelsTurning Heels: A Look at Structures in Naalbinding, Erika Thomenius.
Good step-by-step black and white photos teach you how to do the Russian stitch, and then how to use it to naalbind five different heel constructions. Also covers the Josephine knot start.  Self-published, spiral bound.  8 1/2" x 11", 34 pages.  $16.00  #599203



Nalbinding Needle

Bone Nalbinding Needle from Lacis
A 3-1/2" round point bone needle with elongated tapered eye.

#169347  Bone Nalbinding Needle...$5.00


White Bamboo Blunt Needle Set

White Bamboo Blunt Needle Set
Set of three bent-tip flat bamboo needles - 5", 4" and 3 1/2" long.

#139637  White Bamboo Blunt Needle Set...$6.95



Willett Naalbinding Needle

New!! Willett Naalbinding Needle
Made by Stephen Willett of New Hampshire.  Approximately 5" long and 3/16" thick at the eye.  Eye opening is 3/16" in diameter.  Made in Ebony or Rosewood - our choice.  Hand-sanded and rubbed with beeswax to seal the wood.  Silky-smooth.

Willett Needle...$10.00









Flat Bodkin

Bent Tip Bodkin

A flat or bent tip steel bodkin, 3/16" x 2-7/8" for threading ribbon, huck weaving on Monk's cloth and other uses where a large flat needle is needed – such as naalbinding!  

Flat Bodkin, package of 5...$3.00  #169378
Bent Tip Bodkin, package of 5...$4.00  #169416

Select size and quantity:

Tapestry Needles

#169096  Tapestry Needles, Bent Tip #13, 2/pk...$2.30

#169112  Tapestry Needles, Straight #14, 5/pk...$2.50

#319025  Chibi with Darning Needles...$4.00

#319026  Chibi with Jumbo Darning Needles...$4.25


Sacking Needles

Navajo/Sacking Needle, 4"...$2.40  #169102

Select size and quantity:






Here are some links to naalbinding information on the internet.  There are many more out there, but I am just listing the ones that I personally found helpful.

This one is a Yahoo group (email list) on naalbinding.  It is quiet - and therefore manageable for me! - but stays on topic and keeps me current.

One of the better descriptions of naalbinding stitches on the 'net, with good photos.
How-to:  http://www.stringpage.com/naal/basicnaal.html 
Five basic stitches: http://www.stringpage.com/naal/naalstitch.html

Bernhard's Nadelbinden - English version of his German website.  Good step-by-step photos.

"Nålebinding Techniques in the Viking Age".  I like this page because they show some of the common stitches both loosely (so you can see the structure) and in normal use (so you can see how the stitch would actually look when used).

Best source for naalbinding bibliography, and general naalbinding information.  Site still under work, but definitely worth visiting.

Excellent drawings illustrating various naalbinding sock construction methods, with explanations.

Krista Vajanto's thesis and video clips of naalbinding techinques.  Finnish text.

Here is an online article about making "toothbrush" rugs -  I would call this a naalbinding technique.  The first time I naalbound in public, someone mentioned that their grandma made rugs "that way".  I didn't fully believe them until I heard about the "toothbrush" rugs.


Naalbinding Stitches

Above: A basic nalbinding stitch, shown in two weights of yarn, bulky and worsted.
Click on photos for close-up views.
Below: The stitch worked in a super bulky yarn to make a mitten.

Naalbound Mitten



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Last modified: July 30, 2015