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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
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.
Click on photo for close-up view.
A 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.
Edgings 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.
Great Hats, Larry
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
Lots 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
Mittens, 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 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 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. $10.00 #599100
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".
New Age Looping: A Handbook for Fiber Artists,
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
Scarves, 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
Turning Heels: A Look at Structures in Naalbinding, Erika
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
Bone Nalbinding Needle from Lacis
A 3-1/2" round point bone needle with elongated tapered eye.
White Bamboo Blunt Needle Set
Set of three bent-tip flat bamboo needles - 5", 4" and 3 1/2"
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.
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
Navajo/Sacking Needle, 4"...$2.40 #169102
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
One of the better descriptions of naalbinding stitches on the
'net, with good photos.
Five basic stitches: http://www.stringpage.com/naal/naalstitch.html
Bernhard's Nadelbinden - English version of his German website. Good
"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
Best source for naalbinding bibliography, and general
naalbinding information. Site still under work, but definitely worth
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
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.
Back to Books Page
URL for this page: http://www.mielkesfiberarts.com/naalbind.htm