Nålbinding (nahl-bin-ding) is Danish for “needle binding;” an ancient technique for making textiles that predates knitting and crochet by thousands of years.
Archeologists have found nålbound items such as socks, hats, decorative figures, mittens, and milk strainers in Egypt, South America, Central Asia, Western Europe and Scandinavia. The earliest examples date from a cave in Israel (6500 BCE) and stone-age Denmark (4200 BCE).
Nålbinding, spelled various ways, and known by different names (such as knotless netting) is still practiced in many countries today.
I originally learned nålbinding so I would have a Viking age craft to teach visitors at a demo put on by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) during the Royal British Columbia Museum’s Viking Exhibit in 2014. Not knowing anyone local to learn it from, I turned to the website and amazing video tutorials by Sanna-Mari Pihlajapiha.
Three years later, nålbinding is still my favourite fibre art. I have taught hundreds of people how to do it, and am pleased to offer tutorials, lessons and workshops in Victoria. Ask me for details!
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