Creativity, Spinning

Naalebinding, or Knotless Netting

We are definitely making progress, backward though it is, to find out more about the first fabric techniques. We’ve already found woven flax to be exceedingly ancient, and new finds keep pushing the date back (I’ve seen the date now at 6500 BC, and 32,000 BC!).

So where does that leave knitting?  The oldest techniques using needle and yarn are not what we know as knitting today on two needles; however, the variety, beauty, and usefulness of the objects made with the ancient technique of Naalebinding, make it no less a stunning hand craft. Watch this:

The Naalebinding stitches are quite simple, as the knit and purl stitch are in the knitting you might have just put down. And with the same astounding flexibility, the Naalebinding stitches can be endlessly turned into hundreds and hundreds of different patterns, edgings, and embellishments, due to our bottomless capacity for creative expression.

This picture is of a commonly used stitch. The top photo shows the stitches in white cotton, so that the shape stands out:

A basic naalebinding stitch, shown in cotton above, and bulky wool below

The bottom photo shows the beginning of an actual garment in bulky weight wool. Garments made from Naalebinding can be extremely dense and warm. When made from wool, the garments can then be felted for additional warmth.  Compare the above stitch to this more “complicated” stitch:

More complicated naalebinding stitch

You can begin to see that the variety in looping, crossing, and otherwise stitching with the flat needle and yarn can produce beautiful work in the hands of a skilled naalebinder! (Look here on Flickr at the Naalebinder Group! I knew the first garments probably included a purse!)

Also, there is a naalebinder group on Ravelry.


Stitch photos © 2001 Carolyn Priest-Dorman, used with copyright permission. http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/nalebind.html

5 thoughts on “Naalebinding, or Knotless Netting”

    1. Thanks for commenting, knittinginflashes! Reading about the technique in archeology and such makes it sound dull and boring–things like “pre-knitting” and “single-needle”–but the pictures and that little video show that it’s an amazingly beautiful and complex technique! I hope you give it a try.
      Teresa

  1. Dear reader,

    On the Ravelry site I could not find the group on knotless knitting.

    Can you tell me what the name of the group is?

    From my holidays in Norway I bought a book in English on how to do it but i do not seem to understand how to get started.

    Will somebody please be so kind to elp ,e.

    Kind regards from tne Netherlands.

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