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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


(Danish: literally "binding with a needle" or "needle-binding", also naalbinding, nålbinding or naalebinding) is a fabric creation technique predating both knitting and crochet.

Also known in English as "knotless netting," "knotless knitting," or "single needle knitting," the technique is distinct from crochet in that it involves passing the full length of the working thread through each loop, unlike crochet where the work is formed only of loops, never involving the free end. It also differs from knitting in that lengths must be pieced together during the process of nålebinding, rather than a continuous strand of yarn that can easily be pulled out. Archaeological specimens of fabric made by nålebinding can be difficult to distinguish from knitted fabric.

Nålebinding is still practiced by women of the Nanti tribe, an indigenous people of the Camisea region of Peru. They use it to make bracelets. Nålebinding is also popular still in the Scandinavian countries

Nålebinding works well with short pieces of yarn; based on this, scholars believe that the technique may be ancient, as long continuous lengths of yarn are not necessary. The term "nålebinding" was introduced in the 1970s.

The oldest known samples of single-needle knitting include the color-patterned sandal socks of the Coptic Christians of Egypt (4th century CE), and hats and shawls from the Paracas and Nazca cultures in Peru, dated between 300 BCE and 300 CE

The basic technique involves the use of a single flat needle. A loop is formed, and the needle passed through the loop. The thread is pulled through the loop, but the knot is not snugged up. Left loose, the yarn forms a new loop. The needle is passed through the new loop, forming a chain. At the end of a row, the work may be turned, and each stitch passed through both its partner loop and a loop in the previous row. The work may be performed in a single direction "in the round", forming circles and tubes for socks and mittens.
Due to the "pulling through", this technique is well adapted to short lengths of yarn which can be joined together to form a textile.
Although nålebinding is slower and more laborious than knitting, it is easier on the shoulders, back and hands, and the fabric it produces can be more dense and durable than knitted fabric. It is still used in Iran to make socks, and in parts of Scandinavia to make hats, gloves and other items that are very warm.

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