Yesterday I forgot all of my current projects and had some hours to kill. Since I had a darning needle and a few stretches of thread I decided to try nalbinding (or nålebinding or naalbinding or needle binding etc).

The results were entertaining to say the least.

I got photographs that unfortunately I cannot yet share as my iPod is playing silly buggers, but for now I’ll ask has anyone ever tried this? Did you manage to make anything?

If you don’t know what nalbinding is, it’s an ancient way of creating fabric that some say was the precursor to knitting. If you see an item made this way you might even think it was knitted, albeit in a strange stitch. It’s made with a needle (I used a darning needle but there are special ones you should use) and is made with strips of cut yarn instead of a continuous thread.

By own work (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
It’s fiddly and fun. I haven’t worked out how to do more than a quick stretch of the Oslo stitch, and I’m too busy with important knitting/crochet projects to learn any more for now.

So again: have you tried nalbinding? Would you like to try it?


19 thoughts on “Nalbinding

  1. I nalbind quite a bit and prefer it over knitting for most projects. I’ve done mittens, hats, slippers, scarves, shawls, ponchos and vests. My favorite stitch is Finnish 2+2 (2 on the thumb and 2 picked up from behind.) Glad to see you’re trying nalbinding1


    1. That’s awesome. I’ve never seen any in person which is a shame. Do you have examples on your site? I’m going to go look. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


  2. I do like to try new things but this seems redundant to me. It looks a lot like crochet and to me crocheting would be easier. I could see doing this if I had no crochet hooks or knitting needles available to me, but for now, I’ll stick with those. Thanks for showing us this, though!


    1. Oh, that’s interesting. It doesn’t look like crochet to me at all. The material is indistinguishable from knitting in the ancient preserved examples; they have to follow the stitch along bit by bit to figure out whether it’s knitting or nalbinding.

      I’m not really interested in nalbinding for practical uses anyway, more for the historical interest. 🙂


  3. This has just reminded me I really need to look up Nailbinding! I was at a demonstration once in York and meant to look it up once I got home, but totally forgot. Thank you for reminding me about this again.


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