Happy International Naalbinding Day!
Since the dawn of time and humankind, creativity and imagination has gone hand in hand, or in this case needle in hand. Nålbindning, naalbinding, needlebinding or one of its many other names, is a historic technique for making fabric. Examples have been found in multiple cultures and time period. The name means “binding with a needle”.
It predates both knitting and crochet and some sources date it to 6500 BC. It eventually fell out of fashion, presumably because it is not as fast as the other two techniques. It creates a different fabric from both knitting and crochet. Naalbound fabric doesn’t unravel as easily as knitted or crocheted fabric. When fulled needlebinding can create a very durable fabric.
It has recently seen a revival, with people creating a wide range of items, from small booties and mittens to cardigans. Five years ago the first International Naalbinding Day, aka World Wide Naalbind In Public Day was organised to help spread awareness about the craft, and with the secondary goal of making more people try the craft themselves.
To needlebind something, you need a needle of your preferred size and material, about 5 to 10 cm, and it can be made out of wood, bone or metal. Second, you need yarn, preferably 100% wool, since you will be working with about 1 metre or longer strings of yarn, that you loop together using your thumb and needle. Depending on the technique, you use your thumb, needle and previous loops in different ways and combinations to create a fabric. Once you’ve almost used all yarn, you splice or join the new yarn end with the old. It can be tricky at first, so a how-to video, a book/web tutorial, or a teacher can be helpful.
More information and usefull videos can be found here