Welcome to


© Bernhard Dankbar

Here is your opportunity to learn Nalbinding

step by step

and to find a bounty of information about it on the topic.

Before diving into the following pages you should know that I would like to send heartfelt thanks to all the people who have been supporting me in setting up this homepage.

A special thank you goes to my son Christian, who initiated me to the secrets of HTML codes and gives me plenty of help when needed.

Many thanks to the translator of the english pages Bettina Foertig, living in Ireland and Jeanne Gehring, US citizen living in Germany.

Thank you to all!

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Table of Contents:

The needle
The start
The spiral
The start from the middle
How to join two threads
Nalbinding stitches
My Nalbinding projekts
Nalbinding projekt from others

Adress of the Author, Impressum
Picture 1 from the start

Am Anfang ist eine einfache Schlaufe

Some time ago I became interested in the age-old technique of needle binding (derived from Naalbinding or Nålbinding, Scandinavian). This technique, popular with the Vikings among others, was described in a book about sheep's wool. I learned the basics according to illustrated instructions, first with needles made from steel, than with a needle made from beech wood, which I carved myself. After numerous failures I produced a cap as the first usable project.
The technique of Nalbinding is very similar to the modern and more widely known technique's of knitting and crochet. The big difference is: it is not worked with a seemingly endless work thread but with smaller pieces, each about one to two meters long. The thread is led through backward loops with a needle; this is done according to a certain pattern. The possible patterns are known from ancient textile findings.
The textile scientists among the historians have agreed on the following way of presenting a pattern: The flow of the thread in the finished piece is given. First the thread turns to the left. A U (under) stands for the thread being led underneath the neighbouring thread with the needle; an O (over) for the leading of the thread over the neighbouring thread. At the point where the thread changes its direction from left to right, the symbol " / " is put into the formula. A complete formula could look like this: UO/UOO.
Naturally you can work Nalbinding exactly according to this pattern. Firstly work a loose loop to start, then lead the needle to the left first, through the weft according to the formula, pull the thread through and then follow the rest of the formula and bring the thread to the right and pull through the thread. I call this technique the "forward-backward-technique". It is very laborious and time-consuming. A faster and simpler style of Nalbinding is worked with the "Thumb-catching method" and this technique is described in detail on this website.
With the "Thumb-catching method" you first work a simple start loop. (picture 1)

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