There are two areas of history specifically that I’d like to find out more about, and be able to make clothing that’s actually historically accurate (I like the idea of living history but many places I’ve found just don’t have the right clothing – and in some cases, are two or three hundred years at least inaccurate!). One technique that I want to learn to use is Nalbinding (which the Vikings were known for having used since they didn’t know how to knit by all accounts) so I’ve been doing some research on it. The January Challenge is about Foundations – socks, underwear, etc – so if I can learn it, I’ll be doing it for that. If not, I’ll be tying my fingers up in knots trying to figure it out. Oh well…
The Coppergate Sock
This sock was found as part of the Coppergate excavation in York, England. It was associated with a 10th century post and waddle house, and so far is the only example of nalbinding found in England (perhaps off the foot of a traveller???). Analysis of the sock suggests that using a bone needle, the maker started at the toe and worked their way out from there. There is also evidence to suggest that it had been patched or repaired in some way. It has not been determined what colour it may have been, but it is believed that it had a red band around the ankle area.
Wild, John P., 1988. Textiles in Archaeology. Aylesbury, UK: Shire Publications
The Åsle Mitten
As are so many finds from this period, this mitten was found in a stray context on a farm in Sweden. In 1913, a farmer was digging up some peat and came across this piece, unfortunately, damaging it with his spade in the process (see just above and to the right of the thumb). The stitch used on this mitten is a bit different than the traditional Oslo stitch, and as such was deemed the Åsle stitch, in honour of where it was found. It is believed to be from the 16th or 17th century and is currently housed at the Åsle Tå museum in Sweden.
I’ve also found a couple of pictures of interest but have found this site here: http://historic-crafts.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/nalbinding-how-to_10.html for how to do it. This could get interesting. ^_^