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making nalbinding needles?

 
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Last night I had a dream... well, anyway, it wasn't a very good dream, except as a result, in my dream I made nalbinding needles out of the different things that broke (shoe, bicycle frame, that sort of thing).

So it got me wondering, how had would it be to make my own nalbinding needle?

Apparently, not that hard.

Here's someone making one out of bone.


What is nalbinding?  It's a modern word (developed in the 1970s) for a technique that is so old, we've forgotten what it was called.  It predates knitting by a few thousand years and we see variations of it all over the world.  

Here's an overview.


 
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Ooooh! I think Inge has made needles from bone! I'm not sure if they're nailbinding needles, because I don't know what differentiates those from other needles....
 
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Woot! I have some bone saved up (read that: dogs chew bones I'm tired of tripping over!), just so I could try doing this!  I just hadn't gotten around to tracking down the how-to. Thank you for posting this, r!
 
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Here is the hat that was made for me.

 
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Sometimes it’s the little, almost offhand, comments that generate the biggest a-ha! moments for me. In that overview video, he mentions using loom waste for nålbinding. OH MY EARS AND WHISKERS. What a great idea! I have a couple buckets of loom waste just sitting about, and now I’ve got a neat idea for using them up! Wonderful! (Yes, stuffing, thrum knitting, tying them together and weaving with them…done all of those. This is a shiny new idea, and I collect shiny new ideas to satisfy my brain magpie.)
 
Carla Burke
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Nice knitted hat, Christopher!
 
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Christopher, nice hat for sure! Whatever ya do, don't wash that rascal in anything but cold water or it will fit a GI Joe doll. Wool is wonderful stuff but, it'll shrink in a heart beat if you're not careful
 
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John Duffy wrote:Christopher, nice hat for sure! Whatever ya do, don't wash that rascal in anything but cold water or it will fit a GI Joe doll. Wool is wonderful stuff but, it'll shrink in a heart beat if you're not careful



Unless it was knitted from 'superwash' wool. That stuff won't shrink (or will shrink very little), so it would be wise to find out what type of wool it was knitted from.
 
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Here are my nalbinding (needle binding) needles. It took me many days of effort to carve them out of a roe-deer antler point. First I even tried using a 'prehistoric' (replica) flint knife, later my very sharp steel kitchen knife. I'll use them to demonstrate prehistoric nalbinding in an open air museum in my region (Hunebedcentrum, Borger).


In the stone and bronze age some kind of nalbinding ('simple looping') was used with plant fibers. The fibers were twisted and plied during the work. Then (later in the bronze age and iron age) people started using wool, spinning, weaving and the more elaborate form of nalbinding.

 
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I have several horns in saving to make needles with and other wool tools. I was just chasing with someone on reddit lay well about where she got her needles from.
 
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Morana Revel wrote:I have several horns in saving to make needles with and other wool tools. I was just chasing with someone on reddit lay well about where she got her needles from.



I've also managed to confiscate collect a good number of the 4,967,823 bones our dogs had scattered through the living room, and rather than find a way to crush & powder them for the garden, I tucked them out in my workshop, to hold until I'm ready to start playing with turning them from the dog chews I trip over, constantly, into the beautiful (I hope) tools & miscellaneous items I'll happily use, and possibly gift &/or sell. A few are long enough I may even be able to make them into small spindle shafts.


(OK, maybe there were only a dozen, or so bones in the living room - but it sure FELT like 4,967,823, walking through the room, in the dark, to check on the fire!)
 
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The only bones I've currently got a surplice of are Muscovy duck bones. Any chance they would do for a first try?
 
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In the second video above, he mentions knotting the short lengths together.  It is my understanding that a "spit splice" was commonly employed for woolen goods made by nail binding (basically, felting the frayed ends together, with saliva or otherwise), which didn't result in the textural additions to the finished article occasioned by a bazillion knots.  Other fibers (cotton and linen) probably would require knotting, unless some analogous and more labor intensive long splice were to be used, since they don't felt the same as wool.  I've seen videos of spit splices being made in wool - presto, pronto.  Though I play with string, I'm not really a fiber arts guy, so I'm a little uncertain about effecting a long splice in cotton or linen when half of it is already built into some project.  When I was a kid, my mother made sure we kids all knew how to knit, crochet, darn socks, embroider, sew on buttons, etc. but I mostly just do what I need to and move on.  Even so, I'm enough of a Boy Scout to know that a long splice in rope is a time-consuming endeavor compared to a spit splice in wool yarn.

Messing about with nail binding is on my list of worthy projects.  First up is a knitting board, so I can make a pair of fully fashioned long handled woolies (thermal underwear), and maybe eventually a sweater (though I've recently received several Aran wool sweaters as gifts, so that has become a less urgently pressing goal).  Knitting boards (as "sock looms") are commonly used for making socks but, for items that need to very durable, wear resistant and damage tolerant (mittens, socks) or need to be thick and dense to be more wind proof (hats, scarves), it seems to me that nail binding is very promising (if slow, compared to knitting, what with all of the looping and either splicing or knotting).  Though double knitting is a possibility with a knitting board to make thick hats...

Nail binding is a very ancient technique.  A scrap of nail bound work was found at Nahal Hemar, an archaeological site near the Dead Sea in present-day Israel, which has been dated to approximately 6500 BC.

I'd figured on trying to make a nail binding needle from a 16d sinker nail - nip/cut off the head, heat the former head end with a plumber's torch to red/orange heat, whack it flattish on my little railroad track anvil, drill a 1/8" or so diameter hole for the eye, work it over with a fine cut file and a bench stone to smooth the point and recontour around the eye, knock off any burrs.  Gently rewarm and rub on a bit of bees wax, or brush on a bit of tannic acid, for rust proofing (boiled linseed oil would probably work, too - string it up by the eye to cure).  Bend it a bit if having some curve in it seems helpful after a bit of use.  But, one made of bone or antler would definitely be a lot more pleasant to hold and use and wouldn't rust.

So many projects...
 
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Jay, I don't see why the muskovy bones wouldn't work. I'd give it a shot.

Kevin, yes, in nålbinding, the splicing is done not simply in a split, but in fraying a couple inches on both of the ends to be joined, moisten the hands, overlapping the ends in the palm, and rolling them together, somewhat vigorously, as it is meant to essentially felt them together. I do use saliva, but many are grossed out by that and use water. I like the portability saliva provides. This process is frequent, because you're working with lengths of wool about a yard/ meter or so long, to help keep the fibers from wearing too fast, and to avoid knots.

For other yarn types that won't felt, a Russian join might work? I don't remember how to do the process, but I do remember that it doesn't leave an unsightly knot or obvious join.

Splicing string and rope is much more exacting, and requires both time and nimble fingers, and is not my idea of a good time, if there's another way. In fact, I'm pretty picky about what I use, for nålbinding, because fibers other than feltable wool will not give the effect I generally want from my nålbinding projects. If I want to use something else, I also use a different process - like looping (not the same as nålbinding, though similar), crochet, knitting, netting, tatting, or macrame.  
 
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Carla -

Many thanks for the voice of experience (as I noted, I am distinctly lacking in experience in these matters, at the moment).

There is an instructional video on the Russian join technique, here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWrh8VmTJug

All -

For comparison to the time involved to do a spit splice, see here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eugg0V0wcHI

This second video shows how much length to fray out (I'd guesstimate 25mm/1 inch of each end) to effect a respectable spit splice.

As a kid, all my knitting and crocheting (and weaving on pot holder frame looms, latch hook rugs, etc.) was done with acrylic yarn, because it was cheap, and was readily available.  Polyester leisure suits were the hot ticket then, and any synthetic plasticky stuff was both new and improved, and could be had off the shelf at the Ben Franklin store.  So, I never learned about spit splices.

Kevin
 
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Hi, Kevin! Yup, that's exactly how I do the joins in my wool, for nålbinding - and really, any time I'm using feltable wool. It just makes for a nicer end product. I do fray & felt closer to 2" than 1, simply because I figure the extra join length can only strengthen the hold. On some things, that's not a big deal, but on things like the 2 pair of slippers I just crocheted, in the last couple weeks, I really wanted that extra strength. I know how hard hubs and I are, on our slippers, lol!

Also, thank you for the Russian join link! Last night, I'd thought to look it up today, but... I've slept since then, and completely forgot. 😜😀
 
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I'd encourage anyone who's keen to make a nalbinding needle to give it a go! I've made heaps by carving wood and bone. Ivy is actually a great wood to make nalbinding needles from as it's quite strong and resistant to checking. The shiny wooden needle with a large eye is ivy. Most of the rest are gorse or scotch broom. The bone ones are made from deer bone from a hunter friend of mine.

I used a carving knife for the wood ones, and a dremel for the bone ones.

I've made and given away dozens of needles to folks wanting to learn the craft to encourage folks to give it a go.
nalbinding-needles.JPG
Selection of home-made nalbinding needles
Selection of home-made nalbinding needles
 
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Christopher Shepherd wrote:Here is the hat that was made for me"

Was this hat knitted? Or made with nalbinding?

 
Carla Burke
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Rebekah Harmon wrote:

Christopher Shepherd wrote:Here is the hat that was made for me"

Was this hat knitted? Or made with nalbinding?


It was knitted.

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Kevin Olson wrote:In the second video above, he mentions knotting the short lengths together.  It is my understanding that a "spit splice" was commonly employed for woolen goods made by nail binding (basically, felting the frayed ends together, with saliva or otherwise), which didn't result in the textural additions to the finished article occasioned by a bazillion knots.  Other fibers (cotton and linen) probably would require knotting, unless some analogous and more labor intensive long splice were to be used, since they don't felt the same as wool.  ..


Hi Kevin. In the stone age the plant fibers were harvested from the area (wild or grown). The same people who picked the plants and made fibers out of them did the Nålebinding (needle binding). They twisted and plied the fibers while they were 'needle binding' and there was no need for knots, because they made the 'yarn' longer when needed.
Later, with wool, they used the 'spit splicing'.
 
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Maybe there's another thread about the Nålebinding products. But now I put my photos here ...

Starting at the bottom of the small 'prehistoric' bag, next to some of the fibers


A few days later (no, not working all the time on this project)


The small bag with a piece of bone (goose) on the draw string

I hope those photos show clearly the 'simple looping' and the way the 'yarn' is made from the fibers
 
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In my post here before you see I used a metal needle. My antler needles were not yet made then ...
 
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Inge, is there a distinction there, in the definitions of 'looping' and 'nålbinding'? I ask because your bags look like what I've seen called 'looping', here. I read (somewhere...?) that looping predates what we now call 'nålbinding', 'nålebinding', or 'needle binding', but I know sometimes meanings of words get changed over both time and ocean crossings.
 
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M Broussard wrote:I'd encourage anyone who's keen to make a nalbinding needle to give it a go! I've made heaps by carving wood and bone.

I've never tried nalbinding. Do you know if there are any length/shape/width/thickness of the needle parameters you'd suggest for a total newbie?

Does the fabric you will be nalbinding with affect that choice, or the stitch you plan on using?

Ivy is actually a great wood to make nalbinding needles from as it's quite strong and resistant to checking. The shiny wooden needle with a large eye is ivy. Most of the rest are gorse or scotch broom. The bone ones are made from deer bone from a hunter friend of mine.

No shortage of Ivy around my home. I think that would be a better first choice for me than bone. Thank you for the suggestion!
 
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Jay Angler wrote:I've never tried nalbinding. Do you know if there are any length/shape/width/thickness of the needle parameters you'd suggest for a total newbie?

Does the fabric you will be nalbinding with affect that choice, or the stitch you plan on using?

No shortage of Ivy around my home. I think that would be a better first choice for me than bone. Thank you for the suggestion!



The needle on the bottom is my partner's favorite, and seems to be the most popular shape/size for the newbies he's taught. It's 55mm long. The most important thing is that the eye of the needle is big enough for the yarn you intend to use to comfortably pass through. Doing a bit of smoothing around the eye can go a long way to making this happen. You don't want to make the needle too wide, though, as that can make completing the stitches more difficult (particularly with tighter stitch styles, like York).

For an ivy needle -- make sure to use heartwood. You'll want to find a stem at least 10mm in diameter (but ideally 20mm+). The trunk sections growing up walls or trees are ideal for this purpose. Avoid the areal flowering stalks as they seem to be made of less dense wood in my experience. Split it in quarters, shave off the pith, and use the bit closest to the centre to carve the needle from. Split and carve in the same day. Ivy wood can be very high in water, and this can complicate things, as it will shrink a lot while drying. Ivy is resistant to checking once dry or carved into thin pieces, but if left in the round (or quarter), it will split and split until you don't have a piece bigger than a toothpick if you don't store it perfectly! If you have to pause in your carving, I recommend popping it in the freezer, as this will prevent drying (and checking!) until you're ready to continue.

The pictured needle was carved from a quite substantial hunk of ivy (~90mm in diameter) and so had excellent, sinuous texture. The squirrley grain makes it hard to carve, but it's worth it as the eye is then resistant to tearing out in use. The pictured ivy needle made it through several pairs of socks and two jumpers with no signs of cracking. Straight-grained wood, on the other hand, won't support such a large eye and can be prone to tearing out.

Best of luck!
 
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That bottom one is most similar to my first - and still favorite one, too. The downside to the wooden ones, for me, has been that unless highly polished, they tend to drag on the fibers enough to be annoying and more taxing on my hands. With the shorter lengths of fiber used in nålbinding, they probably wouldn't be all that damaging to the fibers, I'm just not a fan. My 2nd favorite one so far, is made of horn. It's smaller/finer than that bone one, but still a bit big to make socks, imho. So, I found a very skinny bone needle to try sock-making with, that's much closer in size, to a darning needle.

Edited to add *why* the bone and horn ones are my favorites - and later, I'll gather them all, and take pics. The bigger bone one is a very nice size for my hands - is easy to hold, so it doesn't tire my hands, or cause them to ache, with my trigger fingers & thumbs, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis, and is very easy to see, as it's going through pretty much any color, other than a soft bone color - which is not a color I'll often use. The horn one is very similar in all those things, but smaller, and this particular one is black - another color of fiber that I usually am not going to use as much. Both of them are ultra smooth, and silky to the touch, making them a joy to have in my hands, and allowing them to glide through the fibers with ease - think hot knife through butter - even when I'm holding the tension fairly tight. The little one I'd compare to a darning needle has all the same lovely points, and I do love it, but since it's so very thin, and I don't exactly consider myself to be 'graceful', and we have dogs, I'm always on guard, when using it, because it seems so delicate. In reality, it's probably much more robust than I give it credit for being. All three of these are easy enough on my hands that I can work with them for hours at a time, given the opportunity - like on a road trip, or after I'm too tired to do anything else.

My wooden ones, on the other hand, vary even more, in length, girth, and shape. They're nice to touch, and sanded well - but still drag more than is comfortable, and cause me to need a firmer grip, to use them. That firmer grip means my hands tire and ache MUCH faster, so I tend to reject them. The biggest of the bunch is one I'd likely use more for larger netting projects, and the curved one, I think would be amazing, in bone or horn, but just ISN'T,  in this wood. At least not as it is. I'm not sure what type of wood is made of - I'm pretty sure they were all laser cut, but I've decided I'm going to take all my wooden ones, and see if they'll sand out any smoother, and maybe polish them with wood conditioner, then warm them to soak it in, then leather/ rinse/ repeat, until I get the smoothness I'm looking for with no residue that could mess up my wool.

Of course, these are my novice experiences and thoughts. If anyone can point me in a better direction, I'm all ears!

 
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This is awesome!  Thank you!
I'll try making my own needle eventually but am enjoying Nalbinding!  I'm just using my tapestry needle while I learn.  Beautiful stitches with all those loops!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Carla Burke wrote:Inge, is there a distinction there, in the definitions of 'looping' and 'nålbinding'? I ask because your bags look like what I've seen called 'looping', here. I read (somewhere...?) that looping predates what we now call 'nålbinding', 'nålebinding', or 'needle binding', but I know sometimes meanings of words get changed over both time and ocean crossings.


What I read about it calls 'simple looping' the earliest form of nålbinding. It is nålbinding, because it is done in the same way (with needle and thread).
Meanings of words ... Of course in prehistory it had a different name. We don't know how people called it in the stone age. The word Nålbinding is Danish and means 'needle binding', in Dutch 'naaldbinding'. Nowadays that name is used because in Danmark that technique still existed. There are very early finds from Egypt, I am sure there it had a different name too.
 
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Jay Angler, you asked: 'Does the fabric you will be nalbinding with affect that choice, or the stitch you plan on using?'
My answer: yes, it does. Often a large needle and thick wool is used. Like the Icelandic unspun Lopi wool. But the same technique can be done with lace-weight yarn to make finer fabrics. Then a much thinner needle is needed and a different way of making the loops.

The technique of nålbinding knows many different stitches. Like I told there is 'simple looping', which is in fact just a 'blanket stitch made without blanket'.
With that same stitch there is a technique with a different name, 'needle point lace'. For that technique fine linen lace thread is used with a fine (metal) needle.


 
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Thank you, Inge! That makes sense - so looping is nålbinding,  but nålbinding is the umbrella type name.  Sometimes, it really is difficult to get a full understanding, even in this era of information - from these distances. It's nice to find help across time lines and oceans!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Carla Burke wrote:Thank you, Inge! That makes sense - so looping is nålbindin g,  but nålbinding is the umbrella type name.  Sometimes, it really is difficult to get a full understanding, even in this ETA of information - from these distances. It's nice to find help across time lines and oceans!


Exactly! The internet can be good to find information, but it can be confusing too. This forum is the best!
 
M Broussard
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Thank you Inge for sharing your knowledge! There are definitely tonnes of different stitches, and they probably have different names in different languages to make things more complicated. My partner started out with Oslo stitch, and is now doing York stitch, which is finer as it can be tensioned on the needle rather than the thumb. The great thing about all of nalbinding stitches is that they are really resistant to unraveling compared to knitting or crochet because you pass the entire length of yarn through the loop with each stitch. It's perfect for high-wear items like socks. as the holes don't run.


Carla Burke wrote:My wooden ones, on the other hand, vary even more, in length, girth, and shape. They're nice to touch, and sanded well - but still drag more than is comfortable, and cause me to need a firmer grip, to use them. That firmer grip means my hands tire and ache MUCH faster, so I tend to reject them. The biggest of the bunch is one I'd likely use more for larger netting projects, and the curved one, I think would be amazing, in bone or horn, but just ISN'T,  in this wood. At least not as it is. I'm not sure what type of wood is made of - I'm pretty sure they were all laser cut, but I've decided I'm going to take all my wooden ones, and see if they'll sand out any smoother, and maybe polish them with wood conditioner, then warm them to soak it in, then leather/ rinse/ repeat, until I get the smoothness I'm looking for with no residue that could mess up my wool.

Of course, these are my novice experiences and thoughts. If anyone can point me in a better direction, I'm all ears!



Carla -- I'd like to see your wooden nalbinding needles. Can you post a photo? If they are laser cut they are almost certainly made out of a softwood ply, which won't take a good polish from sanding like a harder wood. The ivy needle I made has an excellent polish on it, and I didn't have to do anything but sand it very smooth (down to about 240 grit). With use on homespun yarns, it picked up a nice coat of lanolin all by itself and now glides easily through fabric -- even for forcing through dense weaves as you do in darning.

Lanolin would be my top choice of finishes as it will pose no risk at all to your fibre. You can buy some and apply it with friction and heat (rubbing it in near the heater or a fire works well, or doing it in the height of summer where the ambient temperature in the sun is high enough to soften it. My other favoruite wood finish came from a friend who took a woodturning apprenticeship in France and learned the wood polish recipe passed down from medieval guild days. It's 1 part beeswax to 2-3 parts grapeseed oil, depending on your climate (and season) more oil will make a softer paste, less oil will be firmer (and better suited to high temperatures). Because grapeseed oil is a drying oil, the finish will eventually form a solid coat (other oils become rancid and sticky instead).
 
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Hi, M! Interestingly, a couple of my wooden ones are mia... I know they're not in with any specific project, because... well, because I don't like them, lol. But, also missing, is my favorite bone one! Now, I can't help wondering if it fell out of my bag, at the last fiber arts guild meeting. 🙄🥺 No one has been in touch, but we meet in a library, sooo.. who knows whether I'll find it again - assuming that's even where it ran off to. I guess its time to make or buy at least a couple more.

I do have some lanolin, and as a matter of fact, in hunting for my jar of copper bolus, for the goats, before I even got back online and found your question/ suggestions, found the lanolin, instead.

Anyway, these are the ones I *did* find. From the top down, the squishy, VERY felted and shrunken little bowl that was my first nålbinding project; the horn needle, the 2 bone darning/nålbinding needles; the biggest one is also wood - that finds more use as a hair stick or shawl/scarf stick; and the curved wooden one.  I put a pen with them, for a general size reference, but the horn one is about 2.5" - 3"long :
20230131_194710.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20230131_194710.jpg]
 
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I have no shortage of Muscovy duck bones, so I figured why not try making one of these needles.

I think I started with a shorter bone than would have been ideal, as it had more curve to it than a larger bone might have had. However, I had nothing to lose either!

I cut the bone to 55 mm with a hack-saw:


I then used a knife to cut a strip of the bone on the long axis about 10 mm wide. I used #50 sand paper to narrow it down to more like 7 mm along the body of it and I drilled a hole in the wide end.



Then I consulted with Hubby and he suggested to expand and smooth the "eye" of the needle, he'd use the Rotary Tool "Milling Ball" (that may not be the proper name - something close at least). It got a little out of control so one side of the eye has less material than the other. It seems strong enough that I should be able to use it to learn some stitches off the web at least.


I also used the milling ball to smooth the inside of the bone. The downside of bird bones is they're designed to be light-weight. I was surprised how smooth I got the inside, but there's definitely a raised edge to the back side of this needle. It's not so uncomfortable that I can't use it for learning. I then switched to a grinding stone bit for the rotary tool, and smoothed and narrowed the needle down to 6 mm.

So here's the finished needle. I suppose I need to test it next... another new skill to learn!


If any of you think it would be cool to try Nalbinding, making your own needle isn't out of reach if you've got a few tools. I'm off to learn a stitch or two...

 
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Jay Angler wrote:...
Do you have any recommendation of an easy stitch or tutorial for a total newbie with a unique needle? Maybe post that over on the thread I linked to?


The needle-binding I do is all only the 'simple looping' that was already used in the Stone Age.
There are some video-tutorials by Donna Kallner (she calls it 'new age looping'), like this one:

Sally Pointer has some very interesting and fun videos on it too (and on many other prehistoric techniques):

 
M Broussard
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Carla - those are some absolutely massive needles! I've scaled my image against yours, and included a museum example as well. Very large needles will create drag themselves as it's hard to pull them through smaller loops. This could be part of the issue.

Another issue with your wooden needles could also be that they don't seem to be shaped along the edges -- they should curve smoothly. I've attached a side-view photo of the nice bone needle. If yours have a more square profile, that could be part of the issue.

Jay - Good show! Let us know how it works! My smallest ones in the photo in the previous post are also made of bird bone, but from a smaller bird. They're serviceable, but a bit small, haha.
nalbinding-needles_scale.JPG
Nalbinding needles to scale. From left to right: mine, Carla Burke's and historical finds from York
Nalbinding needles to scale. From left to right: mine, Carla Burke's and historical finds from York
nalbinding-needle_side.JPG
Side view of my bone needle
Side view of my bone needle
 
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I will do it again, with a ruler. When I picked up that particular pen, I thought, "Well, this pen is kinda small, but..." The wooden ones really are much bigger.  But the tiny white ones(which I've had to sand & buff, for some raged edges) are only about double the diameter of a pencil lead. My favorite bone one is still missing, so I ordered a new one - and it seems bigger than the missing one, but I'll add it to the new picture. But, the texture of these wooden ones is definitely not smooth.

Something I'm noticing though, is that- at least for me - there seems to be a fine line between too much drag, and too smooth. The horn one is so dang smooth - like glass - that I struggle to hang onto it. But, the new bone one is perfect. The longer length of the needles also makes it easier, for my crippled up hands to maneuver. With the horn one, not only is it hard to hang onto, but it's so short, I kept jabbing myself in the web between my thumb and palm, instead of being able to maneuver it past there.

I'll try to get a better pic, today, but don't have time, at the moment.
 
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This discussion is a good reminder that hundreds if not thousands of years ago, the tool was often made specifically for a user, and remade or new ones made as the individual grew, aged or had injuries.

Too often "ergonomics" of the person is ignored now and tools are mass-manufactured and all the same.

This project has stalled in favor of repairs on a farm essential and then sewing a carp kite on the flimsy excuse of maybe it will scare off the aerial predators, but I will try this soon!
 
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:

Jay Angler wrote:...
Do you have any recommendation of an easy stitch or tutorial for a total newbie with a unique needle? Maybe post that over on the thread I linked to?


The needle-binding I do is all only the 'simple looping' that was already used in the Stone Age.
There are some video-tutorials by Donna Kallner (she calls it 'new age looping'), like this one:

Sally Pointer has some very interesting and fun videos on it too (and on many other prehistoric techniques):



Inge, I got here from the leggings from sweaters thread so I could thank you for referring to these great tutorials.  It is actually the answer to a question I asked elsewhere about whether I could use nalbinding for cordage that was not stretchy or feltable, since I want to use cordage I make from natural materials (foraged).  These are perfect! And I am inspired by the photos of your creations as well!

Thank you for these wonderful resources!
 
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Carla Burke wrote:
Something I'm noticing though, is that- at least for me - there seems to be a fine line between too much drag, and too smooth. The horn one is so dang smooth - like glass - that I struggle to hang onto it. But, the new bone one is perfect. The longer length of the needles also makes it easier, for my crippled up hands to maneuver. With the horn one, not only is it hard to hang onto, but it's so short, I kept jabbing myself in the web between my thumb and palm, instead of being able to maneuver it past there.  



I have been planning to make a nalbinding needle out of bone but, for me as well, outdoor projects like planting native shrubs and cutting invasives, have taken precedence.
I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate the sharing of personal details related to the tools.  I too have severe arthritis and need tools that I can maneuver more in consonance with my limitations.  Your specific information about length and smoothness is fantastic! It is a time-consuming effort to make a needle out of bone and I appreciate knowing what I'm aiming for before I begin.  You have given us the benefit of your experience.

Can you recommend a video on making a needle from bone? There are literally scores of them on Youtube and I have watched many. I am sure you have experience with which method of cutting and shaping, and what tools to do that with, that will help me accomplish it with the minimum of pain! Or just share what tools you prefer for cutting and shaping.

Thank you again for your helpful posts.
 
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