Items made using the nalbinding technique have been recovered from numerous excavations, spanning several centuries and different cultures. This technique was extensively used in Scandinavia, and several fragments and finished items have been unearthed.
Several pattern variants have been identified, usually named after the location of archaeological excavations and the extant items there discovered. For this project, I chose the Mammen stitch (also known as Finnish Stitch 1+2, notation UOO/UUOO F1), as seen on a pair of socks recovered from a dig in Uppsala, Sweden.
The nalbinding socks were created using an undyed, 4-ply twisted 100% wool yarn containing natural oils (Fishermen’s Wool, Lion Brand). This yarn is minimally processed and retains the felting and fulling properties of period yarns.
The socks were worked from the ankle cuff to the toe. They were made 10% bigger than the desired size and fulled to a woman’s foot size 7. The fulling process consisted on the socks being submerged in hot water containing dish soap, and agitated until the desired size was achieved. A shoe stretcher was put inside the fulled items, and the socks were air dried to shape.