It’s some sort of strange thing, I always seem to end up making pouches/bags/other things-to-contain-stuff-in, etc., as my first piece of anything textile related. And so it is in this case.
I’m not sure what the technique I used is called. I came upon it in a dream, as many of my varied ideas do. At first I was convinced it was a type of naalbinding. Then, after reading up some more on naalbinding, my certainty wavered, even though it shares many hallmarks of said technique. Having only attempted naalbinding once, and remembering only a mass of tangles from the attempt, all I can do is show what I have done and let other, more knowledgeable people work out what I’ve accomplished.
Start by taking your piece of wool and wrapping it around your finger. Add a half twist as shown.
Next, you want to run your long end under the loop on your finger, but over the long trailing end of your wool, as shown.
Pull the loop snug
This should make a single loop, which you should pull nice and snug.
A run of loops
Continue a run of loops, going under the finger loop and over the long length of wool, roughly 7 or 8 times.
Making your starting circle
Slip the loop off your finger. Pulling on the short piece of wool that you originally started with will pull the loops into a circle. From here on in, you will be forming a spiral.
Stitch into each progressive loop
Instead of stitching directly onto the finger loop, you’ll now be stitching into each of the loops you’ve already made. To expand in a circle, add a second stitch to each second loop. To make a tube, make only one stitch for each loop.
My stripes were made simply by alternating the colour of the wool I used, as this is a technique that requires you use short lengths. I found any length longer than my arm span was too difficult to manage.
A quick eye will notice that I’ve added eyelets. I thought for quite some time on how to do this. In the end, I worked each one by skipping 4 loops, then stitching 4, then skipping four, etc., whilst only pulling the running thread tight enough to span the length of the four skipped loops. When the spiral reached the skipped parts, I continued to loop onto the straight piece of thread as if it were the original finger loop, for four loops, then stitching normally for four loops, etc.
The drawstring is a simple four strand braid, as I covered here.
The resulting fabric is thick, springy and stiff. It feels fabulously durable. Note in the first picture that the bag (which is empty) is standing unaided, which should give an indication how stiff this fabric is.
If anyone knows if this is naalbinding or some other form of textile, please let me know, as I’d like to be able to put a name to what I’m doing.