Threaded Through Time: The Ancient Art of Nålbinding

15 September 2021
By Michelle Woodvine
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Nestled in the wild beauty of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, L’Anse aux Meadows is the only authenticated Viking Age Norse settlement in North America.

A short walk away is Norstead, a re-created Viking port of trade. Here, site manager Denecka Burden and her team of historical interpreters bring history to life, teaching visitors about aspects of Norse life during the Viking Age (793-1066 CE), including blacksmithing, pottery, and the spinning, dyeing, and weaving of wool. And it is here at Norstead that we find evidence of a historical marvel that, while practiced by the Vikings, predates them by thousands of years: the ancient art of nålbinding.

image description: an old book, the image focussing on its spine

Norstead, L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland
Photo credit: “TV-009-0519” by Carrotflower Productions International is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Correction: Incorrect captions appeared for the first few hours this piece was published. Correct captions with proper photo credits have since been applied. We apologize for the confusion, and we apologize to the author, who is not responsible for this editorial mistake.

About Michelle Woodvine

Michelle Woodvine is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor on a quest to never stop learning and making. When she’s not wordsmithing for others, Michelle can usually be found working on her trilogy of speculative fiction novels, learning a new skill, or goofing around with family (including her very own rocket scientist, two teenage boys, and one feisty ginger cat). For more information visit To follow the adventures on social media, check out @woodvinewrites.

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