12th century nailbinded cap,  Modern Nailbinding,  Projects - Nailbinding

A new nailbinded cap finished – nailbinding / needle-binding / Nadelbinden / Schlingentechnik is a lot of fun :D

And here a look at my most recent nailbinding project which I just finished – a new nailbinded cap:


I met the nice farmer from the Peacefield farm at the local Beech Bend Market about one week ago. He liked my nailbinded snood and cap so much that he asked me to make a nailbinded cap for him and gave me some of his lovely wool.

And here we are – a new nailbinded cap is finished. This nailbinded cap will be delivered to him at the next Beech Bend Market this weekend. I hope that it will fit him well and that he likes it. 🙂

It took me about 17 working hours to complete this nailbinding project and I am very happy with the result. Some of you might recognize the shape of this cap. The simple form of this cap is very similar to the one of the nailbinded 12th century cap which I made for my sister Bella some time ago. 🙂

And here some of the progress photos of this nailbinding project for you. I already posted this pictures on my facebook page as well as on my google+ page while I was working at it. Enjoy! 🙂

Racaire - 2014 - nailbinding - Nadelbinden - A new nailbinded cap finished

At the picture above you can see the very first row of nailbinding for this cap project.
It’s really amazing how just some interwoven loops of wool thread created on a thumb by using a simple needle can create such a beautiful structure. 🙂

Racaire - 2014 - nailbinding - Nadelbinden - A new nailbinded cap finished

And like with the nowadays very popular crochet or knitting techniques, you can create a lovely texture by adding row after row. Depending on the nailbinding technique you chose, this structure can be rather tight or loose. As you can see at the pictures above and underneath, I’ve chosen a rather tight nailbinding technique for this project.

Racaire - 2014 - nailbinding - Nadelbinden - A new nailbinded cap finished

…and you can easily add or take off “nailbinding loops” to alter the form of your nailbinding project.

The picture underneath shows a progress picture of the top of the nailbinded cap – shortly before I finished it.

Racaire - 2014 - nailbinding - Nadelbinden - A new nailbinded cap finished

And here a picture of the finished nailbinding. The nailbinded cap is nearly finished at this picture, just some last finishing work is left. 🙂

Racaire - 2014 - nailbinding - Nadelbinden - A new nailbinded cap finishedVoila – the finished cap with the added tassel at the top:

Racaire - 2014 - nailbinding - Nadelbinden - A new nailbinded cap finished

Though the structure of the nailbinding of this cap looks slightly different to the one of the 12th century cap I made for my sister Bella, I used the same nailbinding technique/notation for it.

Nailbinding_12th-century-cap_2013-12_5The nailbinding notation for this two projects is really the same:

(“Finnischer Stich”)

The differing structure results from the fact that the purple Malabrigo silkpaca wool is about half as thick (or less) then the off-white wool I used for the new cap.

It is very interesting to see how much difference another wool thickness can make while my thumb (over which the technique is worked), the used needle and technique stay the same.

And here a close up photo of the nailbinded structure created with the UUOO/UUOO O F2 (“Finnischer Stich”) for you:


Racaire - 2014 - nailbinding - Nadelbinden - A new nailbinded cap finishedBut well, this is not the only difference between the new nailbinded cap and the 12th century cap for my sister Bella. You maybe already discovered the slightly different shape of the new cap.

The farmer from the Peacefield farm, for whom I made this cap, asked me to make a round top for his cap. Therefore I used the same beginning like for the 12th century cap but altered the “pattern” at the top.

Not that I really use a “pattern” – I actually never use a pattern for my nailbinding projects. I just develop the shape of my nailbinding project as I work on them. But the process to achieve the shape of this cap is so simple that you actually could call it a “pattern”, if you like. 🙂

This shape can be easily achieved. First you make a row of nailbinding loops by using your favorite nailbinding notation until you have enough to fit comfortable around your head. Now you can add about 1-3 more loops before you start working the second row on top of the end of the first row. It seems to me like my nailbinding always gets a little bit tighter when I am adding the next rows. Therefore I started adding more loops at the end before I continue with the next row. From here on you can add row after row until you have enough rows to cover your forehead.

I base the following procedure to achieve the final “pattern”/ “shape” on a medieval head cover sewing pattern which works with 4 different quarters. For this I normally use some spare thread or security pins to mark the edges of the four quarters of my cap project. Whenever I reach one of this marks, I “take off” two loops at the bottom for one loop for the new row – and this two times at every mark. So I am actually taking off 2 for 1 and 2 for 1 (2 new loops for the new row for 4 loops from the bottom row) at every quarter.

Here a picture of my cap with the security pins:


When you take a close look at the picture above, you will see a slightly curve above the security pins which resolves from the reduced loops – from the “take off”.

Nailbinding_12th-century-cap_2013-12_5If you want to achieve a similar look to the 12th century cap I made, just continue taking the 2x 2 for 1 at every quarter until (the tail of) your cap is long enough.

Then you can start to narrow the end of your cap down by taking 2 for 1 every second loop, later also every other loop. Shortly before the end you can even take off 3 for 1 or 4 for 1. This way you can achieve a cap shape with rather straight sides like at the picture on the left. 🙂

Racaire - 2014 - nailbinding - Nadelbinden - A new nailbinded cap finishedFor the shape of the new cap with the rather round top I had to alter this procedure a little.

After about 5 additional rows with taking off 2x 2 for 1 above the quarter marks, I started taking off 3x 2 for 1 here. As soon as the top started to narrow I also added a take off of 1x 2 for 1 in the middle between the quarters to achieve a more round ending part.

When you have the feeling that the end part is getting already rather flat, you need to start taking off even more like described for the final part for the hood shape above.

And here a close up picture of the top part of the nailbinded cap and the tassel for you:


The tassel at the end of the cap is very easy to make. You can find a tutorial of how to make a fast and easy tassel here: Craft with Racaire – Project 2 – fast and easy pouch tutorial – Step 4 – Tassels, Tassels, Tassels! 😀 and here: Craft with Racaire – Project #1 – Step 5.3 – finishing – fast and easy tassels… 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my new nailbinding project and all the extra close up pictures and information I added. Nailbinding / needle-binding / Nadelbinden / Schlingentechnik /… is such an awesome medieval technique and it makes so much fun!

This is for sure not my last nailbinding project, I promise! …and if you are now in the mood for some nailbinding yourself, you might like to check out my recent posting about my modern nailbinding projects with embroidery too. 😀

Best regards Racaire