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I am recently exploring a new craft: Nålebinding. I started using regular large plastic needles. But sadly, these are a little bit too small and soft for this craft, so the eyelets often break.

I have seen people using needles made from bone, antler or wood. Since I live in a woody area, I would like to know if anybody has experience in making needles from wood? It would have to look something like this:

enter image description here

I have some small woodworking tools, but I have never used them. They were a gift from somebody else that gave up on woodworking after not succeeding a few times.

So, my questions basically are:

  • What is a good sort of wood to make a needle from?
  • How do I start? Do I make the eyelet first, or the needle shape?
  • Are there any things that I, as an absolute beginner, should be aware of?
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    I can't answer your question, but if you haven't already, I would check out the Society for Creative Anachronism and see if they have any resources available to help answer some of your questions. It is a group that is focused on medieval reenactments, and I myself learned naalbinding from members of the group. I know many of them make their own tools, so they may have resources that can help you if no one here is able to answer. – magerber Sep 14 '17 at 0:07
  • Suggestion: bamboo. That sort of flat strips from which tweezers are made should be pretty good for this. – Chris H Oct 12 '17 at 10:56
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Disclaimer: I've never actually made a needle for naalbinding, but I have done some other wood carving and the principles are the same.

The site from which you (presumably) got your picture lists a few materials that naalbinding needles can and have been made from, including the following:

  • juniper
  • rowan tree
  • honeysuckle
  • lilac
  • olive tree
  • fruit trees (like apple tree)
  • ice cream sticks

From the above, you can probably conclude that any reasonable wood (I.E. not balsa) will do.

I found a tutorial that suggests making the basic shape first, but given that making the eye is probably the trickiest bit I would make it first before carving the shape.

As always, the main thing to be aware of is safety. If using a knife, always cut away from you, and take appropriate steps with whatever other equipment you may use.

Apart from that, the only thing that's required is a small amount of (what looks to be very cheap) material and some practice.

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It would be a lot easier to buy such a needle. They don't cost much: Needles on Etsy.

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  • That may be true but people do enjoy being able to make their own things for the satisfaction of doing so. Cost and time might be something the OP is willing to do. – Matt Oct 12 '17 at 12:29
  • Given that the OP is specifically asking how to make needles, I would assume that they are willing to. – walrus Oct 13 '17 at 9:34

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