New excavations turn up 15th Century Nalbinding from Tallinn

Today a post came across my feed telling me of the recent excavation of a late Medieval (15th century) landfill in the Hanseatic town of Tallinn, Estonia that includes nalbound fragments. The linked report is the initial summary of the finds and other information collected in the 2018 excavation season.

The collection has not been fully catalogued so there is no precise analysis of the artifacts as of yet. However, 4 items of fragmentary nalbinding were found, now in 21 pieces. Additionally, a knitted cap, which is pictured in the article, and a few knitted socks, gloves, and mittens can be identified out of the 43 knitted items (70 fragments thereof) that were also found in the landfill. These are but a few of the approximately 2000 total textile fragments, primarily woven with some felt.

Russow, Eric, and Keiti Randoja, Rivo Bernotas, Andres Tvauri, Riina Rammo, Monika Reppo, Jaana Ratas, Juhan Kreem, Lembi Lõuga. “A late medieval treasure trove of TallinnSalvage excavations of the 15th-century landfill between the Jahu and Väike-Patarei streets” in Archaeological Fieldwork in Estonia 2018, 185–218. Accessed December 12, 2019.

In this season of giving, I am extremely grateful for those that bring me gifts of information regarding nalbound finds. This year has been made even more fruitful by your sharp eyes and generous spirits.

Author: Anne Marie Decker

Nalbinding Researcher

2 thoughts on “New excavations turn up 15th Century Nalbinding from Tallinn”

  1. So – assuming they confirm dating on the textiles, am I right in thinking this would be the first instance of firm evidence for coexistence of nalbinding and knitting?

    1. It is the first I can think of off the top of my head of both techniques being found in the same excavation, however, it’s rare to find so many textiles in one place. Additionally, they are often reported separately. It is a question that occurred to me on reading the article and is one I intend to go examine.

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