Knitting began in China

My boyfriend discussed how knitting is popular with the natives in Peru, and thought maybe the origin of knitting might come from that region.

I started searching the origins of knitting, tracing it back in time, and found out about an ancient form of knitting some call nalbinding. Early archaeologists were unable to distinguish nalbinding samples with knitted samples.

Turns out there might be some truth to the native Peruvians knitting being pretty ancient, for they are some of the people that still practice nalbinding . The regions that still practice are indigenous Peruvians and Finnish / Scandinavian people.

On an unrelated note, I realized that the origin of beer could be traced furthest to China, eventhough some sources refuse to acknowledge this. (source)

My mind made me curious if there was also a possibility to trace knitting back to China, knowing that the features of both the indigenous Peruvians and Finnish can be quite asiatic. (source)

To my surprise, indeed there is a connection. After doing further research it seems that the earliest trace of knitting is from China, if you consider nalbinding to be a form of knitting. Anne Marie Drecker when she visited the Provincial Museum in Urumchi, China shows a picture of one of the nalbound hats found with the mummies that is 3000 years old. (source)

Some claim that the earliest nalbinding come from a cave in Israel nearly 10,000 years old, or from Mexico around 6,5000 BC however there is no evidence that these scraps of textile were used for clothing versus netting, or a basket.

Of course as in beer making, the China angle gets skipped and nalbinding might be attributed to originating as a European endeavour. (source)

Other sources

  • 3000 years ago in China:
  • good info

how to:


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