Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb


I taught last week's parshah this past Shabbat, for which I did perhaps my worst preparation *ever*. As in, I looked over the parasha (Tetzevah, which basically describes the priestly garments)during kiddush before the rabbi's class.

And one of the garments, a tunic worn under a woven robe and the reverse apron-like affair called the ephod (which, btw, is made of an amazing fiber - they wound six strands of fiber (either red, blue or purple wool, or linen) around a thread of pure gold, and then they wound those seven ply strands around each other (creating shatnez because it mixed wool and linen), making a 28 ply strand, and *that* was used to weave the garment, but I digress.) was described in two different translations as "knitted". This was very confusing, because there's no real record of knitting earlier than the 14th C (although that's not conclusive, of course.) After doing some fast research involving two other people, we decided that they were talking about a form of *weaving* that produced a basketweave effect - the tunic was to look like it was made of empty jewelsettings.

But I was reading a fiber arts website, and someone mentioned naalbinding, so I looked it up. Naalbinding is a form of fabric construction that resembles knitting, and has been misidentified as such. It's made with an eyed needle, and short lengths of yarn, and produces a firm fabric. The name is Norwegian, but it's actually been produced worldwide, with the earliest example coming from Israel - way before the Torah was given.

It was used to make socks, but there's no reason why it couldn't be used to make a garment. It would take a longer time than knitting, but that's about it.
Tags: needlework, torah

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