==Origins and history==
[[File:Naalb01|thumb|left|A basic method of nålebinding]]
The technique of working a fabric of interlocking loops with a needle and thread may be traced back as far as the neolithic period. From C4-C6 Egypt there are several examples of sandal socks worked in a form of nålebinding which resembles true knitting, and for this reason the technique is sometimes called 'single-needle knitting', to distinguish it from knitting on two needles.
The work starts at the toe, where a single loop of yarn is made and then a circular row of loops is worked into it. For the next row, the looping is continued, passing the needle through the centre of the first row; after two loops have been completed, the needle starts to be be brought back through the next to last loop of the current row. The work is continued in this manner, passing the needle through the row below and back through the last loop. The effect of this technique is to produce a heavy, almost double-thickness fabric, of great elasticity.
left|Diagrammatic construction of the Coppergate sock]]
New lengths of yarn must have been joined in at intervals but, as there are no loose ends visible, they must either have been joined by splicing or stitched into the fabric. As the work was continued round after round, shaping was added by working extra loops into the row below, or by missing a lower loop out. At the heel, the line of work has been turned back on itself several times to form the heel shaping. At the ankle it circles round a few more times until the last row, which is worked in a smooth dark yarn, dyed with madder (dye tests on the rest of the sock were negative). Because this technique does not unravel, no special finishing border is needed, and it is therefore uncertain whether this last row was a decorative edge or whether the sock continued in to a stocking with a red coloured leg.