Needle, bone

The needle is perhaps the oldest "tool" known to mankind. Just how the first garment was joined together is open to conjecture, however needles made of bone begin to appear in western Europe on Upper Palaeolithic sites about 35,000 years ago. They show not only a newly found skill in working bone, but also suggest that skins and furs were being used to make such items as clothes, shoes, tents, blankets, nets and bags, as well as the production of thread. 

By about 12,500 years ago, needles sometimes occur on sites in large numbers. There are at least 370 from Courbet. Just like modern needles, they vary in size. The different sizes may have been used for particular tasks.

Needles made of bone are commonplace in the archaeological record, and most of the museums of Europe have many in thier collection.

Bone needle in the British Museum

Made of cow bone, approx 4" long. It is slender, smoothly finished, and sharp enough to sew with.  It is a heavy gauge needle that will work well on coarsely woven fabric. Also good for some needle weaving and fancy work such as crewel. Works well as a laying tool for fine embroidery. 

Due to the material used and hand crafted nature of this item dimensions and shape will vary slightly from piece to piece. 


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  • Model: SL-AFBN
  • Shipping Weight: 0.01lbs

This product was added to our catalog on Friday 23 November, 2012.