needle, implement of metal or other material used to carry the thread in sewing and in various forms of needlework and manufacturing. The earliest needles were merely awls or punches. Stone, bone, ivory, and thorns, with or without an eye, were used by primitive peoples. The midrib of the palm is used in Africa, with the thread tied on. Much of the embroidery of antiquity must have required fine needles; China is supposed to have first used steel ones, and the Moors are credited with carrying them to the West. The needle-making trade was established in Nuremberg in the 14th cent. and in England in Elizabeth's reign. In 1656 the first needlemakers' guild was chartered. Manufacturing by machinery developed gradually. In 1785 the first steel rod was mechanically prepared; in 1826 eyes were drilled by stamping, and by 1870 the manufacture was mostly mechanical. Different kinds of steel are used for different needles, e.g., chromium and stainless steel for surgical and hypodermic uses. Over 250 kinds of needles are made, such as the pearl needles of India, bead needles for fine beadwork, and others for carpets, shoes, upholstery, sailmaking, knitting, and every type of sewing machine.

Basic implement used in sewing or embroidering and, in variant forms, for knitting and crocheting. The sewing needle is small, slender, and rodlike. One end is sharply pointed to make passing it through fabric easy; the other end has a slot (called an eye) to carry a thread. Modern sewing needles are made of steel. Crocheting needles are eyeless and have a hook on one end; they are usually of steel or plastic. Knitting needles are long, made of various materials, and bluntly pointed at one or both ends, sometimes with a knob at the end opposite the point.

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Dragonfly (Libellula forensis).

Any member of the insect suborder Anisoptera (order Odonata), characterized by four large, membranous, many-veined wings, that, when at rest, are held horizontally rather than vertically (see damselfly). Dragonflies are agile and have bulging eyes that often occupy most of the head and a wingspan of about 6 in. (16 cm). The dragonfly is one of the fastest-flying and most predaceous insects; in 30 minutes it can eat its own weight in food. Dragonflies differ from most other insects by having the male copulatory organs at the front part of the abdomen rather than at the back end. Male and female often fly in tandem during sperm transfer.

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Needle or Needles may refer to:

Sewing and needlework

Body manipulation


Geography and geology



  • Acupuncture needle, needle used for acupuncture
  • Hypodermic needle, hollow needle commonly used with a syringe to inject substances into the body
  • Needle exchange program, exchange program for hypodermic needles
  • Needle remover, device that physically removes a needle from a syringe
  • Pins and needles or paresthesia, sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect
  • Surgical needle, needle with holes or eyes which are supplied to the hospital separate from their suture thread
  • Tuohy needle, hollow needle suitable for inserting epidural catheters





People named Needle or Needles

  • Dan Needles, playwright behind the popular Wingfield series which has played across Canada for many years
  • Edward Needles Hallowell, United States Army officer
  • Jimmy Needles, American basketball coach best known for being the United States' first Olympic basketball coach
  • Nadel, German surname meaning needle

Fictional people


See also

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