Needle of bone

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From Hillhead, Caithness

Postcard of Needle of bone.
© National Museums Scotland

Needle of bone

This bone needle was found at the native broch settlement site of Hillhead in Caithness. It was used for sewing, probably for heavy materials like leather, sometime between 200 BC and 800 AD.

The needle is slightly curved.

Once skins were cleaned and preserved to form leather, pieces could be cut, then sewed together. First lines of holes were made using awls, then they were sewed together with thread made from plant fibres or animal gut, or with leather thongs.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-987-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GA 841
Date: Between 200 BC and 800 AD
Material: Bone; curved
Dimensions: 2.63"
What: Needle
Where: Scotland, Caithness, Hillhead
Description: Curved bone needle from Hillhead, Caithness
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