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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.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on needle, visit Britannica.com.