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The first needles designed for sewing by hand were made of wood or bone (dating back to 6000BC), whereas modern needles are frequently made of high carbon steel wire and plated with nickel or gold for corrosion resistance.1 Modern needles come in many different sizes and shapes depending on their purpose, but all have a hole at the non-pointed end called the ‘eye of the needle’. This ‘eye’ is often oval or ‘eye’-shaped and carries thread or cord through the fabric after the pointed end of the needle pierces the fabric.
The eyes of needles are often small and difficult to thread, leading to an aphorism used in the religious texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These aphorisms are based on the …