Needle cases

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Needle Cases

The finds from Norway and Sweden are all tubes made from iron, copper alloy or bone. Some are plain, and others have decoration. All finds of bone cases are polished and do not look like bone. The bone items all resemble the metal versions. They are all rather small 6 cm to 8 cm, some perhaps 10 cm. When traces of suspension remains, the case is always suspended horizontally either from a metal band or from two holes in the middle section.

the Norse examples in Scotland generally do not have any surviving method of suspension.

As for the evidence for needle cases in the British Isles, the Scandinavian based cultures (particularly in Scotland, Orkney etc) tend towards the tubular examples as seen in Norway, Denmark etc. In England though the evidence is less definite. Anglo-Saxon needle cases may be a loose object held within a sewing box or similar rather than suspended, however this is a purely interpretative theory based on a few finds of decorated long bones – none have been found with needles in them.

Note that the vertically suspended Inuit/Sami style needle cases have not been found.