needle case

Needle case ('kab-cho'). The case would have been suspended from a chatelaine or belt from the two strands of blue nylon parachute cord. At the base of the parachute cord, a green plastic toggle is attached by a leather thong; its use is unclear. About halfway along its length, the suspension cord changes from parachute cord to a green cotton textile. Knot-work in white, red and black electrical wire, red thread bindings and a drilled through Chinese coin decorate the lower part of the suspension cord.

Four brass cartridge cases bound in white metal detach at the centre to reveal four containers in which to store needles. Three needles are stored in one of the cartridges, stuck into woollen thread wadding to keep them from falling out when the case is opened.


White label attached to object.

Needle cases or 'kab-cho' are often carried by Tibetan nomads on their chatelaines. Needles are vital tools when it comes to repairing clothing or equipment, but they can be difficult to replace when away from permanent settlements and, as we all know, they are very easy to lose. 'Kab-cho' represent an ingenious way of keeping needles safe whilst on the move.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk