A thimble is a small hard pitted cup worn for protection on the finger that pushes the needle in sewing. Usually, thimbles with a closed top are used by dressmakers, but special thimbles with an opening at the end are used by tailors as this allows them to manipulate the cloth more easily. Finger guards differ from tailors’ thimbles in that they often have a top but are open on one side. Some finger guards are little more than a finger shield attached to a ring to maintain the guard in place. The Old English word þȳmel, the ancestor of thimble, is derived from Old English þūma, the ancestor of our word thumb
A single steel needle from the time of the Han Dynasty ancient China (206BC – 202AD) was found in a tomb in Jiangling and it could conceivably be assumed that thimbles were in use at this time also although no thimble seems to have been discovered with the needle. The earliest known thimble — in the form of a simple ring — dates back to theHan Dynasty ancient China also and was discovered during the Cultural Revolution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in a lesser dignitary’s tomb.