Thimbles in one form or another have been around as long as needles have. Thimbles are used in embroidery, appliqué, quilting, beading, decorative top stitching, tailoring, or virtually anything else that involves a needle.
In its basic form the thimble simply covers the finger to protect it from the eye-end of the needle. Most thimbles have dimples or even edges to keep the end of the needle in place as it is pushed through the fabric. Thimbles come in different shapes, sizes, construction materials and even combinations of materials and all to accommodate the requirements of the individual sewer. Feel, comfort and functionality are paramount in selecting just the right one.