Stitching awl

An awl (also known as location or awl ) is a simple tool, existing holes may be widened stung by which holes in various materials or. It is a tapered, thin metal pin that either runs straight or curved like a sickle, and can be equipped with a handle or an eye. Often the awl is used in the processing of leather. There are various forms that are adapted to the specific needs of individual crafts such as shoemaking or upholstery.

The awl was used in the graphic arts with lead type and letterpress printing to correct and unbinding the finished set with a column string.

In Korbmacher Commercial this tool is still called the primary, with the rope-makers, it is the splice, the hardware store, it is often found under the term spade.


The awl is one of the oldest tools. Even the early human species Neanderthals created from bone awls, which were mainly used in the manufacture of fur clothing. The discovery of a Knochenpfriems from Untertürkheim (about 120,000 years, Eemian ) represents the oldest potential awl dar. In the late phase of the Neanderthals ( between 40-30000 years, Châtelperronian ) occur frequently in these bone awls sites on.

Already in the time of the Linear Pottery, ie the first farming culture in Europe, awls were serially made ​​of bone. These were almost always made ​​of pointed metacarpal or metatarsal bones of slaughtered sheep or goats. Also, the Copper Age man who died around 3300 BC on the Similaun and became known as the Iceman Ötzi, led a bone awl with it.


Exodus 21.6 mentions an awl: " .. then his master shall bring him to God, he shall bring him to the door or to the goal post and pierce his ear with an awl; It will then remain his slave forever. "

Modern Ahlen

The prehistoric awl corresponds with modern tools, the awl, which consists of a metal mandrel which is hafted in a wooden handle. There is also the sewing eye, which at the top has one eye and is designed to simultaneously piercing and sewing, similar to a strong sewing needle ( Sattler needle). The sewing eye may have a built- in handle yarn.