Needles, once quite labor-intensive to make, have long been valued as an important domestic tool. As far back as the Vikings, people kept their needles in ornamental boxes and cases. In the Victorian era, needle cases were made of wood, bone, sterling silver, pewter, or other materials, and often shaped like figural or decorative items. 'Needle books' were also common, generally hand made, and often embroidered. The etui was also a popular item: while not a dedicated needle holder, these small boxes held needles and other items women would need for domestic tasks (scissors, pencils, tweezers, etc).