The word crochet, which today describes both the specific type of textile, and the hooked needle used to produce it, is derived from the Old French crochet, a diminutive of croche, in turn from the Germanic croc, both meaning "hook".
Crochet craft, on the other hand, developed most directly from Chinese needlework, a very ancient form of embroidery known in Turkey, India, Persia and North Africa, which reached Europe in the 1700s. During the 18th century the craft became highly popular among millions of women with the publication of many pattern books.
Although crochet underwent a subsequent decline in popularity during the 20th century, the early 21st century has seen a revival of interest in handcrafts, as well as great strides in improvement of the quality and varieties of yarn.
Crochet needles, sometimes called Shepherds' hooks, traditionally are made of steel, ivory, bone or box-wood. Additionally, at our times, bamboo, aluminum and plastic are also used. They have a hook at one end similar in shape to a fish-hook, by which the wool or silk is caught and drawn through the work.