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Aglet facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Three Different Aglets
Different types of aglets

An aglet, or aiglet, is the small tip on the end of a shoelace or rope. It can be plastic or metal. It keeps the fibres from fraying or unwinding. This makes it easier to hold, and easier to feed through a hole, such as a grommmet, eyelet, or lacing guides.

The word aglet (or aiglet) comes from the Old French word, aguillette (or aiguillette), which means needle. This in turn comes from acus, Latin for needle. An aglet is like a small needle at the end of a cord.


There are two main types of aglets. Some are purely functional, that is to simply stop fraying, while others can also be decorative. Decorative aglets are on the end of decorative cords, such as bolo ties, or on the aiguillettes of military dress uniforms.

Aglets today are most often made of plastic; they also have been made of metal, glass, and stone. Many were highly ornamental and made of metals such as silver. Before the invention of buttons, they were used on the ends of ribbons to hold clothing together. Sometimes they were formed into small figures. Shakespeare called these an "aglet baby" in The Taming of the Shrew.

Homemade aglets can be made out of adhesive tape, wax, resin, glue, thread, heat shrink or metal tubing, and by simply knotting or melting the end of a lace or cord. During the Great Depression, aglets were made out of paper and glue.

See also

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Aglet Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.