Crochê is a French word meaning hook. Crochê is needlework made by looping thread with a hooked needle. Using Crochê one can make beautiful hats, purses, bags, pot covers, baby dress, dollies, headbands, decorative flowers, etc,.

There is one theory that crochet evolved from traditional practices in Iran, South America or China, but there is no decisive evidence of the craft being performed before its popularity in Europe during the 19th century.

In the 19th century, as Ireland was facing the Great Irish Famine (1844-1849), crochet lace work was introduced as a form of famine relief. The production of crocheted lace being an alternative way of making money for impoverished Irish workers. After the publishing of first pattern book in1846, Irish lace became popular in Europe and America, and was made in quantity until the first World War.

Fashions in crochet changed with the end of the Victorian era in the 1890s. Crocheted laces between 1910 and 1920 became more elaborate in texture and complicated stitching. The strong Victorian colors disappeared, except for fancy purses, which were often crocheted of brightly colored silk and elaborately beaded.

Although crochet underwent a subsequent decline in popularity, the early 21st century has seen a revival of interest, as well as great strides in improvement of the quality and varieties of yarn. There are many more new pattern books with modern patterns being printed. Filet crochet, Tunisian crochet, tapestry crochet, broomstick lace, hairpin lace,  fro-hooking and Irish Crochet are all variants of the basic crochet method.

From  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crochet

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Crochet hook:  is a type of needle with a hook at one end used to draw thread through knotted loops. Crochet hooks are made of wood, plastic or aluminum. In earlier days they were made of bone, steel or ivory.  Tunisian crochet hook is much longer than a regular crochet hook to accommodate the multiple loops used in Tunisian crochet

Crochet thread:  is specially formulated thread usually made from mercerized cotton. Crochet thread produces fabric of fine gauge that is stiffened with starch. Crochet thread is made from cotton and has a denser pile and smaller diameter than ordinary yarn. Most crochet threads are thicker in diameter than sewing thread. Crochet thread can withstand considerable stresses from pulls with sharp hooks. Crochet thread comes in sizes from 3 to 100. Diameter is inversely proportional to number, so size 3 is nearly as thick as yarn and size 100 is as fine as sewing thread.

Please refer to http://crochet.about.com/od/learntocrochet/a/Beginner-Crochet-Yarn.htm to understand which yarn is best for you.

Tapestry needle: Its handy when you need to weave in the ends.