Using a punch needle to make art has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. So, why haven’t I heard of it until recently?? Punching is making a slow come-back, and I am so glad it is! I would have to say that it is the most soothing handcraft that I have ever encountered. Yes, even more than knitting, if you can believe it! I’m fairly new to this lovely art, but I’ve jumped in with both feet, and we are loving it here at the Morris house! I say “we” because some of my daughters have developed an interest in this craft also. Thankfully. It is great fun to do handwork together, isn’t it? In this post I am going to show you how to do punch needle embroidery.
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Punch needling, or “punching” is extremely fun and addictive! You can buy already created patterns, or just draw them yourself, as I like to do. The key is to make the pattern very simple. A simply drawn flower can turn out beautifully if you use the right yarn! I love to buy my yarn at Willow n Wool, which is a local yarn store with a great online presence. They have a great selection of beautiful wools, and I could probably go there every day! PLUS. They sell my “Dumpling Bag”, so if you’re interested in buying a small project bag, shoot them an email, and they’ll send you one. 😉
Watch on YouTube!
What you need to start punch needle art.
- Monk’s cloth. This is a loose-weave soft cotton fabric that is absolutely perfect for punching.
- A punch needle. I started with a #10 regular made by Oxford.
- With a #10 regular needle, you will need Chunky weight yarn. I love wool. Just sayin’.
- A hoop or a square lap quilting frame. I got mine at Michael’s, but HERE is one that is similar.
That’s all you need, other than a good pair of sharp scissors. Simple, right?
How to load your punch needle.
- Using the end of your yarn, poke it through the front of the needle eye.
- Next, lay it down the channel of the needle, and out the bottom, like this photo below.
3. Gently pull the yarn from the bottom and then from the eye, to make sure the yarn is laying tucked in the channel on the needle. Like this photo below.
4. When the yarn is laying properly in the channel of the needle, it will look like this.
How to punch your first stitches – SO easy!
- A few things you need to remember.
- Always keep your yarn slack. By that, I mean, very loose with lots of extra yarn between the ball and your needle. If your yarn is tight, the stitches will not stay in.
- When you are stitching, always face the channel of the needle forward. So, as you turn corners when you are punching, adjust your needle to face the way you’re going.
- When stitching, make sure to push the needle all the way into the fabric. All the way to the wood handle.
- With your loaded needle, push the tip into the fabric all the way until the wooden handle touches the fabric.
2. Bring it back out, JUST until the tip emerges above the fabric.
3. Drag the tip along the fabric for approximately two “holes” and then push the needle back down for your next stitch.
The above photo shows the back of the project. So basically, you are working from the back, and if you flip it over, that is the front, like the photo below.
Looks kind of cool, right?
When you are done with one colour, all you need to do is simple snip off the yarn with sharp scissors. Don’t worry about the stitches coming out, they will stay in tightly. Make sure to draw the design you want to use on the back of the monk’s cloth. That is where you will be stitching. Anyway, make sure to check out my video tutorial to get another perspective on punching.