Punchneedle Tutorial

Punchneedle Tutorial

What is Punchneedle?

Punch needle works by pushing yarn or thread through a base fabric using a tool called, you guessed it, the punch needle! Unlike other types of embroidery, you don’t need to pull the needle all the way through the fabric. Instead, the yarn or thread creates small loops on the finished side of your artwork as you stitch from the back side. These loops stay in place thanks to the tension of the fabric weave and the other loops around it. This post will give you a basic overview of punch needle, but if you want more detailed instructions, there are a ton of videos and online courses that can help!

With traditional punch needle rug hooking, you use a large needle such as the Oxford needle with worsted or bulky weight yarn. Using a loosely woven cotton fabric called monks cloth, you can create rugs, pillows, and other types of décor that are full of chunky texture.
the tip of a punchneedle
It is worked on the back of the fabric, which is why all punchneedle patterns are a mirror-image of the completed design. When you punch, you form lines of running stitches on the top of the fabric while forming the loops of the stitches on the front of the fabric (the underside as you are punching). The fabric has to be stretched as tight as a drum in an embroidery hoop.

The Basics

Hold the punchneedle in the same way you hold a pen, or however feels comfortable to you. The punchneedle should be held upright so it is almost perpendicular to the fabric, and with the bevelled (slanted) edge facing in the direction you are going to punch your stitches.

Begin at any point around the outline, or as instructed in your pattern.

1,Push the punchneedle straight down into the fabric, until it stops

2,Bring the needle back up slowly, stopping as soon as the tip is clear of the surface of the fabric:

3:Slide the needle tip across the fabric by approximately the width of the needle:

Now repeat – punch the needle into the fabric again, lift it to the surface, slide it across the surface. That’s all there is to the basic punch stitch!

As you punch on the back of the fabric, the stitches will appear as a line of running stitches:


If you turn over the work to look at the front, you’ll see the loops
If you were to look at the underside of the work as you punch, you would see the needle forming the next loop:

When you reach a corner, stop with the needle in the down position, rotate the hoop, and then continue to punch along the new line. This means you’ll always be punching right to left (left-handers: left to right) and the bevelled edge of the needle will always stay facing forwards.

Once the outline is complete, fill in the area by working in a spiral fashion towards the middle of the area, following the contour of the previous row. Leave about half a needle width of space between each row.

Continue working in a spiral towards the middle until the entire area has been filled in:


In this way, you can complete the entire design by first outlining each area and then filling it in. Punchneedle works up very quickly and gives stunning results:

It’s a lot of fun and very simple to master. I hope this brief overview has tempted you to try punchneedle yourself!


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