An introduction to punch needle
This is one craft we all cannot get enough of. It's methodical, fairly easy to get started once you have the tools and if it turns out rubbish, you can just pull it out and start again!
I've been dipping my toes into punch needle lately and wanted to share some of the resources and inspiration I've come across lately.
What you'll need:
- Punch Needle
- Embroidery hoop or wooden square frame
- Monks Cloth
- Yarn (any type, all types... experiment with what you have!)
The first step... threading your needle. That is what that little piece of wire is used for.
Here's how to thread your Lavor punch needle:
Choose your embroidery hoop:
It's easiest to get your monks cloth or linen tight on a smaller hoop. Try going for one that is 6-7" in diameter. Bigger ones will need adjusting as you work to keep the fabric taught. Teeny tiny ones are fun too, so small scale pieces.
Quilting gripper hoops work amazing for punch needle as they have strips to grip the fabric. You can also use a square frame and use a staple gun to fix the monks cloth to the frame.
Your yarn should suit the size of the needle you're using. For example, the adjustable Lavor punch needle in the shop is great for thicker, chunkier yarns, whereas the smaller interchangeable needle has three sizes to suit DK-weight yarn down to embroidery floss.
Each type of yarn will create a different effect; make a sample piece, experimenting with different loop lengths and yarn fibres. This one below uses merino roving yarn, jersey yarn, hand-dyed happiness yarn and the merino Aran-weight yarn, all from the shop.
For thinner needles and thinner yarns, use loose-weave linen.
For thicker yarns, punch needle monks cloth is ideal as the holes aren't too big, they'll hold the chunkier yarns in place.
I watched this video by Amy Oxford to get an idea on the general punching technique. There are some great tips in here on how to approach shapes, Finishing and changing colours, how to work with corners. It's a long one... so sit back and enjoy! It's a tad slow-going but all the basics are here.
I love how free this craft is, you can literally just punch and go once you've got the equipment and basics in place.
- This blog post, Punch Needle Instructions for Beginners, covers all the basics... plus tips on prepping your embroidery hoops for punch needle.
- I've been pinning like a maniac. Here's my Punch Needle Board on Pinterest if you're after some inspiration.
- Top 10 tips for punch needle by Sarah Makes... including making sure your needle is facing the right way and keeping the slack on your yarn as you punch or it'll pull your work out.
Good luck! Let me know how you get on. I'm so excited to be exploring this new craft with you!