Punch Needle works in its simplest form by creating loops of yarn through fabric. It holds itself together by the yarn compressing against itself.

Below is a Q&A to all the questions I could find in relation to my favorite hobby, punch needle.

This post focuses on how to punch needle with yarn not embroidery thread. Although some of the tips could help in both styles.

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How does punch needle work?

Using a punch needle with yarn works by pushing the yarn through the fabric and then back up again. This creates a loop on the one side. Traditionally this would become the top of a rug. But punch needle has evolved since then and people now turn punch needle work into wall hangings, purses, pillows and so much more!

Is punch needle the same as rug hooking?

It is a similar form. The traditional rug hooking method uses a rug hook instead. The punch needle is a new way to make the same product. Nothing is different with the end product however.

Does punch needle unravel?

NOPE! Punch needle stays put with the natural pressure of the surrounding yarn. If the stitches are done in the proper manor the yarn will naturally hold itself together. Yahoo!

No need to use glue for your punch needle rugs, pillows or purses.

However I do use fabric glue to finish my wall hangings if they are not easy to hem.

Can I use art canvas, embroidery fabric or burlap to needle punch with yarn?

NO. The best fabric to start with is monks cloth. For a more detailed list of fabrics to use for punch needle CLICK HERE.

How to prep monks cloth before punching on it:

Cut the size that you need and then sew around the edging. Monks cloth can unravel quickly. So serging the edge, or sewing a zig zag stitch around the edge will help

Don’t want to sew? Then use painters tape around the edge to stop the fraying.

Next spray the monks cloth with iron on starch then iron. This step can be skipped if the monks cloth is placed on a proper frame. But if you are using an embroidery hoop it is hard to get the cloth tight enough so the starch helps.

How tight should my monks cloth be on my frame?

You should be able to bounce a coin on it. That’s pretty tight!

If you are using an embroidery hoop the best one that helps get the cloth the tightest is called a Morgan no slip hoop.

What side is the right side of my project:

Traditionally the side you are punching from is the back and the loops are the top of your rug. However with so many new creative artists doing needle punching any side can be the good side!

How to trace my pattern onto my monks cloth:

This is as easy as holding your cloth over the template and up to a window, computer screen or light box. I have used a sharpie to trace my projects, but a better product would be a Sewing Marker.

Make sure you are tracing on the side that you will not be showing, especially if you are using a sharpie.

For my free downloadable designs click here.

How to draw my own design onto the monks cloth without a pattern:

This can be done by using a fabric pencil to outline your project before making it more permanent.

Or you can use an iron on transfer pen, this you would use to trace a pencil drawing you create on another paper and then transfer when you are happy with your design.

How to punch needle a rug:

Make sure you are using 100% wool yarn, and whip stitch the edges when you are finished. If you want to wash the rug in the future make sure the wool yarn has been pre-boiled/washed so it won’t shrink.

Can I use yarn that isn’t wool yarn?

YES! As long as it is going to be an art piece you can experiment with lots of different yarns. If you find your yarn is too thin you can purchase a fine tip punch needle or just add three thin strands together and run them through your punch needle all at the same time.

You can also cut strips of fabric and run it through your punch needle too if you want to experiment with texture.

If you are making a durable rug you should only use wool yarn or strips of boiled wool fabric.

How do I finish a needle punch project?

Punch needle backing

It will depend on the project:

Finish a Rug by whip stitching around the entire edge.

Finish a Pillow or purse by attaching it to other cotton fabric.

Finish a wall hanging by pulling an inch of the unused monks cloth towards the back and hand stitch it.

Finish an unusual shaped wall hanging by glueing the edges over with fabric glue.

My punch needle project curls when I am finished. How do I fix this?

This is an easy fix! Lay a wet towel on top of your project and then press your iron onto the wet cloth. It will steam the wet towel and help your project flatten out.




I hope you found this Q&A helpful, If so please pin the below photo to share this with others. Thank you!

Welcome! I am Tamara and I love teaching beginner sewing projects.

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