I have fallen in LOVE with the art of the modern punch needle. This craft has a few names you may hear as you research it yourself. Rug Hooking is another term often used as well as needle punching. Rug Hooking is where this craft originated. The use of a hook was involved but it was a much more tedious process. Now that the invention of the modern punch needle has come about the ease of this craft has caught on like wildfire!

Starting out I sure had a lot of questions. So if you are new to punch needle this is the place for you! I will go through everything a beginner needs to know when starting to punch needle.

There are two basic styles of punch needle. Punch needle with yarn and punch needle with embroidery thread.

Watch the video tutorial HERE to learn more about punch needle materials.

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If you are curious if this is the craft for you I would suggest you start with the Ultra Punch Needle as it can move the needle to different heights.

To thread the ultra punch needle you will take the wire loop included and thread the yarn through the punch needle.

If you end up falling in love with punch needle and want to upgrade, then the BEST punch needles are made by Amy Oxford. Start with a #10 regular and collect from there!

To thread the oxford punch needle you just push the end of yarn through the metal tip and pull it along the slit in the wooden handle. It is super easy!!


Depending on what you are planning to make it will depend on the frame you use.


For smaller projects and embroidery hoop is ideal. HOWEVER it is important to use a hoop that can hold the fabric nice and tight without loosening up over the time of the project.

The Morgan No-Slip Hoop is the BEST hoop in my opinion. This hoop is made with an interlocking ridge that will hold the fabric tight without letting it slip out over time.

For larger projects it is easier to get an artists frame and then staple gun the fabric nice and tight to it. OR make your own frame and do the same. I like using 2 by 4’s to make my frame as it gives me the depth to not be concerned that my needle will punch past the frames depth as I work.


When new to punch needle it can be overwhelming to figure out what fabric is best. So let me make it easy. There are only TWO fabrics that are best for punch needle with yarn.

Monks Cloth:

It must be a high quality monks cloth with at least 12 to 14 holes per inch.

Monks cloth is a good fabric to work with as it is self healing, strong and you can see the holes. It also has guidelines woven in.

Some people don’t like how stretchy it is but if you mount it on your frame nice and tight this will be a mute point.

Primitive Linen:

This cloth must also be high quality. If it is then it will be self healing as well.

The nice thing about linen is that it does not have the guidelines and grid like holes. This makes for a much nicer background if the entire piece is not going to be covered by yarn. But it is not as flexible as the monks cloth.

Other Fabric:

I don’t recommend other fabric.

Burlap can be used but it is brittle and if used for a backing to a rug it will disintegrate much faster then other fabric.

Rug Warp is also used but only for rugs. It is sturdy and has no stretch. I have not used this fabric before so I can’t recommend this one at this time.

I have also heard that people will make rugs using wool fabric as their backing. Again, I have not tried this.


The nice thing about punch needle yarn is you can use almost any yarn.

The only time you need to be picky about your yarn is if you are making a RUG. Then ONLY USE high quality 100% wool yarn.

If the yarn is thinner and your needle is made for thicker yarn then you can double up the strands and thread them through the needle.

Decorative yarn can be used for wall hangings but it can be tricky if you choose one with lots of loops. Or if it goes from thick to thin and then back to thick again. Decorative yarn is more of a trial and error thing.

The pink yarn in the photo above doesn’t work as it has loops in it that make it hard to travel through a punch needle.

But the grey yarn in the photo above is great! It has a fun metallic yarn woven throughout but because it is mixed with a normal yarn it works very well.

Otherwise, have fun shopping for yarn. It can become addicting!

Happy Crafting!



Check out this PUNCH NEEDLE Q&A to learn more!

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

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  1. Neressa wrote:

    Where to find the monk’s cloth??? I have seen too many videos to show how to do it but I never seen the link where to buy the monk’s cloth!! Why Joanns fabrics don’t have it? Everyone recommended the monk cloths.

    Posted 12.12.21 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      Hi Neressa, it was hard to link to quality online places to purchase monks cloth. I would contact your local rug hooking/punch needle/yarn seller as they should have a quality product for you to purchase. Tamara

      Posted 1.26.22 Reply