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Getting Started With Punch Needle

Using a punch needle is a dynamic style of fibre art, with rich textures and colours. This guide will show you everything you need to know to get started with punch needle embroidery, from choosing the right supplies to finishing your project.

What Is Punch Needle Embroidery

Punch needle is worked by looping yarn or thread around a small metal shaft, called a needle. The needle is inserted into the fabric and pulled through, leaving a loop of yarn on the surface of the fabric. By working in rows or circles, you can create different patterns and designs.

Punch needle is often used for embroidery, but it can also be used to make pictures, ornaments, and even clothing. It’s a versatile craft that can be used for a variety of projects.

Quick Punch Needle Guide 

Ultra: up to 6 strands embroidery floss | Weavers Cloth

Rico Adjustable Fine:  2-3 strands embroidery floss of DMC up to double 6-strands embroidery floss | Weavers Cloth (2 smallest needles), Monks Fine, Floba, Belfast

Lavor fine:  6 strands embroidery floss of DMC up to a fine yarn (1-2 weight) | Weavers Cloth (2 smallest needles), Monks Fine, Floba, Belfast

Oxford fine: medium weight yarn | Monks Cloth Fine (preferred), Tula, Floba, Belfast

Lavor Mediummedium weight yarn| Monks Coarse/Fine (preferred)

SKC: heavy weight yarn | Monks Coarse/Fine

Easy threading: medium/heavy weight yarn | Monks Cloth 

Lavor Chunkyheavy weight yarn | Monks Coarse (preferred)/Fine

*some chunky wool may not work well depending on its composition and how tight it pulls in the needle.

No punch needle works with AIDA. Please take note of the particular materials each works with. 

best getting started with punch needle embroidery

How To Work With Punch Needles

The first thing you need to do when getting started with punch needle embroidery is to choose the right supplies. You will need:

  • A punch needle: There are different sizes and types of punch needles, so it’s important to choose the right one for your project. If you’re not sure which punch needle to choose, ask for help on recommendations.
  • Embroidery floss or yarn: You will also need yarn and fabric. The type of yarn you use will depend on the type of fabric you’re using. For example, if you’re using a delicate fabric, you will want to use a finer yarn so that it doesn’t damage the fabric.
  • A hoop or frame: You will need a hoop or frame to hold your fabric taut while you’re working.
  • A piece of fabric: Punch needles are very fussy! Please refer to the above guide to choose the right fabric for you punch needle

The fabric should be tightened so it is quite taut.

How to punch Flat Stitches

Flat stitches are created by punching on the “front” of
the hoop.

Once you have threaded your needle and have an
inch of yarn tail through the eye of the
needle, gently punch the needle into the fabric at a
slight angle and as much as the handle will allow.

Once the eye of the needle is through the fabric, turn
your hoop over to pull the tail of the yarn tail through
to the back so you have 1” of a yarn tail.

Once you have pulled the yarn tail through to the
back turn your hoop back over and gently lift the
needle back up until you see the tip of the needle.

“Skim” the needle forward approx 1cm and punch
your needle back into the fabric.

Repeat this motion so that your stitches just touch
one another.

When you punch your next row, aim to punch your
stitch half way between the previous row stitch to get
the staggering effect.

How to punch Loop Stitches

Put in exactly same way of Flat Stitches but for the
first stitch, don’t pull yarn tail through.

TIP If your yarn should come loose, just pull it tight
again through the top of the needle then start to
punch again. Remember to gently pull the needle
up just until you see the eye of the needle then skim
across the fabric to repunch.
TIP Rather than punching over stitches, cut off your
yarn rethread and start punching in the new section.
TIP Make sure you have plenty of slack in your yarn
when punching.
TIP If your yarn doesn’t stay in the fabric, give it
another go by gently pulling the yarn backup through
the needle.
TIP Do not lift your needle too high up as this will
release the yarn. The needle should not lift off the
TIP Do not punch too bluntly, this will dislodge your
fabric if working in a hoop. The punches should be
eased in smoothly and without resistance

Start Your Next Project With Our Selection Of Punch Needle Kits For Beginners

Punch needle embroidery is a great way to add texture and dimension to your craft projects! With a little practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful designs that are sure to impress.

At Itchy Stitchy, we offer a variety of punch needle kits for beginners. These kits come with everything you need to get started, including a pattern, instructions, and all the supplies you’ll need.

If you’re ready to give punch needle embroidery a try, head over to Itchy Stitchy’s collection and check out our selection of punch needle kits for beginners. We’ll help you get started on your next project in no time!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will punch needle kits be good enough for punch needle embroidery?

If you are new to punch needle and are wondering if the kits available on the market will be good enough to get you started, the answer is a resounding yes! While it is true that some of the best punch needle artists in the world create their own designs and stitch them onto a wide variety of fabric types, for the beginner, a kit is the way to go. Not only will you have everything you need to get started, but the patterns and instructions included in most kits are excellent. Once you get the hang of it, it is easy to move onto your own designs!

How do I thread my punch needle?

1. Put the threader through
the end of the needle up out
of the top.
2. Place the yarn inside and
pull back through the needle.
3. Put the threader through
the curved side.
4. Place the yarn inside and
pull back through.
5. Leave a 2 inch tail coming
out before you punch.

What kind of fabric should I use for my punch needle project?

Please see the above guide for what punch needles work with each fabric – punch needles are very fussy!

Do I need to use a frame for my punch needle projects?

Yes! Either a tight grip hoop or frame is essential to keep the fabric tight. We recommend Morgan No slip Hoops or Elovell Hoops as they have super tight grip.

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