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Punch needle is a type of embroidery using a special needle that creates looped stitches. It's very popular in primitive decorating because it mimic the look of hooked wool rugs. You actually can replicate hooked rug patterns using needle punch. Instead of a full size rug or mat it makes a smaller version. Finished designs can used in a variety of ways from home decor to embellishing clothing and bags. These punch needle basics will help you get started. You'll be hooked before you know it!
Punch Needle Basics
1. Get your Design onto the Cloth
Trace your pattern onto your weaver's cloth using a pigma pen (so it won't bleed) or a Mark-B-Gone pen. You have to remember that your design you are working on when punching is actually the “back” area of the finished product. So if you are punching any words, make sure they are applied backwards to how you would normally see them. That way when you are finished punching and flip it over to see the actual section that will be displayed….. it will look the right way.
2. Hooping the Fabric
Hoop your fabric, make sure you have a hoop that works for Punch Needle embroidery; it has to be a hoop that you can lock in place. The fabric should be very tight in the frame and stay tight.
3. Threading the Needle
Thread your needle. Punch needles require 2 steps for threading – most punch needles come with instructions in case you need help here's how to do it.
First put the needle threader through the eye of your needle.
Now put your thread through the threader end and pull it back through the needle, through the eye leaving a tail of thread.
Reinsert the threader through the needle eye and thread that ‘tail' into the end of the threader again.
Pull it through the needle eye and you are ready to go!
4. Beginning Stitching
Take the needle tip and place it on the pattern design on the fabric, wherever you are starting. Hold the tail with your opposite hand (just so it doesn't get lost); and begin ‘punching' the needle through the weaver's cloth.
Now when you are coming back up, you don't pull the needle all the way out of the fabric. You get to the edge and sorta glide it over to the next spot and PUNCH. You keep the tip of the needle facing the same direction and just keep gliding over and punching. Follow the pattern design, first outline and then fill inside.
5. Changing Colors
Each time you need to change colors, simply repeat the threading process and fill in that area of the design.