embroidery

7 Things You Need To Know Before You Start Needle Punching

Elina Needle Punching

Ok, so I have a Pinterest Board chuck-full of beautiful punch-needle designs. They are all so gorgeous. I really wanted to try it, I thought about it… a lot. But I was hesitant to try because I’m always buying up stuff I think I need for a project I want to do and sometimes… well… most of the time I don’t get around to actually doing it. Imagine my Ikea Kallax Shelf Unit (in red) full of creative supplies.

So I put off the idea for as long as I could. But it kept coming back and so as I was walking around in a hobby store (honestly I should really avoid them like the plague), I found the project that was small enough to try it out without having to buy loads of stuff. It was a punch needle kit and I was very excited to try it.

Staring My Project
Here is what I’ve got in the kit.

So I came home and started. And… I soon found out that you should know a couple of things before you start with any needle punch project.

My Workplace
Here I have my trusty assistant Maya and because I don’t drink coffee anymore a huge jar of green juice.
  1. Know the thickness of the thread. You can’t do needle punching with one sized needle punch, there is no such thing by the way. Your yarn should go through the punch needle flawlessly and smooth. If it doesn’t you won’t be able to pull it out creating the loop, the thread will just come out together with the needle.  So first chose your yarn, then according to the thickness of that yarn chose a punch needle. There is a second factor to consider here: the size of the loops that you want to create. The bigger the loop the smaller the number on the needle punch, the bigger the number the smaller the loop. There are punch needles with adjustable size, but whilst doing my research I found out that many are not so happy with them.
  2. Fabric, oi vey! So I have a theory if you have a fabric with a loose-knit texture… and you stretch it really good on your embroidery hoop you can needle punch that baby. Best to use a plastic hoop because they have ridges that are helpful for stretching the fabric and keeping it in place. Otherwise, you need to buy something that is called monk cloth. Think of it as a grid that will ‘hold’ your loops, it’s very flexible so you can use all kinds of thread and all sizes of needles.
  3. Start small, do it like I did and get yourself a kit. Something small and inexpensive so if you don’t like it you can either give it to a person who you think will or at the very worst donate it to ‘goodwill’ type organizations.
  4. Always punch with the needle facing with the open side in the direction you are going to. This will ensure everything goes smoothly and that you won’t punch the thread you are currently punching with.
  5. When you start needle punching make sure you don’t pull too hard on the needle, gently pull it out so the needle is just on the surface of the fabric and start moving it to the next stitch. Work more horizontally than vertically if that makes sense. This will give your work a clean look.
  6. Ones you are done with a piece or with a color, punch the fabric one last time and snip the thread on the opposite side of the side you are working on. Then you can adjust the length of the thread so it will get concealed in the pattern.
  7. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t look right at first. If you have bought a kit you have to just follow instructions if you have bought everything you need to go for it start small and try and try again. I felt at the end of my project that I had it I could do it again without the instructions.
Thread that I've used
This is the embroidery thread I’ve used and quickly ran out of…
Embroidering With Punch Needle
Here is what I meant by not pulling the needle out completely.
Embroidered The Rest
I also embroidered some pieces of this project.
Finished Project
So I’m not really happy with the finished piece I know where I went wrong, I should have split the yarn so it wouldn’t be so bulky.

To close this post I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed making this. Although I’m not really happy with the result, I do love the fact that I completed this project and that I have this piece to hang… But I still haven’t decided where yet.

Happy crafting!

Elina