Wednesday, March 4, 2009

avocado.jpg punch needle embroidery

avocado.jpg punch needle embroidery
Originally uploaded by thirdpersonpossessive

Punch needle embroidery is soooooooo fun! I am still getting acquainted with the process.

It is the closest thing to drawing with thread, in my opinion. It's just so much faster than traditional embroidery, and even the way you hold the punch needle -- it's more like holding a pencil, than a needle.

I also love the effect of the looped pile of embroidery floss. It's so shiny and catches the light in such an interesting way, completely unlike the way the wool or acrylic pile of a larger rug would. Which is basically what punch needle embroidery is -- it's like making a little punch-hooked rug with embroidery floss.

This embroidered letter I wrote last summer is also done using punch needle, but I left it with the "wrong" side as the right side!

chicken embroidery

I look forward to experimenting more with this technique and am also very interested in chatting with anyone else who has tried it, as it doesn't seem like very many people know about it.


  1. I tried it last year and couldn't really get a hang of it. I felt very clumsy so I gave it up. (Maybe because I was recovering from surgery and didn't have all of my fine motor skills?) I love your letter with the chicken. It's AWESOME.

  2. I have had others tell me it felt unwieldy or clumsy to them, too. I think I got lucky in that I had pretty good equipment. It's really important to have a decent needle and a really good hoop that holds the fabric super taut. You should try it again!

  3. I went and dug up my very silly, from the 70s, lilac with gold lettering punch needle. I played with it a bit this evening and got right back in the groove. Where I would normally be like "Oh dang, another obsession," I am actually kind of excited. It is just like drawing with thread, and it doesn't strain my hands as much.

    When I first learned I used fuzzy punch needle specific fiber (the whole thing was this ancient kit), how many strands of floss are you using? I'm starting out with this DMC crochet cotton and some old tatting stuff before I dip into my floss.

  4. Mal I had that experience too. Admittedly my 'starter kit' probably isn't of top quality but I periodically try it once a year and every time feel like such a clutz that I give up again! Also I found that I kept accidentally pulling the loops out again. I'll keep trying though - it gives such a beautiful look.