Basic Instructions for Punch Needle Embroidery

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Punch needle embroidery, Russian embroidery, Loop Embroidery are all various names for this beautiful type of embroidery.

It can be used to embellish anything providing a tightly woven fabric is used. Bed linen, tablecloths, napkins, doileys,clothing, cushions,quilting squares, wallhangings,bags etc. etc.

It is easy and once mastered quick to do. You need some special equipment made just for Punch needle embroidery.

  1. Punch Needle Embroidery Tool
  2. Punch Needle Embroidery Hoop
  3. Punch Needle Embroidery replacement needles
  4. Punch needle fixative glue
  5. Punch needle needle threader
  6. Punch Needle Hoop Stand (optional)

You will also need a piece of tightly woven fabric, an easy design to start with, a tracing pencil to make a transfer to transfer the design to the fabric, Some embroidery thread and a small pair of scissors.

You can obtain all of these things from  tudorrosecraft our ebay store.

Now for the instructions.

Take a piece of tightly woven fabric, there is a list of fabrics to avoid at the end of these instructions. For this purpose we will use a piece of bleached calico.

Transfer your chosen design to the wrong side of the calico, this is the side you will be working from.

Place your piece of fabric tightly into the Punch Needle Embroidery hoop This hoop is designed with a lip on the inner hoop that holds the fabric tightly, helping you to make more uniform stitches.

The punch needle tool featured by tudorrosecraft has three sizes of needles that can be used, we recommend that you start with the 3 ply needle which allows you to use three strands of your chosen thread.There is also a 1ply needle for very fine work and one strand of thread and a large needle for thicker threads and fine wool.

Take about a 3 ft length of chosen thread, for this purpose we are using stranded embroidery thread and a 3 ply needle.Separate the piece of thread into three strands.

To thread your punch needle embroidery tool insert the wire end of the threader into the needle end of the tool until it extends through the open end at the top of the handle. Thread your chosen yarn through the wire loop and pull it back through the needle until it extends past the needle about 3-4 inches. Use the needle threader again to thread this tail through the eye of the needle.Pull the the thread back until you have about an inch of tail protruding from the eye of the needle.

You are now ready to start your embroidery.

Hold your punch needle embroidery tool as you would hold a pencil when writing.The eye of the needle with one inch of thread protruding from it should be on top and not underneath the needle and you should always work toward yourself not away.

Insert the needle into the fabric as far as it will go. Refer to the diagrams above if you are not sure. It is very important for uniform stitching that the needle is inserted at right angles and all the way into the fabric.Withdraw the needle from the fabric only as far as making the next stitch along the line you are following and insert the needle again as far as it will go.The stitches on the wrong side of the fabric will form a flat line and the stitches on the right side will appear in tiny loops.The closer the stitching the better the effect but dont stitch so close that you are going in and out the same hole.This is the only stitch you need to know.

The Punch Needle Embroidery Tool featured by tudorrosecraft has an adjusting feature where you can change the length of the loop without having to unthread and change needles.As you become more used to this type of embroidery you can mix loop sizes to create a more realistic effect.

Be sure that your floss doesnt get tangled in anything as it will restrict the free flow and create tension on the thread which will then ruin your uniform loops.

Do all your outlining first,going around the out line twice if a heavier line is desired. Outlining is optional, but outlining with black or a contrasting colour adds clarity to the item being embroidered.

Next do small areas such as eyes, dots, centres of flowers etc Then fill in the open areas.You can go in straight lines or circles.As long as you keep your stitches small and uniform, when you have finished it will be hard to tell the difference.

When finishing a length of thread or a colour simply cut the thread as close to your work as possible. Never knot or tie the ends of thread.

Occasionally when pushing the needle into the fabric you will catch a loop that has already been formed and cause it to become elongated,simply cut this elongated loop back to the level of the surrounding loops with a good pair of embroidery scissors.

Some helpful hints

  1. To keep the fabric as tight as you can in the hoop stop stitching and restretch it to the correct tightness
  2. When putting two different colours side by side,angle the needle away from the colour already stitched. This will keep the colours from intermingling and give you a more definite colour separation
  3. The use of variegated threads will add depth to your designs and add a shaded effect to flowers,leaves,animal fur etc.
  4. When you have finished your design no real treatment is necessary but at tudorrosecraft we prefer to seal the stitching with Punch Needle Embroidery Glue Applied to the stitching on the wrong side of the embroidery and heat set with a hot iron it makes the stitching less likely to pull out and unravel during laundry or rough play.
  5. Always iron your embroidered piece on the wrong side face down on a piece of toweling so the loops are not flattened in the process.
  6. Some items such as pillows and sachets you can use iron on Pellon or Vilene to seal the stitching instead of the glue
  7. Since designs are embroidered on the reverse side of an article be careful with your transfers. Any design that you use will come out facing the other way on the right side of the material. So when making Patches with slogans on them ensure you have the lettering around the right way.(ie if you have a slogan GO PIES ! On a patch you are embroidering make sure you make the transfer to spell it the right way then when transfered to the fabric it will appear in reverse. When the embroidery is finished it will be the right way on the right side of the project.)
  8. Pre stamped embroidery projects are not good projects for Punch Needle embroidery unless you intend to transfer the design to the wrong side of the fabric
  9. Remember Practice Makes Perfect

All equipment and some easy to make kits are available in our EBay store tudorrosecraft. See you there. contact us if you have any questions.





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