PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Punchneedle Embroidery

What is Punchneedle Embroidery?

Punchneedle is a form of embroidery that uses a hollow needle to create loops of thread on fabric. Also known as thread painting for the complexity and texture of design that can be created with this technique, it creates a textured pile surface akin to a miniature version of a hooked rug.

punchneedle by planetjune

Why Punchneedle Embroidery?

Here are just a few of the reasons I find it so appealing:

  • Easy: Only one simple stitch to learn; you don’t have to be super-neat to get a beautiful result
  • Fast: No need to knot the ends of the thread, and, other than the outline, it doesn’t matter exactly where you place your stitches, as long as you punch enough stitches to fill each area
  • Stunning results: Easy to create bold, bright, appealing embroideries
  • Relaxing: Unlike cross stitch, there’s no counting involved – just fill in each area with colour like a paint-by-number painting!
  • Inexpensive: After you’ve bought a punchneedle and hoop, the only supplies you need are fabric and embroidery floss
  • Easy to fix mistakes: Any stitch can be easily pulled out without affecting neighbouring stitches; with a few simple techniques you can fix any unsightly mistakes
  • Portable: Carry all your project supplies in a small bag for those crafting on-the-go moments
  • Versatile: Make finished embroideries into framed artwork, decorative patches or appliqués, or add fabric borders to make quilts, cushions, etc – there’s limitless potential here

punchneedle patterns by planetjune

Punchneedle Tool Information

There are several types of Punchneedle Tools commonly available, and size information isn’t labelled consistently between brands. If you’d like to buy a Punchneedle tool, find out everything you need to know before you head to the craft store (or shop online), with my Punchneedle tool information post.

punchneedle comparison

Free Introductory Tutorial

I’ve made an excerpt from my eBook, The Punchneedle Handbook, into a free tutorial so you can get a taste for what punchneedle is about.

Buy The Punchneedle Handbook

buy The Punchneedle Handbook by June Gilbank

My eBook, The Punchneedle Handbook: Miniature Punchneedle Embroidery Basics & Beyond, includes everything about punchneedle from the absolute basics for those who have never heard of this craft, to my techniques that will allow absolutely anyone to create beautiful punchneedle embroideries. I designed the eBook to be a go-to reference book for all your punchneedle questions, including a useful troubleshooting section. See more details and the table of contents.

Patterns

Try my free 2.5″ Poinsettia design, which uses Punchneedle Embroidery for a fast and festive result. It can be made as an applique and attached to almost anything to give it a more Christmassy feel!
punchneedle poinsettia by planetjune
Go to the free Punchneedle Poinsettia pattern >>

You’ll find more punchneedle patterns in my shop, available to purchase individually, or you can save money by choosing the custom set of any three patterns.

planetjune punchneedle patterns

I hope you’ll enjoy punchneedle embroidery as much as I do!

28 Comments »

  1. Beverly Reid said

    I had never heard of punch needle before but after finding you through several boards on pinterest I think I could do this!

    • Lisa Strawn said

      i have a 1922 punch needle with instrution is it worth anything

  2. nora said

    any classes for you soon here in toronto?????/
    thanks

    • June said

      Aww, I’d love to, Nora, but I’m afraid I’m living in South Africa now – it’s a bit too far to commute for a class…

  3. Cami said

    I am so glad to have found this information! I was living in Mexico and punch needle is pretty popular there. I bought the tool but don’t know how to use it! From what you describe, it has a lot of the enjoyable qualities of crochet. Sounds great to me! :) Thanks again! (And thanks to Rachel Hobson for linking us up.)

  4. minahasan said

    thank you fot your information about crochet but i can not use thisplease guide me

    • June said

      I’m not sure what you’re asking, Mina, but the above links on this page should help; you can read my free basic tutorial, and find the link to buy my Punchneedle Handbook for more complete instructions :)

  5. Ritianne said

    Hi, I wanted to ask if after finishing the punchneedle embroidery you need to do something to fix the stitches so they do not come undone if you was the cushion cover?

    • June said

      The stitches can only be pulled out from the back side of the piece, so, if you wash it and the back may be exposed during washing, you should put it in a laundry bag first, so nothing will snag a loop and pull any of the stitches out. For added security, you can cover the back of the piece with a thin layer of washable fabric glue to lock the loops into place.

  6. lj fitz said

    Hello June,
    I used to use “pretty punch,” punch embroidery products. This is what I taught all my classes with. There thread, patterns, and needles were good quality products! If you or anyone else has punch emb questions-i will try to help. I can be contacted by email. Thanks lj
    I LOVE your crochet flowers!!! And ami!!!

  7. Elise said

    Hi June! You’ve inspired me to learn to do punch needle. I was wondering, how hard is it to free form your own punch needle work a beginner?

    Thanks!

  8. Bev Cook said

    Hi,

    I saw your homemade spool for your punchneedle. I’m wondering if you are selling them or can tell me how to make one. What a great idea!

    Thanks,
    Bev

  9. Marg Clarke said

    I was wondering if you had any other books on punchneedlembroidery?

    • June said

      Not yet, Marg! I do have plans for a second punchneedle book, but I haven’t found time to write it yet :)

  10. Linda Messick said

    Dear June,

    I purchased the Clover Embroidery Stitching Tool at Joann’s yesterday and am having a difficult time putting it together. Do you have any videos that provide this? There are written directions enclosed in the packet but I am still unsuccessful:( Perhaps your Punchneedle Handbook has this info?
    Thanks for your help in advance.

    Linda

    • June said

      Sorry, Linda – I use the Cameo Punchneedle so I can’t help you with anything specific to the the Clover tool. Your best bet for product-specific instructions would be to try contacting the manufacturer (or, if that doesn’t work, you could try googling to find a blogger who uses the Clover tool and try asking them for help).

  11. Ann Swaim said

    I have been having a hard time finding the yarn for pertty punch or any other yarn that will work,can you please help me. Thank you

  12. Diane said

    Hi – When I use my punch needle, the thread will not stay beneath the fabric, it pulls right back up with the needle. Am I using too little/too much thread?
    Thank you!
    Diane

  13. June said

    Hi to everyone who is asking questions here! You’ll find the answers to all these and more in my eBook, The Punchneedle Handbook – there’s a link to purchase it in the above post :)

  14. Jan said

    You might like Russian Needle Punch, and or look at PunchNeedleMarketplace they have a needle spool holder for about 3.00 , had one very similar in the earlier 80’s I think it was Purrfect Punch, the best I ever had. ……….jan

  15. Nova Warne said

    Hi June my name is Nova, I live in Australia and have been doing punch needle embroidery for quite some time now and I love it. Its quick, neat and the absolute best of it is that its so versatile. I started by using kits but it didn’t take me long to branch away from the “norm” and doing projects “outside the square”. I’d love to be able to email you some photos from my portfolio – is there a way to do this if you are interested?

  16. Judy said

    Hi! June
    Received a punch needle kit as a x-mas gift and am still trying to figure out
    what I’m doing wrong going from right to left.
    My thread does not want to stay in unless I’m doing something wrong.
    Can you help me if you can?
    Thanks
    Judy

    • June said

      Judy, you can read my free basic tutorial (linked above) which may solve your problem, but if not, I suggest you buy my Punchneedle Handbook (also linked above) for a full step-by-step tutorial and a complete troubleshooting section that will solve all your punchneedle problems.

  17. Priscilla Mutenure said

    Hi. I know a lot about punch needle art work. I am doing cross stitch because I lost my punch needle kit. I have looked everywhere in South Africa for the needles and they are either out of stock or no one knows what they are. Is it possible to send me needle kit if i paid for it?

    • June said

      Priscilla, I’m also in South Africa at the moment, so I know how difficult it is to find craft supplies here! You’ll probably to have to import one from abroad – I suggest you either look on ebay for a seller who ships internationally, or check online shops in UK/Aus/US etc to see if they offer international shipping.

  18. Dorothy Atkinson said

    June you are killing me. Another hobby, do I need it? YES!!! I guess I can manage it, I can’t give up my Amigurumi though. I have to go back and read your info again. You don’t sell the tools do you? My son picked up a huge pkg. of embroidery thread. I really don’t think it is a high quality. Is it ordinary embroidery or crewel embroidery thread?

    • June said

      I don’t sell the tools, I’m afraid, but see my Punchneedle Tool information post for more details of the types of tools that you may be able to find in a local craft shop or online.

      I use 3 strands of 6-strand embroidery floss for my punchneedle work, so, unless you want to use a larger needle tip, you should use a stranded embroidery floss so you can separate it into finer strands.

      If you do decide to take punchneedle up as a hobby, you’ll find my ebook, The Punchneedle Handbook, invaluable for learning the skill and troubleshooting whenever it doesn’t work as anticipated!

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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    June Gilbank
    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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