How does a Punch Needle work? Is it *ACTUALLY* magic?

Sallie Dale punch needle tips & tricks

Punch Needles with colorful wool yarn

Periodically, I have the wonderful opportunity to travel around to demonstrate how Punch Needle works, and without fail, amazed onlookers ask this question, “How do the stitches stay in? Aren’t they going to just fall out?”


It’s an age-old question, isn’t it? How can a craft which is so simple to learn and so forgiving when you mess up possibly have any durability? The answer can be found in the materials required for punching.


Monks cloth or foundation cloth is the key to successful punching. This is a woven fabric which has exactly the right amount of weave to hold stitches tight when punched through. While individual stitches could be pulled out to change colors or fix mistakes, they only grow stronger and more secure as you punch – especially when you are using one continuous length of yarn. (This is the part of my in person demonstrations where I hold my project up the stitches and everyone oohs and ahhs!)


Now, let’s take a look at another popular question. Is monks cloth the ONLY fabric you can use for Punch Needle? No, but it is preferred. While it is more durable and affordable compared to Linen or Burlap, it is also harder to find in your everyday craft store. I have found “monks cloth” at Joann and even Hobby Lobby, however these are imposter products that will break your heart and crush your crafting dreams. Remember how I said the weave of the fabric is super important? Craft store “monks cloth” is almost always woven too loosely. For punching with yarn, you want to use a weave that is about twelve double strands per inch. Lucky for you, that’s exactly the weave I offer in my store! How about that! Craft store weaves are often around 7 - 10 strands per inch which means your stitches will actually all out after you finish punching. 


Want to learn how to use a Punch Needle? Watch this video!





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