“What type of yarn am I supposed to use when punching?” I get this question weekly! One misconception with first-time punchers is that you can only use rug wool for projects. Don’t get me wrong, rug wool is wonderful for punch needle, but you aren’t limited to just one type of fiber! When picking a yarn to use there are a few things to consider -- what project are you doing, how much do you want to spend, and what needle are you going to be using?
You can use any fiber which will flow easily through your needle. It truly is as easy as that! Want to use cheaper acrylic? Go for it! Want to use cotton? Be my guest! Want to cut up strips of old fabric? As long as it flows through your needle, you can use it.
Of course, there are some fibers that are deemed more traditional, such as rug wool and wool strips, and these definitely have their pros. Rug wool is specifically designed to handle a lot of wear and tear, but it is more expensive. However, if you are making a functional rug, you may find that extra cost worth it in order to have something that will stand the test of time. Rug wool also comes in a huge variety of colors! Most rug wool is hand-dyed so you really can get almost any shade you can imagine. I have two favorite suppliers of rug wool that I really love. My favorite thick rug wool is from Seal Harbor Co. This wool is best with a regular-sized Oxford needle as it is quite thick. My other favorite supplier is Whackadoo Yarns. This wool is made to be used with a fine sized Oxford. This wool comes in a huge array of colors and Colleen, the owner and dyer, adds more colors every season!
If you aren’t ready to invest in wool, acrylic or cotton are perfectly fine to use, too! Micheal’s, JoAnn, and Hobby Lobby all have cheap options you can use for your projects. Some of my favorite acrylics include Lion Brand Wool-Ease or Thick & Quick and Lily Cotton Sugar N Cream. These are between $2-$7 per skein so it’s very affordable when you are starting out!
Here are some examples of projects I’ve done with different types of yarn. My suggestion when you are just starting out is to try lots of different options. You’ll eventually settle on a few types of fibers and a few sizes of needles that you really love, and can grow your skills from there.
This Apple Pillow was punched using Lily Cotton Sugar N Cream.
This pillow used acrylic from Lovecrafts.com
For this pillow, I used fine rug wool from Whackadoo Yarns.
More questions about yarn that I didn’t answer? Ask in the comments below!