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WyckedWood

Taking the mystery out of punchneedle rugs

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I love making punchneedle rugs so much, I just wanted to share a few things about the process in case anyone is thinking it's too hard or complicated. It's not. It's easy and fun and the rugs look so great in miniature. So, the point of this post is to share some supplies needed and steps, trouble shooting, etc to help take any mystery out of the process. 

First, supplies. You need :

-pattern book, iron on transfers or your own design

-weavers cloth

-punchneedle tool and threader in sizes extra small and small (the small sz is optional, some people only use the extra small)

-embroidery floss, choice of colors or colors suggested in pattern (use 1 strand of 6 strand floss in extra small needle) (use up to 3 in the small needle) 

-small scissors (I like small curved)

-locking lip embroidery hoops in several sizes or embroidery frame 

* supplies for miniature punchneedle have to be tracked down, like so many other supplies for our hobby. Notice the blank look on your local Joann's employee's face when you ask for weavers cloth. The extra small needle will probably have to be sent for also, but I do see the small size needle sets in stores sometimes. The pattern books are available thru eBay or Amazon. Everything else should be readily available

* troubleshooting 

- fabric isn't tight enough in hoop (must be tight as a drum)

-thread isn't running smoothly through punchneedle tool, maybe a small knot is catching the floss

- lengthen the stitch. Shorter stitches are more difficult to keep latched in fabric 

- direction of needle is facing the wrong way. Directions for how to place the needle will come with the needle but there is a specific way it must face. 

Ok so I'm just going to add some pictures because that's the easiest way to understand. I'll do some of them in the comment section so I can keep them separated in sections. And add supply links there too. Here's the supplies needed photo, close up of two different sizes of punchneedle, books available and the threaders. The threaders come with the punchneedles whenever I've purchased them but they are different sizes lengthwise for the different size punchneedles

 

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Steps to thread the needle including close ups. The longer the length of embroidery floss you use the less often you'll have to thread the needle so I use the longest length I can handle without it getting all tangled and unmanageable. Sorry I got these out of order, the 4th picture should be the second. The threader is put down through the hole of the needle, threaded and then pulled back up as in the last photo.

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It's not letting me upload anymore I'll have to figure out why then I'll be back :) 

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This is threading the top part of the needle. The last picture is the finished, threaded needle. I can sometimes just thread the top part by eyesight but if I'm working for a few hours and my eyes are tired I use the threader for that part too.

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Adjusting the length of your punchneedle. Adjusting the length gives you control of how high your stitches are. Adjusting stitch length gives some visual interest with raised and lowered areas on the rug. The raised areas can even be shaped and clipped down for velvet like effects. To raise the small needle you just adjust the level on the tool, I haven't gone higher than #3. To adjust the extra small needle you move the dark blue rubber tube up or down.

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Ya it really is this easy. You just "punch"down into the fabric. 

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If you make a mistake, you can just pull up the floss. There are never any knots made, once you punch it is secured unless you pull it out. Here I decided to use a different color on this section. 

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About transfers. Sometimes the pattern books u get on eBay or Amazon may be old. They're supposed to be able to be used up to 4 times. If the pattern comes out too light after you iron it on you could go over the lines with pencil or a pen that washes off with water. If you don't have an iron on transfer you could trace a design with a red transfer pencil like Aunt Martha's and then iron on your weavers cloth. The Dodie Claypool book doesn't have iron ons, you just trace them on your cloth with carbon paper. Directions are in that book. The books have small and large rugs. Obviously the first one you'd probably want to start out with a small rug or welcome mat. 

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Ok last two pictures and then I'll add links. 

The first is a punchneedle rug I did with an elaborate design but the lady who designed it unfortunately doesn't sell her patterns anymore. The second is just to show a close up of the tiny loops and the third is the work in progress I'm doing now. 

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Links 

http://www.punchneedlemarketplace.com/

for weavers cloth, punchneedles and they may even have kits but be sure you're buying dollhouse size. 

For kits and extra small punchneedle http://www.carolsherryminiatures.com/main.html

Extra small punchneedles and weavers cloth can also be found on eBay. 

I hope someone decides to try this fun way to make your own beautiful, handmade rugs! 

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So I forgot to mention that you work from the back side of the rug, then the design comes to life on the front. I love the way the rugs have kind of a French knot look. On the more detailed area a one strand extra small punchneedle is used. On the larger areas to fill in faster I use a small punchneedle set at 1 (length) with three strands of floss. On the scroll-y parts of the design I have the length of stitch raised to #3.

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Thank you for posting all of this information!  I am very intrigued.

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Awesome post! Thanks so much!... I've always been interested in this but too afraid to try.. Now I think I'm going to add this to a future project list. :D

 

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Thanks for a great tutorial Karin. It's so nice when there are lots of pictures. I'm sure that took a lot of time and patience.

I've dabbled with this in the past but never had great success. Maybe I'll give it another whirl now that I have pictures to follow.

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You're all very welcome and if anyone tries and has trouble there are a few of us who have experience that I'm sure are happy to help. Once you have the few supplies needed it's a very inexpensive project. And if you decided to sell your finished rugs I'm sure you wouldn't have trouble finding buyers :) 

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Thanks Karin! This is really helpful. I've always wondered about punch needle embroidery.

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I hope you have this set up as a tutorial in your gallery album.

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 Funny, I just took the one I bought at Walmart back. When I got home you had this tutorial on here.......     You make it look so easy......  I couldn't get the thread to stay in. I tried it for a week and watched YouTube.  I didn't have the weavers cloth...... I think I'll have to give it another try........with all the right stuff.....               Thanks for posting this !!!

 

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Thanks for the great information! I have a punch needle and pattern books somewhere in my stash, but I've been too afraid to try it.

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1 hour ago, Mineejv said:

 Funny, I just took the one I bought at Walmart back. When I got home you had this tutorial on here.......     You make it look so easy......  I couldn't get the thread to stay in. I tried it for a week and watched YouTube.  I didn't have the weavers cloth...... I think I'll have to give it another try........with all the right stuff.....               Thanks for posting this !!!

 

You're welcome again everyone, happy to share, and if you get a yard of weavers cloth it will make a lot of 1:12 rugs! 

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Thanks so much for posting this! I bought the needle device thing, and pattern books, but lost interest when I couldn't find an extra small needle or the weaver's cloth. I wonder if you could use muslin or a fine lightweight linen instead? I need to get the rest of the supplies and give it a try because my Yellow House MUST have some French rugs!!  

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I have tried this before and since its still sitting in my to-do stuff, I suspect I was disenchanted. You make it look so easy, thank you for the tips, and here's hoping to my starting back in! 

Question - is this something you think I could do on the train commute or would the ride be too bumpy?

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42 minutes ago, miniaddicted said:

I have tried this before and since its still sitting in my to-do stuff, I suspect I was disenchanted. You make it look so easy, thank you for the tips, and here's hoping to my starting back in! 

Question - is this something you think I could do on the train commute or would the ride be too bumpy?

I know some people say they can punchneedle while watching tv and do it sitting in the living room, I'm not sure about a train. I have to sit at the kitchen table with a good light, I lean one edge of the embroidery hoop against the table and work with the hoop at a slant (if the needle hit the table straight on it could break the needle). Maybe if you used a frame instead of a hoop you would have more freedom of motion but I prefer the hoops, I can never get the frames right. 

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10 hours ago, stickyfingers said:

Thanks so much for posting this! I bought the needle device thing, and pattern books, but lost interest when I couldn't find an extra small needle or the weaver's cloth. I wonder if you could use muslin or a fine lightweight linen instead? I need to get the rest of the supplies and give it a try because my Yellow House MUST have some French rugs!!  

I've tried it on muslin and linen, in my experience they don't work. Unfortunately! I don't like having to send away for things, but once you have them all of the other supplies are common and readily available :) hope you give it a try. Yes you definitely need some stylish rugs :) 

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