Needle punch (or punchneedle) is a form of embroidery employing a punching needle and floss. The needle comes in various sizes to accommodate one, three, and full strands of floss.
The technique is centuries old and came from the Old Believers of Russia. They used the process to decorate their clothing as well as household and religious items. Because they refused to follow the new teachings of The Orthodox Church they were forced to flee to other countries.
In the sixties they came to the United States. Due to outside influences and the use of machines, to take the place of handmade pieces, the art has all but died out. Thanks to a new group of “punchers” the art form is alive and well!
Rug Punching is the same technique as needle punching. The only difference is the size of the needle. Instead of floss, you use fabric strips or yarn.
To do punchneedle you transfer a pattern to your chosen base fabric. You will be working from top to bottom, so the finished piece will appear in reverse. Be aware of this when doing words! Stretch your fabric on a hoop or hooking stand. Be sure it is very tight. Read the directions that come with your needle...and punch away!
As a quick suggestion, check out our complete listing of free clip art for needle punch ideas.
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