Things You'll Need
- Pretty punch tool
- Loose weave fabric
- Embroidery hoop
- Fabric glue
- Transfer pattern
The Pretty Punch is a brand of punch needle used for punch needlework. Punch embroidery is sometimes called thread painting because the designs created can be extremely intricate. The Pretty Punch tool is used to push thread down through a sheet of cloth, leaving loops of thread on the top side of the fabric to create a design. Creating and preserving basic patterns with the Pretty Punch is relatively simple, and can be accomplished by even a beginning hobbyist.
Transfer a design onto the back of the fabric you wish to punch. A regular photocopy, when ironed, will transfer a pattern a single time. Washable ink and a rubber stamp can also be used. Iron-on transfer designs can also be purchased at craft stores.
Stretch the cloth inside of an embroidery hoop. This will stabilize the cloth while you are punching. A four-inch hoop is suggested for beginners because it provides the greatest amount of control.
Hold the Pretty Punch tool in the hand you write with. Hold it in the same way that you hold a pencil and keep it absolutely perpendicular to the cloth.
Push the tool through the cloth from the backside. Turn the hoop so that the back side is facing you, and push down so that the loop is left on the front side of the cloth. Make sure that you turn the beveled edge of the needle in the direction you are moving. Barely lift the needle off of the fabric between stitches.
Stitch around the outline of the design first. Outline stitches should be very close together so that there is no visible space between stitches. This dense outline will form a perimeter around your design that has a slightly different texture than the design itself.
Fill in the design by working across open spaces with evenly spaced stitches, in rows. Leave a small amount of white space between stitches and between rows. Clustering stitches to close together will cause the cloth to bunch and the design to look bumpy.
Secure the design by gluing the back of the pattern when it is finished. This will prevent the loops from pulling out and becoming uneven.
The fabric must be dense enough to hold the loop, but loosely woven enough to be able to punch. Damask and linen both work well. The thread type used depends completely on the size needle used.
- Pretty Impressive Stuff: Punch Needle Embroidery Resource Guide
- Punch Needle Market: Outlining Technique
- "Punchneedle Embroidery: Basics & Finishing Techniques Plus 20 Original Designs"; Charlotte Dudney; 2007
Misty Barton has been working in the fields of composition and journalism for over 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in English education and a Master of Arts in English and composition. She has written for various online publications including a blog that specifically addresses the concerns of work-at-home mothers.