Punch needle

Share this article

Punch needling is hot in the world of handiwork. How does it work? You use a punch needle, alternatively known as a tufting needle. This is a hollow needle with a handle that has been threaded with a piece of yarn. Using this needle you punch holes in punch needle fabric so that the yarn is threaded through this fabric. There are small loops on the back of the fabric, which will eventually become the front of your piece.


  • a punch needle or tufting needle (we used an Oxford punch needle, no. 9 regular) 
  • a picture of an animal head 
  • yarn remnants (we used: Lang Yarns, Stockholm, yarn thickness 4.5-5)
  • a punch needle cloth (for example cheesecloth or muslin)
  • an embroidery hoop or punch needle frame (this is a self-made frame for stretching the punch needle cloth in)

Let's get started!

  • Trace the drawing onto the punch needle cloth.
  • Thread the needle.
  • Always hold the needle in an upright position with the hollow part of the needle facing forward. Fill out the different colored sections according to the design. Work from the outside of the design in. Don't leave too much of a space between the stitches, otherwise the result on the underside won't be as nicely filled. However, don't allow too much space between your stitches, so that you don't get too close to the hole. Otherwise the holes you create in the cloth will be too large. When pulling the needle through the cloth, don't pull it too far. Stay as close as you can to the cloth itself. 
  • Take the cloth out of the frame or embroidery hoop and neatly secure the edges to the underside of the piece using textile glue or sew these securely in place.
  • Embroider the outside edges of the work onto the garment.

We used this technique for the Connor and Phoenix.

Phoenix Trui

Share this article

Would you like to get Fibre Mood’s very best stuff in your mailbox every week?