Help! My punch needle loops do not stay in my fabric!
Most beginners at punch needle embroidery experience their punch needle loops pulling out from their fabric. In this blog you can learn how you can avoid punch needle yarn loops to get loose. Follow the below check list to punch like a pro.
Check 1: Are you using the right foundation fabric for your punch needle?
It is really important that your fabric matches your punch needle. As each punch needle has a different thickness they require a different fabric to work with. Especially as a beginner it is a lot easier if you work with the perfect fabric match for your needle.
Punch needle loops stay in place by the threads of the fabric. With every punch that you make you basically push the bordering threads aside to make space for your needle. And once you make your next punch your automatically move back the threads interlocking the previous loops. As you continue to fill your piece with loops they are getting more and more locked in the threads of your fabric.
Suitable fabric can deal with the harsh punches from your punch needle. You should always be able to undo and redo pieces as you go, withouth having damaged your fabric.
If a fabric is too open woven your loops will pull out easily. And if a fabric is too closely woven, you will feel a lot of tension on your hand as you have to push your needle through the fabric. The weave of your fabric also makes a difference for your punch needle experience. Some fabrics break easily when you punch through. Making it impossible to redo a section.
We spend months testing over 50 different fabrics to find the right matches for each punch needle that we sell. So we feel confident that the fabrics we sell are easy to work with, also for beginners. And we are proud that we finally found a collection of ecological fabrics to work with.
Check this section to see our GOTS certified ecological punch needle fabric for finer punch needles, including all clover punch needles.
Check this section for ecological jute with the right weave for the the regular adjustable punch needle. This fabric is also suitable for punching with a size 10 Amy Oxford needle.
Once you get more experienced at punch needle you can experiment with different fabrics for your needle. For beginners we strongly recommend to use the fabrics we selected to match your needle.
Check 2: Can your yarn flow freely?
When punching it is really important that your yarn is not blocked or stuck somewhere. Your yarn should flow freely through your punch needle. We like to use a yarn unwinder when working with wool or thick yarns.
The thickness of your yarn should also match the needle you are using. Most punch needles will come with an explanation of which yarn or floss you can use with your punch needle. The finest punch needle works with 1 strand of embroidery floss (from the 6 strands you get on a skein of DMC floss) and our wooden punch needles works with chunky embroidery
Check 3: Are you punching the full lenght?
Ensure you punch the full lenght of your needle through the fabric. So the full metal part of your punch needle tool needs to come through the fabric.
This will ensure that all your loops have the same lenght. It also avoids that you make your loops too short, which makes them pop out easily.
Check 4: Is your fabric tightly stretched in your frame?
It is much easier to punch in a fabric that is tightly stretched in a frame.
When using a wooden embroidery hoop you can use bias band to make your fabric stay longer taught in the hoop.
You can learn how to prepare your hoop in this earlier blog.
The smaller your hoop, the easier it is to keep your fabric stretched. We recommend to use a hoop of maximum 8 inch / 20 cm for punch needle embroidery.
When you want to make a bigger piece, like a cushion cover, you can use stretcher bars to make a punch needle frame. You basically assemble the bars to a quadrant shape and then staple your fabric to it.
We explain step by step how to make your wooden canvas frame in this blog.
Check 5: Is your needle threaded correctly?
Your thread or yarn has to flow freely through the hollow long end and the eye of your punch needle.
To get your yarn or floss into your punch needle, a threading tool is essential.
In our earlier blogs you can learn how to thread the regular adjustable punch needle
And here you can learn how to thread a finer punch needle.
Check 6: Are you holding your punch needle correctly?
The eye of your needle, where your thread leaves the needle, should be on the backside of your needle as you punch forward.
If you are in a corner, punch your needle all the way through and then move your embroidery hoop.
Bring your needle up and continue stitching.
Don’t lift your needle too high when punching, rather drag it over your fabric to make your stitches.