Any punch rug experts out there? You might want to look away now. I’m about to break almost every rule of punch rugging, including the first rule. Don’t talk about punch rugging… And I’m only half joking about this one. It seems no one does like to talk about punch rugging, not for beginners anyway. It’s taken me a long time to research and work out this elusive technique and the result is a tutorial that is half technically proficient (thank you Youtubers) and half kind of improvised. But I’ve also been ignoring a lot of the advice I’ve read, like what fabrics not to use, which just goes to show sometimes it pays to go it alone.
One of the reasons I’ve been a bit of a rebel putting this tutorial together (well, as rebellious as you can get armed with an embroidery hoop) is because I wanted to make this tutorial beginner friendly. When I started researching punch rug making it looked as if I was going to have to spend quite a bit of cash just to get set up. And while I’m sure there’s a good reason for using the proper materials and equipment, when you want to try out a craft it can be off-putting to spend a lot of money before you know if it’s going to be for you.
I actually bought my punch rug needle researching new We Make Collective kits from a supplier a while ago and it’s the only one like it I’ve seen. It has a thicker point and an adjustable length which means you can work with a range of thicker yarns, not only making it a great stash buster, but also allowing us to work with this hessian fabric which is inexpensive and much easier to source than the traditional monks cloth. This needle also let me experiment with thicker materials like roving to create a gorgeous squishy texture. It was the perfect beginner tool!
You can buy the punch rug needle here or let me do all the work for you and purchase all the supplies you need as a kit over on We Make Collective. It’s a much
Punch Rug Needle | Embroidery Hoop | Tight Weave Hessian Fabric | Yarn
DIY Punch Rug Artwork for Beginners Tutorial
1. Place your fabric in the hoop ensuring it is secure and pulled tight. Draw out the design on the back of the fabric. This will be the side we work from. Thread the needle from the flat end to the pointy end and through the hole in the side of the tube. With thicker yarns I use a skewer to push the yarn through. Find your starting point on the work (this can be anywhere) and push the needle through. Pull the end of the yarn through the fabric so the tail is at the front.
2. Pull the needle back out of the fabric and hold onto the end of the yarn. When working from left to right make sure the hole in the needle is facing left, so it’s facing away from the direction of travel.
3. Push your needle back through the fabric next to the initial punch hole. Depending on your yarn weight you can skip over a few holes in the fabric. Push it all the way down the the handle then bring it back up and out of the fabric. Repeat this step to create short loops on the back and longer loops on the front.
4. Work in lines or shapes to create patterns.
5. One you’ve finished a section punch the needle through the fabric and cut the yarn on the right side. Remove the needle and trim the thread at the start and finish.
6. Adjust the handle on the needle to create longer and shorter piles on the front side of the work and play with different yarn weights and materials to get some surprising results!
Sometimes the yarn will not stay in the fabric. This happens because we’re using the hessian which has a loose weave. When this happens gently pull the spare yarn back through the needle, moving back to the last successful stitch. Realign the fabric weave and try again. It helps to leave shorter gaps between 3-4 punches to get back on track.
Once the fabric is full trim off the ends, pull the hessian tight in the loop and cut off the excess fabric. And it’s ready to hang!