PUNCH NEEDLE MARKETPLACE 

PUNCHING HINTS

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If you have any questions about punch embroidery, this page should have your answer.
It has a lot of information to make your punching successful. 
Scroll down until you come to the subject you are wondering about. 
If you can't find it here phone 1-800-272-1966 for an answer from certified instructor.

(Every item mentioned is available on our website.)

          GENERAL HINTS:
  • Keep the needle tip retracted or covered when not in use to prevent a painful accident!
  • Never put needle-threader in your mouth! It can get caught on a tastebud on your tongue and be very painful!
  • If at all possible always use a hoop large enough for the complete design to show at one time. You can do a better job on your project.
  • Always keep fabric drum-head tight (tight enough to bounce a coin on) so your needle can properly and neatly form stitches.(Use a NO-SLIP (brand name) hoop if you have one. It's works great.)
  • Hold your needle as upright as possible when stitching.
  • When ironing on a transfer pattern, pin two opposite corners to keep it from sliding if you aren't sure you can hold it exactly in place.
  • What fabric is best? A 50% cotton/50% polyester blend will always work! First choice for most punchers is Weavers cloth, and it will most likely always be the leader, but 50% cotton/50% polyester 'Grandfab' fabric (white, natural) is excellent too. It punches so easily with no 'popping' sound. Its new and we love it. (Anything that has a weave (except 100% cotton) can be used, even velvets. Other fabrics can have cotton/polyester woven interfacing ironed onto the back of it. Extra-small needles can usually be used on most fabrics but 100% cotton is often a bad choice. A punch needle is designed to open up the weave in the fabric to deposit a loop of yarn and the fabric closes around that loop to hold it in place. 100% cotton will not open its weave so the needle often cuts the threads and ruins a project.
  • Have the open tip of your needle facing left when punching.
  • Have the back (rounded) side of the needle tip facing the preceeding row when punching.
  • Use either a hand spooler (one that fits your needle) or a table spooler to hold your yarn for best results. They keep the yarn moving smoothly while punching.
  • When you stop punching, make 2-3 stitches into the punched area and hold them with your finger to remove needle. If the last stitch pulls out you won't be losing one that is needed for fill in.
  • When design is finished, turn the hoop over to the back side and steam press the design so the edges won't roll.
  • Use small embroidery scissors for cutting threads. Large scissors are bulky and often pull the yarn out if they aren't very sharp
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  • SWEATSHIRTS:
  • Sweatshirts? Sure! Use one of cotton/polyester blend and put cotton/polyester woven interfacing on the back side, then iron the pattern onto the interfacing. With the needle set at a longer loop to allow for sweatshirt fabric thickness (experiment) punch very carefully.
  • When ironing on interfacing, use a warm iron and don't overdo or the heat can stiffen the interfacing making it hard to stitch through.
  • Make your interfacing easier to rework after pulling out a mistake by spraying it with hair spray and let it dry.
  • Cotton Sweats? NO. The needle will break the knitted threads of the fabic, so punch an applique instead. Make an applique on light-weight cotton/polyester Poplin,GrandFab or Weavers cloth. While it is in the hoop, press the back side with you iron and place glue around the edge of the design covering about 1/4" into the punched area, making sure the outer row of stitches is well glued. When glue is dry, cut out design closely along outer row of stitching. Put glue over the backside and place applique on the sweatshirt. Don't use excess glue or it may squirt out onto the shirt fabric around the design.(See next hints about appliques too).
  • OPTION: Use a rolling pin to smooth your applique onto a sweat, or place a heavy book on top of the applique while it dries.
  • OPTION: Don't use a shorter stitch around the outer edge of the applique. A longer stitch will better cover the cut edge.
  • OPTION: Punch 3-4 rows of yarn that matches the color of your sweat around the outside of the punched design to make the applique blend in well. Gives it a nice touch.
  • When using an applique on anything other than sweats use the hints above and your project will be successful.
  • OPTION: Use 'Stick-On' glue for the final coat on the back of an applique and you can 'put it on - peel it off' rather than being permanent. Store it on a piece of plastic (or on a mirror) and use it again and again.

  • BRUSHING:
  • When doing a brushed design, don't cut the loops open to brush! And don't use extra long stitches unless you want a very bushy design.
  • Always punch the area of a design that will be brushed first and brush it out completely before punching the rest of the design. Brushing after punching your design will ruin the areas you don't want to brush.
  • For best brushed results, after stitches are brushed completely so no 'lumps' can be felt underneath, stand each section of the brushed yarn upright and cut the top off each area. Then brush that area back into place. Repeat until the yarn fits its area perfectly and looks natural. Edges can be slightly tucked under.
  • Once a brushed design is complete and is in place and the design has been completely punched, spray lightly with hairspray to keep it in place.

  • GENERAL HINTS:
  • Be creative...change colors at will.
  • For special touches, use varigated punch yarn where colors need to be blended.
  • For sculpturing, use a short setting for the outer row of stitches and increase the loop length by 1/2 or 1 setting for each additional row.
  • To prevent metallic threads from pulling out, seal the cut edge with a dot of glue.
  • To keep angel hair running smooth and equal with acrylic yarns, use a table spooler that holds both yarns and twist them together several times before threading the needle...or pull several yards of both yarns loose together, and punch it in then continue the process until finished.
  • Use spooled polyester or spooled single strand floss in the Extra-small needle. It saves a lot of time (no threads to separate and no short strands that run through too quickly.). Use your time for punching rather than constant re-threading. It's less expensive too.
  • Use spooled luster yarn in the small needle for faster punching and a great sheen.
  • Use Acrylic yarn in the medium needle.
  • Use 2 strands Acrylic yarn or 1-strand acrylic/1-strand metallic together in the large needle.
  • Use a rug punch needle for heavier yarns and rugs or 'country' designs.