~What You'll Need To Get Started With Punch Needle Embroidery~
Each needle work endeavor requires certain tools. Here is a list of the tools & materials that are needed for Punch Needle Embroidery. **OF note** I will be adding a similar page for Traditional Rug Punching soon.
A Punch Needle. For Punch Needle Embroidery I use a Cameo Ultra-Punch Needle. I recommend purchasing the three needle set as it contains a small, medium and large needle plus two needle threaders.
*This is how I package & sell the Cameo Needle*
You will use the small needle tip for; the size 8 pearl cotton, which is my favorite, three strands of floss or the size 12 pearl cotton. You will use the medium needle tip for two strands of the size 8, the size 5 Pearl Cotton or six strands of floss. The large needle tip can be used with yarn or wool thread.
A Morgan Locking Lip Hoop OR a gripper frame. I generally use a 14" hoop for my punch needle designs. It fits comfortably in my lap and does not cause any stress on my shoulders and arms.
You can also use a gripper frame for punch needle. I have two that I do enjoy using however, when punching new designs I tend to turn my hoop over, to see the front of the design and make sure all is looking correct, quite often and I find this a bit easier to do with a hoop. Perhaps it is just what I am use to as I started with a hoop and I tend to stick with what I know. At any rate, you are welcome to try both and see which you prefer. Whatever your choice make sure it will hold your weavers cloth absolutely drum tight.
Needle Threaders. I don't know how it happens but these darn things disappear into thin air!! Stock up!!! You HAVE to have them to thread your Cameo needle!
FLOSS. My absolute favorite floss and what I use 99% of the time is Valdani Pearl Cotton Floss, Size 8..OH HOW I LOVE IT! It is 100% color fast, gorgeous variegated thread that will give your work a rich, quality look and feel that will truly last.
Some folks tend to see the cost of a ball of Valdani Floss and shy away, thinking it is costly. This is simply a misconception. When you compare the cost per yard Valdani is actually less expensive than regular embroidery floss. A HUGE bonus, especially for a beginner, is that there is not a lot of re-threading with the floss balls. You simply thread your needle and punch until a color change is necessary.
My 2nd favorite floss/thread and what I use almost as often as Valani is the Moire' Wool Threads!
Another favorite thread of mine is Gentle Arts Threads. Their autumn colors are gorgeous. I've never used Weeks Dye Works but I have heard VERY good things about it.
Floss Keeps. If using the balls of Valdani floss (which I highly recommend) you will want something to keep them in. Otherwise they will bounce all over the place and get caught up. If this happens it will pull your loops back out..and you don't want that :)
**You can also use a small juice glass or mug for this purpose.
Weavers Cloth. This is, and has been, the main fabric for Punch Needle Embroidery. It is a combination of cotton and polyester which gives it a nice tight weave to hold those tiny loops. There are a few combinations out there but I prefer the 55/45 Polyester/cotton blend as it seems to work the best as it has a nice tight weave, and is a bit thicker and stiffer, in my humble opinion.