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Punch Needle Rug Hooking: Getting You Started As Quick As Possible, What Tools Do I Need?

Rug hooking is an art and a craft where rugs are made by pulling loops of yarn (or fabric!) through a base/backing such as cloth, linen, or even burlap! Punch Needle Rug Hooking is an American craft that began in the late 1800’s, but sadly, by the 1950's, most American rug manufacturing was sent overseas.

Punch Needle Rug Hooking Tools

Punch Needle Rug Hooking is currently in the midst of a new revival, thanks to social media and creatives (like you & me!). So, what in the heck do I need to begin? There's not much you'll need to get started, but depending on quality, things could get pricy. I'm here to give you what tools I think are the, "best bang for your buck" to start with, while not sacrificing quality & not having to rebuy a better product later.

#1. The Punch Needle

Punch Needle Rug Hooking Needle

First off, you're going to need a punch needle! …Although, it's not as easy as typing "buy punch needle." You'll start to notice (or already do!) that there are different brands, styles, needle sizes, etc. Well, you will need to decide if you are punching with a fine yarn or a thicker yarn. In this post, we will concentrate on punching with a thicker yarn, making the projects we do faster, BUT, like yin & yang, we sacrifice detailing we would be able to achieve with the finer. Amy Oxford makes beautiful, quality needles you can choose from here. I started with a #10 Regular (1/4 inch loop) and that's what I'll show you throughout this post. You're probably asking, "Can't I do both thick and thin yarns; all different sizes?" Surely! I'm just trying to get you started :•). 

#2. The Backing

Punch Rug Hooking Monk's Cloth

Next, you'll need the backing; or what you're punching the needle into. 100% cotton Monk's cloth is the most popular with it being washable, extremely long lasting (should last your life!), and forgiving. Also commonly used are linen and burlap, but these are not as popular due to longevity and other things. I'll again share from Amy Oxford's listing of Monk's cloth, but you can definitely shop around on this one; being it's more common to find at a local crafts store & such.

#3. The Frame or Hoop

Punch Rug Hooking No-Slip Hoop

Third thing you'll need is some sort of frame or hoop to hold your backing. This will keep the fabric in place and tight. There are hoops and there are frames; frames being the more expensive. I would start with a no-slip hoop (plastic seems to work better than wood). This listing if for a 2-day prime 7", which is what I will use in this demo, but you can go bigger for only a couple bucks more. The advice here is to start with something more affordable, see if this is something worth investing into, before you go, "all out." Also, as you punch more, you get a better sense of what YOU'LL need (structure and size) as an artist & crafter.

#4. Yarn

Punch Rug Hooking Wool Yarn

Next, you'll need (my favorite part) YARN 🧶🌈! With so many different yarns, what the heck am I supposed to buy? Simple answer, you can use whatever... you don't even need to use yarn! I don't want to go into the science of fiber in this post, so I'll keep it simple. If you are putting love into something, you want longevity. 100% wool ensures your project will last for generations. Thickness will depend on your needle size. I also like to support small business' and eco-friendly materials, but... like yin & yang (lol), this will be more costly ( ...but worth it here, folks!). Here's my secret store for beautiful, 100% wool, 4-ply yarn; perfect for the punch needle we will be using. I would recommend ordering 5 vastly different colors of yarn. …We don't want to make designing our first pattern hard with our limited color palette and a muddy (lacking contrast) design.

So, let's recap here and then I'll just list the other direct stuff (you probably already have or can obtain easily) for a quick checklist:

  1. At least 1 Punch Needle (You can do amazing art with just 1, no need to invest in more needles at this time)
  2. The backing; we recommend Monk's Cloth
  3. Some sort of Frame or Hoop to hold your backing tight; we recommend the No-Slip, Plastic, 7" Hoop
  4. At least 5 different colors of 100% Wool, 4-ply, Yarn
  5. Fabric Scissors
  6. Tape (anything easily removable)
  7. A Black Marker
  8. Tracing Paper

Remember, everything I'm telling you here is only a guide. Also, if you're interested in making your own punch needle rug design, check out our blog post Punch Needle Rug Hooking: Create Your Own Rug Design Template. Anyways, I hope this blog post was direct enough to at least get you the correct materials without a bunch of fluff. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them down below! Also, if you would like to support us, feel free to visit our shop 💝. I'll see you guys over at The Process blog post soon :•)<3.

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