We love traditional embroidery, but lately our fiber radar has been focused on the beautiful textures created with needle punching. Uh, what's that, you ask? We'll fill you in: Needle punching (aka punch needle) might look like embroidery when you just see the tools — you need embroidery floss or yarn, a hoop, fabric, and scissors to start. But there's one extra tool that makes a big difference: a needle punch.
Picture a pen with a needle attached to the end and you'll get a pretty good idea of what this tool looks like. To use it, you'll thread the needle with yarn or thread, then punch the needle end through your hooped fabric and pull up a loop of the fiber. (We bet you're starting to see where that name comes from...)
For the fiber fiends among us, you might be thinking that this sounds a lot like rug hooking. It's similar for sure, but it's not quite the same. Needle punch punches the loops down into the work, while rug hooking uses a different tool to pull the loops up through the work. The two techniques actually form the same type of stitch, but the action is a bit different.
Why needle punch is on the rise
It's all about texture
All kinds of textured crafts — like weaving and 3-D embroidery — are trending right now, so it makes sense that needle punching has joined the ranks! This technique also allows you to mix different fibers, weights, and stitch heights to create to-die-for textures.
You can get started ASAP
The supplies are inexpensive and small, so getting started isn't a big investment of space, money or time. Even better? It's so easy to learn. After experimenting a little with the needle punch, you can start creating right away.
Needle punch is much faster than traditional embroidery, so it’s ideal for that last-minute gift or instant gratification we sometimes crave.
It's relaxing and easy on the body
Thanks to the larger handle on the needle punch, it’s easier for makers who can't hold tiny needles or would rather not sit at a sewing machine for hours.
Enough talking — bring on the inspiration!
So what can you actually MAKE with needle punch? Let's just say your home decor is in for an instant upgrade once you learn this craft. Check out what other fiber fanatics are creating right here:
A color-blocked throw pillow
Needle punching not only gives this pillow a lot of color, but it also offers cozy texture for those days when you just want to lounge around binge-watching TV.
A colorful friend
Colorful needle punch is always a welcome addition in kids’ rooms, and this one gets bonus points for its fun rainbow shape.
A hooped hanging
Here's a fantastic example of how you can combine different textures and colors in one piece. The color palette makes me want to dig into my supplies and plan a palette of my own!
A touchable vase
This sweet little vase is such an unexpected use of needle punched fabric. There’s even a hook on the back for hanging the vase on the wall, and an empty spice jar inside to hold the water and blooms.
A statement-making display
Needle punch works with so many different types of fiber. This bold wall hanging uses a chunky texture mixed in with some gorgeous fringe.