black and white punch needle wall hanging. Punch needle a Belfast Yarn Works guide.

Punch needle a Belfast Yarn Works guide.

At its core the technique of punch needle is the act of pushing loops of material through a base fabric to create a piled ‘rug’. Punch needle rug hooking – to give it its full title – is most associated with late 19th Century North America. However some sources suggest similar rug making techniques were being used by the Egyptians.

To achieve this special punch needle tool is used. These come in an assortment of needle sizes and weights. This gives the ability to vary the size of loop created and to allow for range of different thickness yarns and wool.

Designs aren’t limited to just wool. Any fabric that can fit through a punch needle can be used, for example cotton strips, felted fabric and even leather. Different backing fabrics can also be used, for instance, monks cloth, linen or burlap.

Modern punch needle designs can vary hugely. From cute cat coasters, to huge contemporary rugs. This versatile technique can produce incredible results.Much like traditional embroidery, each piece starts on a hoop or is stretched over a frame to keep the base fabric tight. The tension created by the loops means no knots or glue is needed to keep the design in place.

The designs

At Belfast Yarn Works the designs feature both pile and reverse side to give a range of different effects and textures, for example to give relief in designs and for textural emphasis. Fabric and yarn choice are also carefully considered.

Each Belfast Yarn Works piece is hand made and therefore unique. This ensures the designs add a small piece of Irish inspired luxury to your home.

You can find out more about the designer and her inspiration here.

Follow Belfast Yarn Works on Instagram to find out more or shop the collection.

image link to shop the punch needle collection

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