History of Punch Needle Embroidery
Punch needle embroidery has an old and interesting history. Ancient Egyptians used the hollow bones of birds' wings as needles to create punch needle embroidery tapestry art. During the Middle Ages, Europeans decorated ecclesiastical clothing and panels with elaborate punch needle patterns.
More recently, a group called the "Old Believers" split from the Russian Orthodox Church during the 17th century over religious reforms. They were subsequently persecuted by the church leadership and then by the Tsars. They were scattered around the world and have a reclusive culture similar to the Amish and Hutterites. The Old Believers have been making punch needle embroidery embellishments for their clothing for centuries, passing down the technique to the present day.
Punch Needle Embroidery Tapestry Art
Like so many quilters, Laura caught the punch needle embroidery bug and started creating tapestry art! Punch needle embroidery looks like a miniature version of traditional hooked rugs. Tiny loops are made by punching a small hollow punch needle through the surface of the fabric. This creates a textured surface similar to a low pile carpet. The closer the loops are needle punched, the thicker the texture. Designs are created by changing thread colors according to punch needle pattern instructions.
After getting hooked, it wasn't long before she miniaturized several of her best-selling quilt patterns into several punch needle patterns. We also carry punch needle supplies such as weaver's cloth and thread. Our favorite tool for doing needle punch embroidery is the Cameo needle punch tool — we think you'll like it too!