Punch needle is a form of embroidery that uses a hollow needle to create loops of thread on fabric. It dates back to Egypt and was used during the Middle Ages in Europe, often to decorate ecclesiastical clothing and panels. Punch needle has a similar appearance to rug hooking and in fact is sometimes referred to as mini rug hooking. I was briefly introduced to this technique in a workshop with Judith Baker Montano many years ago. I have not used it myself so you can imagine how excited I was to receive Dorothy’s example.
Dorothy used a combination of Colour Complements threads as well as threads from her personal stash. The pattern is by Karla Gerard in her coloring book, Fanciful Folk Art. She used Colour #46 for the two birds and a bit of Colour #33 for their legs and eyes. All the blanket stitching is Colour #12 and she used Colours #30, 147, 4, 29, 194, 20, 184 and 1 for the flowers and tree. She used various other DMC colours.
The background is a weaver’s cloth which is similar to a heavy muslin. Dorothy used 3 strands of floss, some use 6 but she finds this too coarse for her liking. She does mention that Punch Needle uses a lot of thread. As an example, she used 4 ½ balls of Valdani 3 strand for the ivory background. The design measures 7 1/8 by 8 1/2 inches.