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The Punch Needle Handbook
BY Rohn Strong

Stackpole Books (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
31 October 2020/ ISBN 9780811738736
How-To Books / Needlework

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Punch needle meets rug making in this inspiring book, showing you from scratch how to master this versatile craft and produce a houseful of not only rugs but mats, wall hangings, coasters, bags and even jewelry.

I was introduced to this absorbing and undervalued craft at a show and have only used it with ordinary sewing thread to create details for garments, so I was intrigued. Making rugs for me means hooking, but once you are familiar with the tools it is easy to see how the punching into a canvas type base is perfect for making rugs.

This book takes you from total beginner to proficient and confident crafter a step at a time, informing you what you need to buy and how to use it. There are many different types of punch needle on the market (mine are a different type, used for fine embroidery) and a world of different yarns and threads to navigate. I like the way the author explains why you need an item, or what effect you will get if you use a certain yarn, so you know what to buy to get the right results. The beginner section goes on to describe with the aid of photographic steps how to thread and use the needle, troubleshooting tips and rug finishing techniques. The projects are grouped into three sections for beginner, easy and intermediate. They all have a list of tools and materials, finished size in imperial and metric and text only instructions. There are large photographs of the items usually in situ, but if you want staged photographs you need to look back at the relevant section.

I would say that this book helps if this is not your very first foray into the world of crafts, as although none of the making up parts is difficult, some other basic sewing knowledge is required. At the back, all the patterns are provided, although some need to be enlarged. A few contact details are given for suppliers, but all these are in the US. This is a very user friendly book, recommended for anybody who wants to learn the chunkier side of punch needle craft.

If you cannot find a good range of punch needle materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

Oxford punch needles, kits, yarn and more at
Range of items available at
Some punch needle supplies at

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020