What rug frame can you use?
When you are hooking with a punch needle, the backing must be stretched very tightly so that the needle goes through the fabric easily.
Traditional frames will not work, but it is easy to construct your own frame in any size you want.
I would not recommend making your frame any wider than thirty-five inches; you must be able to reach the middle of your pattern easily.
What patterns can be used??
Some people think that you have to use a specially designed pattern for punch needle, but this is not true.
You can use almost any designerís rug patterns and there are some fabulous ones available!
As long as the pattern is printed on monkís cloth with a 4-5 inch border, it will work for the punch needle.
Most punched rugs are made with a three-ply 100% wool rug yarn that is 1/8 inch thick, but an 8 cut (1/4 inch) wool strip works well too.
So, when picking or designing a pattern, remember that all outlines and shapes should be at least 1/8 inch wide.
If you are designing your own patterns you can use the same directions for transferring a pattern to backing that appears in the "Rug Hooking Primer" section of every issue of Rug Hooking Magazine or on their web site.
NOTE: if the pattern has words in it, they must be printed backwards!! Remember, you are working from the back side of the pattern.
What about color selection?
Itís just like traditional rug hooking! If you canít find the colors you want, you can dye the yarn or fabric.
There are some incredible dye books available today and Rug Hooking Magazine always has an article with new color variations to try.
Itís very simple; you weigh your yarn or fabric and go from there.
In the Red Clover Rugs studio, the shelves are loaded with over 200 luscious colors of hand dyed yarns plus a selection of wool fabric to work with.
How are punch needle rugs finished??
Finishing is very simple and does not require whipping or binding as traditionally hooked rugs do!
First, as with traditional rug hooking, you steam your rug.
Then you trim the backing two inches from the edge of the finished rug.
Fold the monkís cloth over onto itself once, toward the back side, and then fold again onto the rug, creating a one-inch "self binding" .
Pin it in place and use a whip stitch or blind stitch to hem the rug. After this is finished, steam the rug again . Presto, itís done!
How do I clean my rug?
Donít put it in the washing machine and donít use a rotary vacuum cleaner on it!!
The vacuum may pull your strips/yarn out and I donít even want to imagine what a rug might look like after going through the wash.
Take your rug outside and give it a good shake every once in a while depending on the traffic it gets.
You might even hang it on the clothes line and beat it like they did before vacuum cleaners.
If you get a serious stain on it, take it to a professional rug cleaner who cleans oriental rugs.
Most dry cleaners donít know how to properly clean a hooked rug, but if you are confident in your cleaner, start them off with a small rug to see how they do.