Best Fabric for Punch Needle Rug Hooking | Simple Crafted Life

Best Fabric for Punch Needle

Fabric for punch needle

The backing fabric is one of the most important materials of punch needle. The thickness of the needle and the yarn used will determine the type of fabric you will need for your project. 

When using an Oxford punch needle or a Lavor adjustable punch needle, a loose weave fabric with little stretch, such as cotton or linen works well. When using a thinner needle, such as an Ultra Punch or the Lavor fine punch needle embroidery set, fabrics with a tighter weave are best as these ensure that the embroidery floss or thin yarns, such as a fingering or DK weight yarn stay in place when you punch.  which has a tight weave in order to keep the embroidery floss or fine yarn in place as you punch.

Monk’s Cloth

monks cloth fabric for punch needle

Monk’s cloth or monks cloth, was created especially for punch needle and traditional rug hooking, making it extremely durable and easy to punch with. It is also a very forgiving fabric, which is why it is such a popular backing fabric.

It is a 100% cotton, loosely woven fabric. Some monk's cloth have a white line woven in every two inches to help you stretch your fabric evenly and also to help you with pattern placement. 

A few different sizes of monk's cloth are available to purchase on the market. The correct one for punch needle and rug hooking is a 12-14 count or holes per inch, 100% cotton monk’s cloth. 

When using monk's cloth, if you don’t like a part of your design or colour choice, pull out your yarn and you can punch over that area again. If you run the tip of your needle over the section where the yarn has been pulled out, you will find that the threads start moving back into place. 

It's worth pointing out that whilst fabrics like cross-stitch Aida fabric may look similar, these aren't the same as monk's cloth and aren't suitable because the holes are too big and won't hold the loops in place.

I recommend using this fabric with the following needles: 


linen fabric for punch needle


Loosely woven linen fabric is a nice alternative to monk’s cloth. Unlike monk's cloth that has white guidelines, linen works really well when you want to leave part of the fabric showing in the background due it's natural look.

Whilst punching on linen works similarly to monks cloth, it's worth pointing out that it is much easier to make a hole in linen fabric, than in monk's cloth fabric, making linen a slightly less beginner friendly fabric. However, if you've worked with linen and want to try different backing fabrics, then I definitely recommend giving linen fabric a try.

I recommend using this fabric with the following needles: 


cotton fabric for punch needle embroidery

This 100% cotton fabric is a nice alternative to weaver’s cloth (a tightly woven polyester and cotton fabric), making it perfect for punch needle embroidery. 

When working with finer needles and yarns, you will need to choose a tightly woven fabric as this will ensure that the floss or yarn stays in place when punching. If your fabric is too loose, you will find the loops don't stay in place.

I recommend using this fabric with the Ultra Punch needle and Lavor Fine punch needle embroidery set. 


Other Materials

There are other materials out there such as just and burlap that share some qualities with some of the needles I have spoken about in this blog post. However, I wouldn't recommend these fabrics because they tend to wear and tear and your piece will eventually disintegrate as a result.


If you would like to read about yarns suitable for punch needle, I have written a blog post about this. You can find it here.

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1 comment

Thanks so much for sharing these tips? What would you recommend is a good design for a newbie?


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