Embroidery Blog

Trend Alert! Russian Punchneedle

Oftentimes with fashion, we see a return of something old, in a new form, such as bell-bottom pants. Yet, as we all know, the new release of an old product must have a unique twist or appeal. Bell bottoms as they were worn in the 1960s wouldn’t be as popular today, unless embellished with tapestry belts, rhinestones or frayed pockets. Just like in fashion, trends make their way into quilting as well.

So what’s coming around again in the quilting and handwork arena?

Photo via Thread Head

Punchneedle is making an incredible comeback, with new styles of patterns and threads that are sure to tempt you into this delightful craft!

You might remember the old name of this handcraft: Igolochky. Yet today, punchneedle is everywhere, and offers quilters of all skill levels a chance to incorporate something new into their quilting.

Photo via Craftsy member christineFRD

The new pattern styles — a little bit of traditional combined with a touch of whimsy — are beautiful. The new choices of overdyed floss are fabulous, too, with variegated color, for a textural look in a finished project. Want to add some sparkle to your project? Check out polyester “shiny” or metallic floss selections. In various colors and textures, the floss world is now as diverse as the fabrics you buy.

A Punchneedle in Action

Photo via The Punchneedle Handbook from PlanetJune

The portable punchneedle

Most of all, we love the portability that punchneedle offers. A few skeins of floss, a piece of weaver’s cloth and your punchneedle are all that’s required! Place your items in a handy project pouch and you’re ready to go. Us quilters are busy women, traveling frequently, attending our children’s sporting events, guild meetings and more, so portable handwork is a plus for us. What’s more, we love the instant gratification we receive when we can finish a project in just a short amount of time!

Photo via Craftsy member christineFRD

Incorporating punchneedle

Punchneedle projects can be finished on their own, or incorporated into an existing project. I’ve seen finished projects mounted in beautiful frames, punchneedle ornaments, purses with a small punchneedle project sewn into the front flap, punchneedle projects embellished with buttons and beyond! One pattern I’ve come across even allowed for a customized date, which would make for a great wedding or housewarming gift.

As we all know, it is so soothing to work with our hands, and this craft has come back in a big way. With freshly updated colors and designs, I know you’ll love the return of this craft as much as I do!

Have you tried any punchneedle projects?


Cynthia L Harvey

I once did a hot air balloon on one of my daughters jumpers that I made. I haven’t thought of doing it with my quilting. Great Idea!


This is just like punch embroidery I used to teach. I have done a lot of projects but arthritis caused me to back off from all crafts. Now I retired and have started knitting and crocheting and thinking about punch again.


I’ve done a couple punchneedle designs, but have struggled with them. Being self-taught with nearly everything I do needlework wise, I feel maybe I’m missing something in working this type of project. Any chance you may have some helpful instructions coming up on Craftsy? 🙂

Linda Salmi

I would like to know about instructions also.

pat probst

Have not tried this but would love to know more.


There are a lot of well-done videos on YouTube. You can see different approaches and techniques there.

Kristan DiBiase


Punch Needle is a very relaxing and an extremely rewarding craft. No counting involved and relatively quick to finish a project.

There is a great tutorial DVD out there by Charlotte Dudney that takes you through the whole process and you may punch long while learning.

Happy Punching!

Janice Kuntzman

I want a pattern for goats

Elaine Niewiecki

Made three of these for my daughter (40plus years ago) and now my gran daughter has them.

Paula Regler

I have bought some kits but just don’t know where to start. any help please


Wow! I did punch needle years ago. I made a rug, which after you go through all that work I didn’t put it on the floor! It hangs in my foyer. I also have an old a punch needle for embroidery and noticed a booth at PIQF both last year and this year. Make sure you ‘seal’ the back somehow since it’s a continuous thread it easily pulls out. It looks like they have a new tool-I will have to look into as one of the problems with the one I have is that it was awkward to use.

Raelene Grazotis

My daughter has just visited India and came back with these unusual hollow needles she said you do stitching with. I think it is Russian punch needle work as suggested by a friend. The friend says the fabric must be stretched to embroider the design, and when unstretched, this seals the stitches. Is this correct? Judging by the comments above, it does not have to be a stretchable fabric.


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