Weaving Cloth on the Zoom Loom for Punch Needle
By Benjamin Krudwig
It finally happened—after at least a year or two of admiring punch needle, I gave in to the desire to try it out. I was hooked right away. I love the process and the final project that comes from punch needle! As I was teaching one of my weaving classes, and staring at the punch needle equipment/supplies I had an epiphany. Why not weave my own monk's cloth? (Monk's cloth is the type of fabric used in punch needle.)
As soon as I got home, I looked up a weaving draft for monk's cloth and I found that there's a 4-shaft weaving pattern available. After consulting a punch needle teacher, the cloth is essentially a simple basketweave pattern. I could do that on any of my little looms! This whole process became far more portable.
What You'll Need
cotton rug warp, any color
wool an appropriate size for your punch needle
punch needle—mine is an Oxford Punch
Materials and Equipment
Warping and Weaving
Warp the loom using the yarn doubled. When warping the Zoom Loom with cotton, it's important to leave the warp a little slack. Because cotton is not very stretchy, the warp will get tight very quickly as you weave. This can cause some wrist or hand strain if it is warped too tightly from the beginning.
Weave in plain weave using the yarn doubled. Once woven, leave the fabric on the loom, and push it down the pins until it is resting against the frame of the Zoom Loom.
Punch Needle Design
I chose to work from the back side of the loom so I could avoid hitting the pins with my knuckles. First, I drew a "map" or cartoon on the back to determine which colors were going to go where. (MC = Multicolored, B = Blue.) To get a nice dense pile, I made sure to punch needle into every hole. This also helps keep all of the loops in the fabric.
By holding the edge of the loom with my hand, I was able to turn the piece any which way I needed to. If the pins bother your hand, you can always cover the pins with a piece of leather or use a glove to protect your hand.
Once I finished the punch needle portion, I removed the square from the loom. Then, I soaked the square in hot water to shrink the cotton fabric, and lock in the loops more tightly.
I'm excited to try this technique with my other looms, and make larger projects! I imagine that this would be a great technique for making a bath mat.
© 2019 Schacht Spindle Company