Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thoughts On Thread - Punch Needle Embroidery...

I have spent the last few months trying out different 
Thread...  Floss...  Perle Cotton...

I use it in Wool Applique, Hand Embroidery, 
Punch Needle Embroidery, Counted Cross Stitch
 and to Embellish my Embroidery / Sewing projects.

I have found certain threads perform better in different applications.

Three Pumpkins by Three Sheep Studio

This design is punched using Valdani Perle Cotton.
It is my favorite thread to use for Punch Needle Embroidery.
It brings depth, variation and texture to my work.

For this piece I used Valdani Perle Cotton #8.
I used the small needle in my 'Ultra Punch Needle',
at the number 2 setting.

Valdani thread is Artisan hand dyed with an emphasis 
on environmental awareness - they use lead free, 
environmentally friendly dyes.
Their colors are rich and guaranteed 100% colorfast.

I debated using Valdani, because it is a slightly more expensive thread...
or is it ???

Same design - two different threads...

I punched the 'Three Pumpkins' design twice, 
both very similar however, not exact.

The design on the Left is punched 
using Valdani Perle Cotton.
The design on the Right is punched 
using DMC Perle Cotton.

To achieve the same look on both projects, 
this is what I found...

Background on the Left used one color of Valdani.
 Background on the Right used four colors of DMC.

Leaves on the Left used one color of Valdani
Leaves on the Right used three colors of DMC. 

Stems on the Left used one color of Valdani.
Stems on the Right used two colors of DMC.

I could continue to point out additional differences in the pumpkins, 
however it was obvious -
 Valdani was Not more expensive.
I had to actually use the product to see 
and realize the results.

My Conclusion:
I was able to achieve
amazing rich color, texture and movement
using fewer Perle Cotton Ball colors, 
when working with Valdani Threads
for Punch Needle Embroidery.

Old gnarled tree... using Valdani Perle #0531

As I am working on some new Autumn Designs,
 I am loving the rich texture and movement 
that comes with using these hand dyed threads.
One of my favorite shades is Valdani #0531 - Black Nut.
(This one Perle Cotton Ball contains shades of 
black, dark brown, charcoal and grays)

It instantly gives tree branches dimension 
and brings them to life !
(and isn't that what we hope to achieve 
when we pour our time and effort into a project ? ;)

Perle Cotton Storage...

(If you missed this post)...
For a tip on organizing and storage -

Happily stitching away...


  1. What a difference! And I love all that shading the Valdani gives you without even trying! I'm always reluctant to spend the extra $ on the 'special' threads, but they definitely are worth it! I just need to keep remembering that! :o)

  2. Since I am currently pulling my hair out more than I am punching I am thrilled to read this post. I used first the thread that came with my pattern which was DMC then I switched to my balls of Valdani. I do enjoy my Valdani more I think just because of how it looks. But I don't know if I will ever get the absolute perfection I see in your work. I see such movement in both designs so of course I think it is the person behind the punch needle. :)

  3. I LOVE the turtle!!!!!!!!!!! So adoreable!


  4. What size perle cotton did you use? I have never used Valdani before. She looks beautiful.

    1. For this piece I used Valdani Perle Cotton #8.
      I used the small needle in my 'Ultra Punch Needle',
      at the number 2 setting.

  5. Rose,
    First, lovely work and I suspect the thread should not get all the credit!

    I am using your egg carton idea for my Valdani threads and it works very well. I have tried several ideas over time and this Is the best. Thanks so much.

    I am thinking about trying needlepunch, is there a book or web site you recommend for beginners? Thanks again.

    1. Hi Susan...
      Thanks for your very kind words.
      A great site for some basic instruction on Punch Needle Embroidery.
      Once you start, it is highly addictive ! ;)

  6. Great punches and you are quite the thinker! Love the comparisons you have made. Wonderful idea on the thread storage :)

  7. Thanks for this post--it was very helpful! I always loved the way the Valdani worked out in punchneedle projects but knowing it's economical too is a bonus1 ~Roberta

  8. I love love love all your beautiful work! I've taken up punch needle and am trying to "perfect" my work, but it always looks so messy! I've never used perle cotton and will probably practice with some DMC I've got around the house.

    But, I would love to start a collection of the valdani to use with my wool applique and then punch needle. Could you recommend some starter colors or sets? There are so many available that I don't know where to start!

    Lauralee >^.^<

  9. Lovely work and great photos too!

    Dropping by from Sew Many Ways

  10. Your collection of Valdani is amazing. For regular embroidery, I prefer the DMC over the Valdani it is a little thinner and easier to work with. However, the colors of the Valdani or unbeatable and I love the varigated look! Thanks for your findings.

  11. Love the Valdani Perle Cotton! Wonderful punching!

  12. I don't do punch needle embroidery, but I do love variagted threads and the richness they can add to a project. I have been collecting both embroidery floss and perle cotton, although I have gotten them in DMC as before this I have never heard of Valdani. We don't live in an area where things like this are available, so would always need to be special ordered. Articles like yours give one confidence about buying something they aren't familiar with. I do love the egg cartons for storing the perle cotton!

  13. Thank you! I found the link to your thread comparison on Pinterest and am so glad I came over here to read it. I also thought the Valdani might be more costly, but not in the long run at all after reading how you used both that and DMC to achieve your results. I recently purchased a dozen balls of Valdani in some discontinued colors just to give the brand a try without spending too much, as they were discounted. I'm still waiting for the shipment to arrive and now I can't wait! I've been using DMC #5 and have some #8 which I like much better! It all depends on the effect you want, whether to use thicker or thinner perle cotton. Sometimes I really like the stitching to show and the #5 is great for that. Again, thank you!!!

  14. Hello ~ I just found this post. I've been interested in learning punch needle embroidery and looking for sources for the Valdani threads. Your kits are beautiful and I may be ordering one soon. Can you recommend websites for the Valdani? Thank you!


So glad to have you here visiting...
would love to hear your thoughts !