Staining/aging your punch needle

Greetings on this fine November Saturday morning. Today I have two pictures showing the difference you can make with the same piece. This little sheep was done with DMC floss in the background the the sheep itself was done in Valdani P4. Usually when I punch with the varigated Valdani threads I don’t do anything to the finished piece. Some people use strong coffee and will soak the piece in water, squeeze out the excess and then soak it in a bowl of cold dark coffee. After a few minutes remove it from the coffee and squeeze it out. If you leave it wadded up you will get random spots darker than others. So, that’s one way to achieve the aged look. I like to use walnut crystals. I purchased a little bag 8-9 years ago and mixed a few tablespoons into a pint mason jar of water and haven’t used it up yet. Of course, I don’t age everything I punch. I use a paint brush and brush the liquid walnut crystal water over the piece. You can use as little or as much as you want. If in the end you just don’t like it you can soak your piece in water and the stain comes out. I probably mentioned this before, but I steam press all my pieces before finishing them. (Always with a pressing cloth. Mine is a linen dish towel I got as a wedding present from my cousin 50 years ago. Pressing directly on weavers cloth will melt the polyester muck up your iron.) Steaming it seems to ‘pull’ it back into shape. It also helps the errant loops showing on the front side. Those loops can be snipped or you can use your punchneedle to push them back to the back side. Anyway, this is about staining, so let’s continue. Toggle the arrows to see each picture fully. You decide. Which do you like. If you like the prim look, here’s how to get it.

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