Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gauge your Needle

Gauge your Needle

When gauging your needle, you are setting your loop length. 
Means how long your loops will be on the finished side. 
I guess I should explain at this point that you work from the back of the piece, the finished side is on the back or the loop side.

Cameo Ultra Punch

The Cameo Ultra Punch has a little gauge on the side with a tiny nib. It allows you to set your needle length accordingly. Number one being the smallest needle length or loop length, 12 being the longest needle length or loop length.

When punching the tip of the blue plastic is the stop point for the fabric. With each punch or loop made the blue tip should hit the fabric. This will help keep your loops even in length.

This is the inside of the Cameo. Notice the spring. This is what allows you to adjust the little nib. If it is missing then your needle will not adjust or work properly.

This picture is of the needle adjusted all the way in so the needle at the top is not showing at all.
This is a good way to store your needle so as not to damage the needle tip.

Picture above: Notice the length of the needle this is shortest needle size or loop length set at 1.
Picture below: This is the needle set at 12, the longest needle length or loop size.

In general the length of the loop is approximately half the size of needle length. 
Meaning:1/2 going down, loop, half coming back. 

TIP: I believe most Cameo punchers use setting 1 or 2.
..I am not a Cameo user but I believe this is case.

CTR 3 strand Needle

I am showing the three strand CTR needle, but all of the needles one, three and six work the same way.

Setting your CTR! Again, the length of the needle is the setting for the length of the loop.
The CTR comes with a plastic sleeve that fits over the needle (gauge material in the picture).
You adjust by adding or removing, snipping the sleeve. You can add the snipped portion of the sleeve or keep it whole. My prefered length for the needle not the gauge, is 7/16 th of an inch to 1/2 of an inch. The gauge material is the fabric stop point. When you punch you should hit the fabric with every loop made. This insures the loops will be even.

You can purchase extra gauge material for your CTR's, it also comes with 5 threaders.

It comes with a rubber tube sleeve to slip over the needle to protect the needle tip and a tube to store it in when not in use. I also use the plastic tube to store the threaders and extra gauge.

CTR also sells a product called The "Haystack" to store all the needles, threaders and gauge in one convenient place.

Top needle and loops 7/16th of an inch.
Bottom needle and punch 1 1/4 inches.

In conclusion: I  rarely change my loop length but every once in awhile I will change and make the loop length a titch longer to give a outline or whiskers a little added length to help make them more distinct. Changing the loop length or gauge is very easy on both the CTR and the Cameo Ultra Punch.

Coming up in the next post Hoops and Frames.

Happy Punching,


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  2. I have 5 sizess of needles four punchers use cotton polly blend real cheap but looking for best prices of weavers cloth

  3. I don’t think you have to punch on weavers cloth, as an artist I try new things all the time....try it if it works use it. As a designer I have to teach the basic rules or people get confused....treat it as an art and explore.