The difference is in the process. While traditional hooking is worked from the front of the pattern, punch rugs are punched from the reverse. Therefore, when using a purchased pattern it is very important to make sure the pattern is reversed for punching. Also, remember to reverse your initials, or any lettering, if you include them in your punched projects.
Monk's cloth is the backing of choice for punch hooking. It needs to be stretched VERY tightly on the frame. Rug warp may be used as well as traditional linen, but primitive linen does not hold the loops as securely as monk's cloth. Burlap is not recommended for punch. For traditional hooking, linen or rug warp are recommended.
Plan on 2/3 of a pound of 3-ply rug yarn to cover 1 square foot of rug. For example, for a 2' by 3' rug, multiply 2 times 3 to get the total of 6 square feet. Multiply 6 by 2/3 to yield an answer of 4 pounds. Yarn is usually sold in 4 oz skeins, so you would need 16 skeins to complete a 2' by 3' rug.
First of all, do not wash or vacuum your hand punched or hooked rugs. The best way to clean them is to take them outside and give them a good shake now and then. Or if you live in wintery climes, the traditional method involved taking the rugs outside on a day with fresh, dry snow. Put the rug face down in the snow, which grabs the dirt, then turn it over and sweep away the snow quickly before it melts. I am always amazed at how well this method works.
Again, there are many options. The easiest is, after steaming your rug, trim the backing to 2” all the way around. If you have a serger it is easy to serge this edge. Otherwise, simply zigzag around the edge, then turn it under to make a 1” hem and simply blind stitch it in place, making sure to catch the backing in your stitch.
After removing the rug from the frame, the last step before steaming is to “poke” the loops of yarn into their proper places. This process neatens up lines and edges of design so that the finished look is much cleaner. A final steaming smoothes out the project nicely.