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Chenille Fabric - Fabriclore

Chenille Fabric

What is Chenille Fabric?

  • Named for the French word for caterpillar, chenille is the name for both the type of yarn and the fabric that makes the soft material.
  • The threads are purposefully piled in creating the yarn, which resembles the fuzzy exterior of the caterpillar.
  • Chenille is a woven fabric that can be made from a variety of different fibers, including cotton, silk, wool, and rayon.


  • According to textile historians, chenille-type yarn is a recent invention, dating to the 18th century and believed to have originated in France. The original technique involved weaving a "leno" fabric and then cutting the fabric into strips to make the chenille yarn.
  • Alexander Buchanan, a foreman in a Paisley fabric mill, is credited with introducing chenille fabric to Scotland in the 1830s. Here he developed a way to weave fuzzy shawls.
  • Tufts of coloured wool were woven together into a blanket that was then cut into strips. They were treated by heating rollers in order to create the frizz. This resulted in a very soft, fuzzy fabric named chenille. Another Paisley shawl manufacturer went on to further develop the technique.
  • James Templeton and William Quiglay worked to refine this process while working on imitation oriental rugs. The intricate patterns used to be difficult to reproduce by automation, but this technique solved that issue. These men patented the process but Quiglay soon sold out his interest.
  • Templeton then went on to open a successful carpet company (James Templeton & Co) that became a leading carpet manufacturer throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

What Makes it Stand Out?

  • Fuzzy and soft - Chenille is a fuzzy fabric and yarn as a result of the short piles of material on each strand.
  • Nice drape -  Chenille has a beautiful soft drape, which has led to its popularity in garments in recent years.
  • Durable - Chenille fabric is extremely durable.
  • Iridescent - Even though the fibers used to make chenille are not inherently shiny, the fabric and yarn catches the light at right angles because of the direction of the pile. This effect can make the fabric appear shiny and iridescent. 
Texture Soft , feathery texture
Fall Drapes well 
Shine  Sheen
Sheer Opaque


Chenille fabric texture

 Image Reference -

 Application and Uses

  • Carpets and rugs. Making rugs and carpets is one of the primary uses for chenille.
  • Blankets and throws. The soft, fuzzy material is perfect for warm bedspreads or accent throws on couches and chairs.
  • Home decor.
  • Shawls and other similar clothing.
Apparel Yes
Home Furnishing  Yes
Accessories  -
Chenille carpet

Image Reference -

Chenille clothing

Care Instructions

  • While the textile chenille is durable, the piles are sensitive and the material has a tendency to stretch or shrink.
  • For that reason, most chenille should be dry cleaned.
  •  If you want to wash your chenille items at home, wash by hand and lay it flat to dry.
  • Do not hang to avoid stretching.
  • For machine washing, you can try washing it in warm water on a delicate cycle and drying on low heat.

Reference links

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