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What Is Chenille Fabric?

If you have come across Chenille fabric, you may have been astonished by its name because, despite its widespread use, few people are aware of it. This may have tempted you to ask, “What Is Chenille Fabric?” as well as led you here. If this is the case, then I am glad since throughout this article that exact query will be answered thoroughly and clearly at same time.

Before we begin, it is important to note that Chenille fabric has been used in a variety of ways for centuries. As a result, in order to fully comprehend the thread, we must first understand what it is fundamentally, the Chenille creation process, as well as the characteristics and usage of Chenille. So, without further ado, let us get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Chenille is woven material typically made from cotton, silk, wool, rayon, or any type of synthetic material that gives off the feeling of softness.
  • The origin of Chenille is French. Translated directly it means caterpillar.
  • The main goal of Chenille’s creation is to give off a fuzzy texture.
  • Chenille’s traits include softness, durability, heat-retaining abilities, water absorption, and drape effect.
  • Chenille is used in the apparel industry as well as in home interior departments.
  • The biodegradability of Chenille depends on the threads that create the fabric.

What is Chenille Fabric?

Chenille fabric is a woven material typically made from cotton, silk, wool, or rayon that gives off the feeling of immense softness. A trait the fabric is known for. This fabric can also be made from synthetic materials however the above-mentioned threads are more widely used in the industry.

While the name of this fabric is also known to be a type of yarn the woven version of it is known to be adored. Weaving the yarn’s threads together results in the woven Chenille fabric we are discussing This procedure was once accomplished through manual labor, but it is now entirely automated through machines. This is a topic we will go over further below.

The final product of this practice is a soft warm and lightweight fabric that most people even confuse for velvet. Of course, this famous fabric does not even come close to velvet the mix-up happens due to Chenille having similar features to the material.

Although a distinction should be made because Chenille has a range of additional characteristics that velvet does not, as well as properties that distinguish it from the previously mentioned fabric.

This brief introduction to Chenille fabric is just the beginning of all the wonderful facts and features this thread is capable of.

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The Characteristics of Chenille Fabric


The softness of Chenille is one of its distinguishing features. Most customers, however, overlook the fact that the softness they perceive stems from the Chenille fabric’s fuzzy texture. Though besides this softness, Chenille is recognized for other qualities as well.


The endurance that Chenille fabric has is remarkable. This durability of course stems from the woven origin of Chenille. The durability of this fabric goes hand in hand with its thickness and heat-retaining abilities.

We also cannot forget about the firmness of Chenille to withstand abrasions meaning that as a fabric it will last the customer a long time. Another outstanding feature of Chenille is its ability to absorb water.

The drape is a characteristic that is not usually expected from such a sturdy fabric however Chenille delivers on it as well. This feature comes with a slight disadvantage though. Chenille can distort when subjected to stress, which means that tugging the material is harmful to it.

Utilization of Chenille Fabric

Having such a useful list of qualities Chenille fabric finds possibilities to be utilized in many ways. All that is needed to put this material to work and achieve a satisfactory outcome is creativity. Although Chenille is known for its use in the apparel industry the fabric is very useful for house items as well.

Focusing firstly on the clothing department Chenille can be found in garments such as shawls, sweaters, dresses, famous letterman jackets, coats, and so on. The use of Chenille in this industry is vast since it has all the qualities that a consumer would want.

In the housing department Chenille finds use due to its softness, thickness, and water absorbency. The fabric is widely known to produce great quality blankets. It is also famous for all sorts of towels, beautiful rugs, tapestry, and more. Given that it is such a versatile fabric, Chenille will continue to be used in interior housing more and more as time goes on.

Environmental friendliness of Chenille fabric

The impact a fabric has on the world around us is an important part of what defines it. By understanding the effect Chenille has we will better comprehend it as a fabric.

Getting straight to the point the decomposing of Chenille fabric depends on the thread that is used to originally create it. If that thread is known to be an environmentally naturally friendly fiber, then the degradability of Chenille in nature is parallel to it.

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The Origin of Chenille Fabric

The fabric and word Chenille itself is of French origin. Translated directly from the French language Chenille means caterpillar. This was no coincidence; the naming is intentional since Chenille fabric is fuzzy yet soft to the touch, thus the naming occurred.

Chenille fabric was introduced in the late 1780s. The first versions that were manufactured were woven fabrics with the intent of creating a ‘frizzy’ exterior. It was used massively at first for shawls since the texture that it created kept people warm.

As time passed the use as well as the popularity of Chenille rose. Growing its reputation through the years and in different countries Chenille got the recognition it deserved. The fabric started to be used in a mixture of ways, it even dived into other industries aside from clothing one. Although Chenille fabric to this day is still known as a French weaved material.

The Creation of Chenille Fabric

The methods used to create this well-loved fabric which is called Chenille are fairly simple. As previously stated, the procedure is now automated, so the work involved in producing Chenille is reduced, allowing manufacturers to produce more of the fabric, and making it available to more customers.

The main idea to create Chenille is to create a fuzz-like texture. This is achieved by first choosing the thread you want to use and then wrapping the yarn of the selected thread into two main core yarns. These two main wrapped yarn edges are then shortened and cut to produce the desired pile effect from which the Chenille fabric is created. While cutting the edges to achieve the fuzzy long-term impact, the yarn threads can also become loose, requiring the entire process to be restarted.

The procedure itself is not hard once you understand the basics. Difficulty can arise only when a malfunction occurs. However, with today’s machinery, it is a rare occurrence.

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Final Words

Reaching the end of this article I sincerely hope that you will now have a clear understanding of the marvels of Chenille fabric. It has a wide range of applications for reasons that are now transparent. So, the next time you wear a shawl or use a thick blanket and recognize it as Chenille, you are fully prepared.