Why Is Chenille an Irresistible Upholstery Fabric?

Why Is Chenille an Irresistible Upholstery Fabric?

Chenille upholstery fabric is one of the most famous fabrics since the 1990s owing to its soft and luxurious feel. Its gorgeous, tactile design in the digital age allows you to get in sync with your sense of touch. Chenille is a machine washable fabric that allows for easy, at-home fabric care.

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Lush and regal, you can create any maximalist design that you dream of with chenille. This comfy but versatile fabric (in French ‘chenille’ means ‘caterpillar’ which is an appropriate name because of the fuzzy feel) falls into two main groups:

·         home utility chenille such as used for towels, robes and baby items

·         home decor chenille, used for upholstery, wall coverings and curtain material

What Exactly is Chenille?

Chenille - photo by More Fabrics

Chenille is a soft-textured fabric that is ideally suited for home décor. The way chenille was made back in the 18th century is very different to how it was made today. The modern process  requires a tightly-wound core, to which short lengths of fabric, known as piles, are wrapped around.

When the fibre is tightly woven it becomes stronger and more durable for use as upholstery.

Pile: noun. A type of yarn that has a raised texture surface. Tightly woven chenille piles are stronger than loosely woven ones thus, making durable sofa fabrics.

It is also important to note that the direction of the pile in chenille-upholstered pieces. When the direction of the pile is right, your sofa is not only more durable but visually stunning.

How is Chenille Made?

As we mentioned above, chenille fabric is made by wrapping threads around a cotton core fibre, but there’s more to it than that. Making chenille fabric involves wrapping short pieces of yarn around two main threads, which are then tightly twisted together. When the process is finished, the resulting fabric is fuzzy and soft since the collection stands at right angles with the core yarn. It’s important to remember that the appearance of chenille’s colour is affected by the direction of the pile. This is because the fibres catch the light differently from diverse angles.

On close observation, chenille appears to slowly change colour as the viewpoint changes. This makes many different effects possible without having to use iridescent fibres.

Velvet vs. Chenille

Velvet and chenille are among the best fabrics in the market due to their timeless style and gorgeous feel. These two types of fabric have generated a big debate and dilemma as to which one is better.

In recent times, new fibre and finish technologies have taken the toll and the two have become more similar, but they’re still very different if you know what to look for.

Chenille vs. Velvet Fabric for Upholstery

While chenille is a type of yarn, velvet is a unique type of fabric construction. How chenille fabric is made differs from how velvet is made.

Since chenille is a yarn, it can be combined with other different threads to create a more formal look. On the other hand, velvet is woven tightly to create a short pile on one side. They can both be used for upholstery, however, no matter how they’re made.

Chenille is a bit more versatile than velvet because it can give a smooth, even surface or a more textured chunky look, depending on manufacturing.

What Makes Chenille Fabrics Unique?

There are several colours and styles of chenille ensuring you have a variety to choose from depending on your tastes and preferences.

You can choose to work with chenille fabrics according to the colour, pattern weight or by the type of project at hand to ensure you achieve perfect blend in your home or commercial project.

Here are the reasons why chenille fabrics are special:

•    Softness –Chenille can be amazingly soft making it suitable for materials that come into direct contact with your skin such as blankets, comforters, throws, and pillows. It is also an excellent fabric option for baby items like blankets.

It is also suitable for various interior décor  projects. However, you need to note that, the more you wash chenille, the softer it becomes. Therefore, following the given care instructions is essential. This will ensure that you achieve softer furnishing fabrics.

•    Beauty - Chenille stands out for its beauty. The material can contrast appealingly with a background fabric to create beautiful patterns. Most chenille fabric options eye-catching even on their own.

•    Versatility - In addition to its softness and beauty, chenille is highly versatile. Since it comes in various weights, it is an excellent choice for lightweight or massive weight projects. You can use chenille for everything from throw pillows to upholstery.

Is Chenille ‘Life’ Friendly?

First things first, chenille is durable and versatile. We see no reason as to why you can’t have some chenille in your home or commercial interior design project. Chenille fabric will also give you an easy cleaning time.

Different types of chenille have various fibre contents, and as a result, require specific cleaning methods.

While this fabric is long-lasting, it tends to shrink when it comes into contact with water. Your home cleaning procedure for chenille should entail vacuuming and spot cleaning, and much the same is recommended for the maintenance of chenille in commercial spaces such as hotels.

 To clean chenille fabric for sofas, vacuum your couch regularly to prevent dust and debris from building up within the raised fabric fibres. Avoid using water too much, since it tends to flatten the plush pile.

How to Do Spot Cleaning

For effective spot cleaning, you will need items like

upholstery brushes

old rags

solvent-based cleaner

mild liquid cleaner

a bowl

delicate fabric laundry detergent

a hairdryer or a box fan

Step by step guide to spot cleaning chenille:

1.      Brush chenille upholstery or drapery using the upholstery brush to remove dirt and soil.

2.      Brush lightly along the nap, back and forth. For seat cushions, the nap runs from the back to the front while on the back cushions it runs from top to bottom.

3.      Vacuum the fabric to remove dirt.

4.      To remove stains or discolouration, start with water and work from there.

5.      Dry the fabric by using a hair dryer. A box fan should work just fine as well.

We recommend that you have your chenille upholstery fabric cleaned professionally every so often in order to prolong its life and avoid shrinking.

Points to remember - always use a white rag to clean chenille, to avoid discolouration. Also, wipe gently and avoid rubbing harshly on the material since this will flatten the plush pile.

Chenille is an excellent choice for interior furnishings due to its beauty and versatility. Check out our wiki page for more information on chenille.

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