Saturday, November 21, 2020

Chenille T-shirt

 Chenille T-shirt  

You know the fuzzy lived-in quilt that has been handed down to you by your grandparents,? Or the fluffy new throw adorning your couch? They are probably made of Chenille. Among the gamut of fabrics that we encounter in our lives daily, how many of us have an answer to the question “what is Chenille?”? Well, chenille refers to a type of yarn, which when woven, results in a fabric also known as chenille. It’s a French term for ‘caterpillar’ because of its resemblance to a furry caterpillar. Soft to the touch and durable, chenille can be used for a multitude of fabric requirements. These range from clothing to upholstery.

What is it made of?

We make chenille yarn primarily using cotton. Using acrylic, rayon, wool, silk and olefin is also fairly common. We use chenille fabric made of 100% cotton to make shawls, blankets, throws, garments and other things. Its incredible softness is always desirable when making products that will be in close contact with the skin.

What are Chenille’s origins and history?

Chenille was first manufactured in France in the 1780s, by weaving a leno or cross weave fabric and then cutting it into strips to make the Chenille yarn.  Alexander Buchanan, a foreman in a Paisley fabric mill, introduced the fabric to the UK. He mass-produced the fabric to make ‘fuzzy shawls’. This involves weaving together tufts of coloured wool into a blanket and then cutting into strips. He makde the ‘frizz’ effect by treating the fabric with heat rollers. The result was a very soft, fuzzy fabric named Chenille.

How is Chenille made?

The method of manufacturing Chenille now is very different from when it was first produced in the 18th century. We make it by placing short lengths of yarn between two “core yarns” and then twisting the yarn together. Then we cut the wrapped yarns, producing a pile effect. The edges of these piles then stand at right angles to the yarn’s core, adding to chenille’s softness. One of the problems with chenille is that the tufts can become loose resulting in bare fabric. We can resolve this by using low melt nylon in the core of the yarn and then steaming the lengths of yarn to set the pile in place.


Soft to the touch

Has a good drape

Slight sheen

Thick and durable

Water absorbent

Resistant to abrasion

Retains heat

Multi-use fabric


Fussier to maintain

Prone to stretching and distortion

Prone to shrinkage

How hard is it to print on Chenille?

It isn’t! Printing on chenille, and our other fabrics can be such a simple process. Simply upload a picture or pattern that you would like to use, and edit it within the design interface. You can even use a snapshot of a pattern that you’ve seen, a microscopic close-up or a photograph. If you want to see how easy it is to create your own fabric, why not order a test print and try it out?

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