There are three ways that a fabric is given its name. Fabrics are named by the fibre with which they are woven, like wool, the loom on which they are woven, like Jacquard fabric or by the weave construction in their manufacture.
Chenille fabric gets its name from the manufacturing process. The way that Chenille fabric was made, initially in the 18th century, is different to how it is made today.
First manufactured in France in the 1780’s, Chenille fabric was developed by weaving a leno, or cross weave, fabric and then cutting it into strips to make the Chenille yarn.
In the 1830’s, Alexander Buchanan, a foreman in a Scottish industrial fabric mill developed a way to mass produce Chenille fabric for a product that he called “fuzzy shawls”. This method involved woollen yarns being woven into a blanket and then cut into strips. These strips were then heat treated to make the fabric soft and fuzzy. This technique was used to create the “fuzzy shawls” and then refined to make tufted carpets.
It was in 1895 America that the method of manufacturing Chenille fabric that we use today was developed. The process requires no pre-weaving and instead a tightly wound core for the yarn is created. Then short lengths of fabric, known as piles, are wrapped around the core.
Once all of the piles are wrapped around the core, its edges stand at right angles from the centre of the fabric. This gives Chenille its softness and its characteristic fluffy look, this process means that the fabric will look different in one direction compared to another as the fibres catch the light differently. The piles are typically made of cotton, rayon or silk but can be made of acrylic or synthetic fibres.
Chenille is a versatile fabric and has a multitude of uses, from bedspreads and quilts to bath robes, carpets to cushions and even upholstery.
At Yorkshire Fabric Shop, we have a range of thousands of different fabrics available, including a great choice of Chenille fabrics, all on hand for your design needs. The team at Yorkshire Fabric Shop can take your chosen fabric and create unique handmade cushions or made to measure curtains to suit your style.
Whatever design project you have in mind we have the fabric for you and with free samples available there is no better time to start your project. Use our easy to use fabric finder, contact us on 08443 448 588 or email email@example.com.