What are you weaving in chenille??

Hi Everyone....I guess folks are settling back into normal routines now that the holidays are over.  I find January and Februry to be some of my most productive months....it is cold and grey (or white) where I live, and the studio and all the color is tempting and comforting.

Today I wound a 17 yard warp in 1450 ypp chenille.  I dyed the warp chain in a pan by first soaking the chain in warm water with soda ash, then squeezing out the excess and randomly pouring dyes over the chain - slowly, so the warp had time to absorb the dye.  When complete, I wrapped the tin foil pan in heavy duty Saran and put it in the oven on 220F for 35 minutes to steam set the dyes.  I am waiting now for the yarn to cool so I can rinse and hang it to dry.  One nice thing about the cold is the furnace runs, and forced air furnaces dry the air out something awful, but the flip side is that wet yarn dries fast!  I hope to put this warp on the loom tomorrow and start weaving a series of scarves......

So, are any of you doing any weaving with chenille right now???

Su :-)


Posted on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 05:27

Su --

Currently I am not weaving anything in chenille, but I have a couple of projects in mind.  I have done some scarves in the past without problems, and a throw for my daughter which was my first chenille project and with which I experienced what seemed like a lot of broken warp ends.  I said I would never do another blanket at the time.  My son, however, wants a chenille throw/blanket wider than my loom.  I have been trying to get up the courage to try a double-width blanket.  Have you done double-width in chenille?  Any advice? 

I have been to your website.  It looks like the only way to order your book on CD is via snail mail with a check.  Is that correct or did I miss something?


Posted on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 09:24

I just finished yardage for a vest.  The warp alternates chenille with cotolin.  I used a chenille color sequence of : green, autumn varigated, green, brown, green, variegated, green, pumpkin.  The weft is 5/2 dark brown perle cotton.  I sett it at 18 epi using a 12 dent reed, 1-2-1-2... and wove it in plain weave.

It washed up nicely, with a really sweet hand.  The warp was 17 feet long and shrunk to 15 feet.

 The vest is a gift for a friend (her  mother is going to sew it for her- I think I had the easy job!)



Posted on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 15:17

HI Cathy.....yes, I have done double weave with chenille.  Use an open reed and be careful to beam evenly, keep the tension only taut enough to weave but not too high.  As with all double weave with a fold on one side, you may want to put a thread of monofiliment at that edge and sett the last 4-6 threads a little more openly than the rest of the warp....this helps aid in keeping the turn clean and the spacing even (due to draw in at the edge).  I would strongly suggest you do a sample of DW first......do a scarf or a placemat or just a sample, to see how it works. 

RE: the book - yes, the book is available by sending payment as a check or money order only.  I do not accept credit cards and do no use Paypal......if you want more info on that you can see my website or contact me privately.

Let us all know how your DW project goes!  Handle the chenille as little as possible and with care and all should be well.

Su :-)

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 23:00

Hey all.....the 17 yard rayon chenille handpainted warp is beamed!  YAY!  Only one broken thread the whole length......

Tomorrow I will thread the heddles, sley the reed, tie on and weave!!  I can't wait to start working on this project! 

The colors came out so beautifully and I think will really look great in the finished pieces! 

I am dressing the loom B2F because this warp has already been handled a lot and even with choke ties, which I usually

not advocate with rayon chenille (unless they are wide plastic and only there to secure the warp, not keep it from

moving at all), the warp had been handled enough and I wanted it on the beam.  Now I can deal with the elongation of the

ends at the front end of the warp and just cut off what I don't need.  I'll try to remember to post a pic or two once the weaving



Su :-)

Posted on Tue, 02/02/2010 - 23:59

I just finished a chenille scarf using 3 different reds and a bit of supplementary warp. A black, a natural and another black ribbon. I found it quite lovely as it shimmer in the light.  Now i hope that the customer likes it. 

How do I put pictures here?   Thanks.


Posted on Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:37


Hey All.....here is the progress, so far, on the painted chenille warp that is on the loom.....

First, a look at the painted chenille as I was beginning to prepare the loom to beam the warp....



Next, the warp is beamed, threaded and sleyed and header woven so I can begin weaving scarves....



And finally, the first of the scarves to come off the loom - not yet wet finished......once wet finished, you won't be able to

see any color thorugh the dark areas, the chenille will "bloom" and fill in the dark areas....




  I am weaving the rest of the scarves now.....I will lecture on Rayon Chenille in IL in September, and want to have loads of new

sample pieces to show.....

Maryse - I hope you figure out how to add pics.....just click on the little icon to the left of the ABC icon and upload your pic, then

you can size it to fit your message screen......

Happy Chenille weaving everyone.....

Su :-)

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 22:33

Whoa!  Amazing!  I tried to dye chenille warps a few years ago and ended up with a mess.  How did you keep everything without tangles?  I love your design, is it OK to share your technique?  I will try  adding a picture.


PS:  I wish I could take your lecture!  Where will this take place?

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 23:29

HI Maryse......thanks......chenille warps have to be controlled when you are painting them.  I usually do a pretty long warp, and I

tie choke ties in it every yard.  (Normally I do not advocate choke ties on chenille warps, unless they are made of 1" wide plastic

strips.  Any other kind can weaken and break the warp.)  I also tie the cross off in four places and the beginning and end of the

warp because those are the parts that tend to really worm up and appear tangled.  When I remove the warp from the warping

device, I leave  it very loosely chained while I paint or, if I don't want that much of a random effect, I'll chain it up, then take it to

the table whereI am going to paint it and then lay it flat on the table.  I apply the dye, .then steam, by rolling in Saran and jelly

rolling it.  Steam setting increases the speed at which I can get the job done.  When it comes out of the steamer and dries,

I chain it back up again.  Once the chenille is dry, a quick shake will usually sort all the threads out again.  The biggest mistake

I see people make is to fuss over what looks tangled.  It isn't tangled, just wormed and it will settle down again once you put

it under  tension.     To dye around the choke ties and not end up with little white flecks, I soak the choke tie area in dye. 

(p.s. - I add my soda ash to my dye as I paint, so I paint onto a dry warp.....if I want really blended colors, I will wet the warp first

leaving it chained and soaking in warm water and soda ash for 1/2 hour before I paint)


Once the warp is dry and ready to put on the loom I usually dress the loom back to front.  Not always, but most of the time.  But you

dress the loom either way if you have prepared your warp appropriately. 


And to answer your other question the Rayon Chenille lecture is in Illinois......at the moment I don't have any other Rayon

Chenille lectures scheduled in 2010, but I am always willing to travel  to a guild and give the lecture/workshop!

Su :-)



Posted on Sat, 02/06/2010 - 01:20

Thanks Su.  If you warp B2F you must use the raddle at least for this kind of warps.  I also love your design and it better not be a tie weave or I cry......

In you message #8 you said that you will lecture on rayon chenille in IL.  this is why I asked.  I  will sometime go to Chicago and visit my daughter so you never know :-)  I am looking forward to your CW lecture.  I will give your name to my guild workshop chair.

I wove 3 of the 4 red scarves I had on the loom but I am getting bored although I did some ribbons supplementary warp. I want to make the last one with colored blocks here and there  unsing clasp weft.  I hope it works!

 I printed the directions for posting pictures but I haven't been successful yet!


Posted on Sat, 02/06/2010 - 15:42

HI Maryse......yes, I did use a raddle to beam this warp....I tied a raddle cross when I wound the warp, and tied it very securely before dyeing the warp.   I am glad you like my design, but sorry I must make you cry.......it is a tied weave......chenille/pattern/tiedweaves were made to go together!!   This piece required about 50 ppi, so it didn't just fly off the loom.....<g>, but I did weave it up in about three hours.

 Rayon Chenille lecture is actually at my local guild.  It has been about 8 years since I did a lecture for them......easy for me as I have to travel about 6 miles to get there!  The lecture is the first Wed in September, so if you are going to be in the area, please let me know!!

 If you are still having trouble posting pics, send them to me and I'll post them for you until you get it figured out......I'd love to see the progress you are maiking on the red scarves!

 Su :-)

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2010 - 00:57

3 hours?  Well, it take me a bit longer to weave a plain weave scarf at 16 ppi!  I was a lot faster but I am getting slower and slower.... 

I looked at you scarf again, let see if I get it right :-) The weft green chenille weave the pattern and I expect that you use a fine  thread as the tie down.    The warp is of course the painted warp and threaded with the pattern.    The warp was set at 20/24 epi and the weft  was woven at 20/24 chenille + 20/24 for the fine thread.  Now this open lots of possibilities!  You were correct when you told me that I was thinking "overshot".    I have made a few overshot coverlets and could only imagine my S&W warp ends (unless the pattern was turned) to be the same fine threads as the weft tie down.  It seems that it can be done either way.  It just gives a different look.  This means that, for my samples, if I use chenille in the warp my fine thread could be used as the weft tie-down.  Of course, I could use this fine thread doubled or tripled in the warp and the chenille in the weft with a single fine thread as the weft tie down.  How wonderful!  There is nothing like talking out loud to solve a problem.    At least I am not too old to learn new tricks.  And you are a treasure to put up with me!




Posted on Sun, 02/07/2010 - 04:59

HI Maryse.....yea, approx 3 hours weaving time.....I think that probably averages out to around 20-25 picks per minute, so I was not breaking any speed records......and I do take breaks.....so the weaving time may have only been three hours, but it was a whole day before the piece was done.  I use end feed shuttles, which makes a big difference over boat shuttles as the yarns feed evenly with every pick and I never have to stop and grab the weft to stop it from spinning off a bobbin.  And there is the added benefit of selvedges being able to take care of themselves with an end feed shuttle.

The scarf:  The warp is the painted chenille.  The weft is a dark teal, and is woven as the pattern/tie down pick.  In tied weaves the pattern pick weaves in conjunction with one or more of the tie down threads with every pattern pick.  The pattern/tie down weft alternates with the binder/tabby weft (to weave the ground cloth that the pattern thread is tied to), and that was a 60/2 silk in this case. So yes, about 20-24 picks of chenille coupled with the same number of fine thread picks made about 50 ppi for the piece. 

With tied weaves, if the sett of whatever you choose to use as warp is appropriate you can use whatever size weft you want for pattern and ground cloth.  The look created by different sized threads can be quite dramatically different, even using the same draft. 


Posted on Sun, 02/07/2010 - 21:31

OK, I think I got it.  Not quite sure yet of the reason why using thick or thin warp threads is alright  as I am still a bit stuck on overshot but I think that in overshot it is necessary to use a fine thread in both warp and weft because the pattern needs to be squared but in tie-weave this is not necessary.  If this is correct then I got it.  Cool.    Now I need to look at all of my yarns adn see what goes with what and get started. 

Do you think that we need to move this conveersation to CWTW?

It is snowing and cold here, a good day to weave and watch the super bowl. 


Posted on Mon, 02/08/2010 - 01:26

Maryse wrote:

Do you think that we need to move this conveersation to CWTW?

Yes Maryse, I think we do.......I was about to suggest the same thing.......

Posted on Fri, 04/23/2010 - 17:03

Well, 2 months or so later, I have 17 yards on my loom with white chenille.  This is  a shibori project.  I have so far woven 2 1/2 scarves , when I am finished with the weaving it will take me some time to pull all of the shibori threads.  My hands arthritis is not getting any better!  Nevertheless, I keep on trucking, oops! weaving...

So....... what are you all doiing?


Posted on Mon, 04/26/2010 - 11:27

HI Maryse!   Your project sounds yummy.....chenille is wonderful when coupled with shibori!  Can't wait to see your finished

project!     I recently pulled off scarves woven in chenille, done with designs I created using the Woven Pixel method.  I am really

pleased with the results, and have been working on fringe finishing and documentation.  Not sure what next chenille project will

be, and that is unusual for me!   Anyone else doing something exciting with chenille??


Posted on Sat, 05/29/2010 - 23:22

I am still pulling threads on my shibori chenille scarves but I have on the loom other chenille scarves with supplementary warp.  2 are woven, I will finish the warp after I return from my trip to Europe. 

Yes, any one else doing something exciting with chenille?




Posted on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 21:23

Haven't seen much activity in this forum for a while!  So I'll try to start up the discusison again....I put 8.5 yards of rayon chenille on the loom to weave scarves for Christmas gifts.  Have woven the first one, two more to go.  They are plain weave, so simple weaving, with color changes to make the cloth more interesting.  Anyone else gifting with rayon chenille this year??

Su :-)

Posted on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 23:12

I've been reading your book/CD and may have missed the answer to my concern about using chenille for the warp only - and 5/2 rayon for the weft.

In my stash are two 8oz cones of Dragon Tale rayon chenille (1000 ypp) in Barnswallow variegated, and one 8oz cone of Dragon Tale 5/2 rayon (2100 ypp) in Cornflower.

I initially wanted to complete a two-scarf project with the 5/2 rayon for warp and the 1000 rayon chenille for weft using a plain weave.  Since I'm concerned about whether I have sufficient chenille for two scarves - I'm wondering what the scarf feel and drape would be like if I were to use chenille for the warp and the rayon for the weft.

Posted on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 23:50

Hi Patweaves - your scarf would feel fine with the combo you are considering. Your variegated will show up well as a warp and the solid color weft won't fight with it in the design. You might end up with a faux ikat looking piece, depending on how your variegated colors are distribured. To figure the amounts of chenille needed for the weft per scarf, dtermine how wide your project will be, for example 10", on loom. Then determine how many picks per inch you will have to beat in place to get a good structure.
Example: Scarf width on loom = 10"
PPI = 14
Multiply the number of picks per inch by the width of the scarf, or 14 x 10 = 140". Add a tad for interlacement, about 1% per inch, or 1 + 140 = 141" of chenille required for every inch of scarf woven. If you intend to weave your scarf, say 72" long, then you will need 141" x 72 = 10,152" of weft.....10,152"/36" = 282 yards required for weft. I would round that up to 300 yards for good measure. So if you have a 1000 yard cone of chenille, you do have enough to do two scarves that are 10" wide and 72" long.
If you choose to use the 5/2 as weft, do the same calculation - 10" x 12ppi = 120" + 1 = 121" per inch of weaving. 72" of weaving x 121" of weft = 8712"/36 = 242 yards required for weft. Again I would round that up to 300 for good measure. You might need more ppi than I have calculated here.
Either way you have enough yarn for a couple of scarves.
If you use the variegated as the weft, you will get a very different look than using it as the warp. Decide which look you prefer and go for it!
Hope that helps,
Su :-)

Posted on Thu, 12/27/2012 - 19:35

Well, life and the holidays seemed to have gotten in the way of getting my chenille project underway (that, as well as knitting for the baby granddaughters... how can I say "no" when they "need" Christmas stockings and a Santa hat - see below)?

Anyway... I wanted a little more elaboration on a question above... if I do use the chenille as warp and the 5/2 rayon as weft, I know you said the "scarf would feel fine," but what type of drape (hand) can I expect?  I've made a few chenille scarves with rayon warp, so I know what that result is... but how does it contrast to the chenille as warp and rayon as weft?  Thanks, Su!