What are your chenille questions???

Hey everyone....I know a lot of people have never woven with chenille, have had disasters, are afraid or reluctant to try etc.....let's start some discussion about what keeps you from weaving with chenille, what questions you have about it and how to overcome any difficulties......

OK - it's up to all of you to ask questions!


Su :-)


Posted on Fri, 01/27/2012 - 16:19

HI Frisco....sorry I am so late responding....for some reason I do not get notifications when there are new posts in the forum.
You asked about using a SBP with a chenille weft being woven in a plaited twill sett at 30 epi. With a warp of 10/2 cotton and bamboo sett that densely, and depending on how long the floats created are, I would think the density will tame the chenille into behaving. With a balanced weave it is important to use the SBP, but if you have a weave that is warp dominant, you can sometimes get away with just beating in the chenille. You have said it worked beautifully.....have you wet finished the piece yet?? If so and the chenille is intact, I would think it will be OK. On an 8S loom the floats are likely not very long, and you stated you beat firmly, so I think you will be OK. Can you post a detailed photo of the piece??

Posted on Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:32

Hi Su- 2 questions:

#1- I have a massive cone of "commercial grade" chenille that I just did a burn test on, and it is cotton. It is not heavy (I don't really know how chenille is gauged), but when wrapped around a ruler it takes 22 threads, tightly wrapped, to cover up an inch. Most of the advice about chenille seems to be about rayon- any special tips for working with cotton chenille?

#2- I see that you have a cd /book about working with chenille- how would I go about buying a copy?

Thanks Su!

-Bobbie at freedomweaverz

Posted on Sun, 01/29/2012 - 15:50

HI Bobbie....
#1 -cotton chenille is not the same as rayon chenille. Cotton chenille is much more stable than rayon and needs a more open sett. The wrap method of determining sett does not work with chenille as the pile in a chenille yarn has nothing to do with the sett, it is the core yarn that matters. With most chenille available to handweavers with a count of 1000-2000 ypp, the core yarn is about the size of an 8/2 cotton, so that is the size you should use to determine sett. Cotton chenille can be sett on the open side, rayon on the dense side. Cotton chenille tends to be very heavy when woven, and my own advice to weavers using it for towels, mats, etc is to alternate a regular cotton thread with the chenille to retain the pile feel without the density that comes from using chenille for every warp/weft thread. However, perhaps density is what you seek, and if so, then be prepared to weave a very heavy, dense item if you choose to use all chenille.
#2 - my book is specifically about Rayon Chenille. You can visit my website at www.subudesigns.com to learn more, but I have sent you a PM to tell you how to purchase it if you choose.
Hope that helps....
Su :-)

Posted on Tue, 02/07/2012 - 19:37

I have some 500 YPP rayon chenille that I got on sale at Webs. I saw a kit at YarnBarn (their latest  2011-2012 catalog p 6) that had a cotton chenille and carpet warp bathmat done in Summer and Winter. The cotton chenille was recommended to sett at 8-10. I don't know what the weight is. If I wanted to do something like this with my heavier rayon chenille what would you recommend for the warp and the tabby weft? 

Posted on Thu, 02/09/2012 - 17:02

HI thegnu......since you asked about both fiber and sett for the warp, I will assume you do not wish to use the chenille in the warp. For a bath mat I would use something that can withstand the moisture that will always be present coupled with strength. Poly rug warp would be quite appropriate. Remember that rayon chenille gets very weak when wet, so if your warp is quite strong, you won't have as much risk of losing the bathmat to breakage. You could also choose linen, as it is very good in damp situations, and quite strong. Your choice of Summer and Winter, which I prefer to call Single Two-Tie weave, is a good one as it will create a sturdy, durable fabric. I will assumer once again that you plan to use the chenille as the pattern weft??

If you choose the Poly rug warp as your warp, you could use either a linen or a cotton weft. Do realize that if you use cotton, you will need to make sure the bathmat can be dried out between uses. Cotton rots when always wet. If you choose the linen warp, a linen weft of a finer size would be appropriate. You could also use wool, but that kind of makes the bathmat less than launder-able...if that is a word..... I guess if you can afford the linen, go for it, and if that is just too pricey for a bathmat, use the poly rug warp and a cotton weft, and use your cheinlle doubled for pattern. That should produce a good firm, lay-flat-on-the-floor mat.

Su :-)

Posted on Mon, 02/20/2012 - 02:43

Hi Su,

I have just finished my 5th rayon chenille project.  I tried shadow weave this time and except for an issue with the fringe (that I will ask about in a moment), I am very happy with this piece.  I used a mauve and a taupe colored chenille (had to rewind the taupe first because it looked like the pile was in the opposite direction from the mauve cone) and after wet finishing, the pattern looks good and the drape and hand of this cloth is luxurious.

My previous projects were with a different rayon chenille.  That one is a variegated yarn with a much shorter pile than the yarn I used for this most recent scarf.   In both cases, though, I set my warp at 16 epi.  I have had no worming issues.  My first question concerns the scarves woven using the yarn with a shorter pile.  The sett was the same as my longer pile yarns and I think I beat the same, but the variegated yarn scarves are nowhere near as soft and drapey as this latest scarf.  Is that just the nature of a short-pile chenille?  I am thinking of washing and drying again to see if perhaps I didnt wet finish long enough.  I have several pounds of this yarn so it would be nice to get a softer fabric.  What I have is velvety, but not as drapey and soft as that made with the longer pile yarn.

My second question concerns the fringe.  Previously, I did a 2-ply fringe with two groups of 3 threads.  It was very difficult to get the 6-8 twists per inch recommended in your book, but I did the best I could.  For this latest scarf (the shadow weave), I did a 3 ply fringe with 3 groups of 2 ends.  For the individual twisting, I was able to get 8 twists per inch easily, but when I plied, once I got to about 5 twists per inch, it seemed as if the entire scarf was twisting around the plying fringe.  So I stopped there and then lost some of that twist when tying the knot.  After wet finishing and drying at low temp in the dryer, quite a few of my fringe bouts were a mess - the plying twist was not enough.  So, should I have continued to twist even though it seemed as if the woven fabric was being torqued with the increased twist?

And finally, I have several cones of chenille that I was told was rayon.  However, now that I have opened the cones and see the labels, one of them is a cotton/rayon blend.  That is of a color that I would really like to use in a shadow weave with one of my all rayon chenille yarns.  Can I do that, alternating in both warp and weft?

Thanks for reading through this long and probably disjointed post and providing any advice that you think will help.


Posted on Tue, 02/21/2012 - 14:24

HI Gail....

>> In both cases, though, I set my warp at 16 epi. I have >>had no worming issues.

16 epi is a pretty good sett for 1450 ypp chenille, or any chenlle that is 1200-2000 ypp. My own preference would be 20 epi for plain weave, 24-28 for twill, but 16 epi is adequate.

>> My first question concerns the scarves woven using the >>yarn with a shorter pile. The sett was the same as my >>longer pile yarns and I think I beat the same, but the >>variegated yarn scarves are nowhere near as soft and >>drapey as this latest scarf.

What structure did you use to weave these scarves? What did you use as weft? My first inclination is to ask if the variegated is a blend, which it very well could be. If it does not say so on the cone or packaging, try a burn test. Put a 3" piece of the yarn in a fireproof pot, such as a piece of Corning Ware, and light it on fire. Let the fire burn itself out. If there is nothing but ash left and very little of it, you have rayon or a rayon cotton blend....if there is a little ball formed (do NOT touch it while it is HOT!), then you have some synthetic content. Any blend will feel less drapey than an all rayon product.

>>Is that just the nature of a short-pile chenille?

The drape in chenille items has nothing to do with the pile length, althouth a longer pile rayon will feel more sumptuous than a short pile. The drape comes from the properties of rayon itself. The pile yarns in rayon chenille are simply there to add texture to the finished cloth.

>> I am thinking of washing and drying again to see if >>perhaps I didnt wet finish long enough.

Weave structure and finishing, along with sett and beat will have an effect on the finished hand of the product. What weave structure did you use, how many ppi? If you washed in warm water and agitated for about two minutes, then dried IN THE DRYER on low heat until completly dry, you will get the softest hand possible for the yarn you are using.

>>What I have is velvety, but not as drapey and soft as
>> that made with the longer pile yarn.

Are there any differences between the pieces aside from the yarn used??

>>My second question concerns the fringe. Previously, I >>did a 2-ply fringe with two groups of 3 threads. It was >>very difficult to get the 6-8 twists per inch recommended >>in your book, but I did the best I could.

In order to get the 6-8 twists per inch in fringes, you need to have long enough fringes to apply that amount of twist. I generally leave 8-10 inches of warp for fringing with rayon chenille pieces. Shorter fringes will not allow as many twists per inch, and will cause the torquing problem you describe.

>>For this latest scarf (the shadow weave), I did a 3 ply >>fringe with 3 groups of 2 ends.

I tend to use no more than 1/4" of the warp width for fringes, so for a sett of 16 epi, I would only use 4 threads for each fringe. 6 is pushing the limits, even with a three ply fringe.

>>After wet finishing and drying at low temp in the dryer, >>quite a few of my fringe bouts were a mess - the plying >>twist was not enough.

When you twist rayon cheinlle fringes, in addition to applying appropriate amounts of twist per inch, it is critical that you apply extremely even tension to each side of the bout for the enitre fringe, regardless of which direction you are twisting. It is also critical that you ply the same number of times on the backward ply as you do on the forward twists. Not doing this evenily will cause exactly the issue you have, the fringes coming unplied in the wash.

>> So, should I have continued to twist even though it >>seemed as if the woven fabric was being torqued with the >>increased twist?

Probably would have been best to unply the first twists, redo them with fewer twists so you could achieve the same number of backward twists to create the ply. I don't know now long your warp ends were, but it is important to leave them long enough to be able to apply the necessary amount of twists per inch both directions. Sometimes the first and last fringe will cause the scarf to skew a bit and I just keep on plying, but the center fringes should not be causing this to happen.

>>one of them is a cotton/rayon blend. That is of a color >>that I would really like to use in a shadow weave with >>one of my all rayon chenille yarns. Can I do that, >>alternating in both warp and weft?

As long as they are alternated evenly, it is fine to do that. Cotton shrinks and rayon retracts, but rayon elongates again with use and cotton only stretches a little, so it is important that the yarns are used consistenly and evenly throughout the weaving.....every other thread in the warp AND weft, if you choose to use the blend in the weft. I would strongly advise you do a sample first and wet finish it vigorously to see what happens.

Hope that helps Gail....

Su :-)

Posted on Tue, 02/21/2012 - 15:39

Thanks for the detailed answer, Su.  I have learned a few things from the information that you supplied.

First, I did a burn test on the variegated chenille and also compared it to a burn test on the fluffier chenille.  The variegated stuff is, indeed, something other than rayon (or cotton).  Not only was it difficult to keep burning, but what did burn actually melted more than burned, leaving a very stiff and not crumbly residue.  A burn test on the other yarn yielded ash.  So, that explains the difference in drape and softness.  The synthetic chenille does not result in a bad cloth, just not the same as the rayon chenille - I got a thinner, less soft, but still velvety feeling scarf and given the colors, I may just use the rest of this for men's scarves or try weaving it with a different yarn as warp.  Both scarves were basically plain weave, although the shadow weave does stray from being totally plain weave where the two strand floats appear.  Here are photos of both scarves:

The synthetic chenille.

The rayon chenille.

I think I wet finished the same for both, and now there is no reason to try to work more on the first scarf because we know it is not rayon.  Another observation that I made now is that on each end I wove 1-inch of a solid color chenille that I know is rayon.  I can definitely feel a difference in the softness and plushness of this inch compared to the rest of the scarf.  I totally missed this difference before.

In the future, I will go back to using 2-ply fringes.  It was difficult to keep even tension on all 3 bouts when plying, even using my fringe twister.  I had a 7" fringe and twisted the individual bouts 56 turns on the twister.  When plying, I only managed to get about 30 twists before the cloth seemed to start twisting around the fringe being worked.

Thanks again for your help.  I am definitely going to sample with the cotton/rayon and rayon yarns.  I was planning on shadow weave for those, too, so the alternating yarns would also carry through the weft.




Posted on Sat, 03/10/2012 - 03:00

Here are 2 pix of the beautiful verigated yarn and 2 of my freestyle experiment in what I call "log cabin and multi-colored kindling".  It will be a kitchen hand towel. Thanks for your info and encouragement Su!





Posted on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 17:47

I read your recommendations for sett of 16-20 epi for 1450ypp Rayon Chenille.  Question: I have a 6 dent reed only.  How would you dress it? Thanks, Kit, Durango Colorado

After many years of teaching, I am retired and now have the time to weave, spin, make baskets, silversmith, and knit again.

Posted on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 20:48

To figure out a sley order for your particular reed, just draw a series of 7 lines with 6 spaces between. Start by adding a dot in each space (one dot per dent = 6 warps per inch, right?).


Keep adding more dots. (2 dots per space = 12 epi).


After you have two dots per slot, then you need to decide how to evenly distribute the remaining dots over those 6 openings for the sett you seek. If you add one dot in alternating slots, what sett would that be?) 

|••|•••|••|•••|••|•••| = ?

If the illustration below is 18 epi in a 6 dent, how would you achieve 20?


Yes, you can do this mathematically instead of visually, but I find many of us don't start out as talented in that area as we are just drawing it out. ;-)

Posted on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 13:53

Sally has given good advice, but I save myself the trouble and just use a chart. Since I am unable to post pictures on this forum, I have put the pictures of the chart on my website. I am sorry, but I cannot remember where I found this chart nor whom I should credit. If someone knows, I'd appreciate information! To view and make a copy of the chart go to www.subudesigns.com When you get there click on GALLERY, then in the drop down box choose NEW WEAVERS.
You will find three pictures of the chart. If you click on the photo it will enlarge, and you can copy and paste it into your own computer and save the file as a photo. Then you can print it out for your own use. Hope that helps!

Su :-)

Posted on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 14:32

The Debbie Chandler Learning to Weave book has a great sett chart in the back that I refer to often. Sometimes tho, I am on an airplane planning projects in a notebook with no external resources, and it's good to have a system to figure it out.

Also, if you analyze the sett charts, you'll discover that you only need a few reeds between 6 and 15 dents to cover nearly every possible sett. 

Posted on Tue, 06/11/2013 - 11:29

Hi!  I have 500 yds of chenille cotton (before dying - that's what the label says) and I want to make my mom a shawl.  Would I us that as the weft or warp?  What other yarn would you suggest to use with it?



Posted on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 01:18

I'm wondering if I would have problems using tencel or bamboo for a warp and using chenille for the weft.  Either cotton or rayon but not mixed.  Any thoughts?





Posted on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 14:22

So I would guess they would be okay assuming you are using a rayon chenille. Cotton would shrink more than those two, so I would sample first and make sure that is the effect you seek if you want to use cotton.

A quick thought about chenille combined with "slippery" yarns. Chenille needs to be set closer together than one would expect as warp, and as weft, it may pack in denser, completely covering your warp. 

If you want to show off the warp, I might think about combining the tencel or rayon with the chenille in the weft so it spaces out the chenille a bit. The core/binder thread of the chenille thread is very thin, it's the fuzzy stuff that gives it the appearence of a larger grist.

Posted on Wed, 10/23/2013 - 11:07

If I did decide to do rayon rather than cotton, plain weave, do you think I would have to use a supplemental thread?  I have ordered Su's book but am not sure when I will get it.  Last year I did a braided twill with a cotton warp and rayon chenille werft.  It turned out really nice.  The design show up very subtly so it gave it an interesting look.  Added texture.  It did beat in quite a bit but i had it sett very close together.

Thanks Sally!


Posted on Fri, 10/25/2013 - 20:03

I know rayon chenille is supposed to work okay with small floats, say 2 threads. But a close sett is important.

1:1 interlacement (plain weave) should be okay without a supplemental weft.

I don't have Su's book, but I think we have it in our guild library. I believe she describes using a thin supplementary weft, but I don't think you have to have one. A guildmate followed the advice in the book, but something went awry. The sewing thread did not shrink, creating loops along both edges of the scarf. She had to cut and pull all the sewing thread out. I don't know if that weave-fail was a result of the wrong combination of structure, thread or chenille choices. I would certainly consider a thin supplementary weft for a structure with floats. I have seen far too many pieces that have wormed.

Not all rayon chenille is created equal. I wove with Lion brand and even after washing, the fabric feels stiff. The WEBS product was consistent and supple after wet finishing, but I sett it tighter than was recommended to prevent worming. A guildmate bought mill ends from an unknown source, and we had to throw the stuff away. It warped up fine, but shredded when we went to weave with it after a few inches. Perhaps the binding thread wasn't twisted tight enough.

All of the above is why I would sample first with your intended materials. 

My favorite thing about weaving with chenille is letting it run through your fingers during the warping process—wow!

Best quote at a guild meeting when I brought in a chenille blanket for show n tell, "This would feel great NAKED!"


Posted on Fri, 10/25/2013 - 20:42

Frisco.....rayon chenille weft with a tencel warp is gorgeous. Works well with bamboo too.  The key to working with chenille is to consider the core yarn.  For most chenille available to handweavers, the core is the size of an 8/2 or 10/2 cotton and should be woven accordingly.  The pile on chenille will indeed cover some warps,  but not so completely to obscure the warp when using a similarly sized yarn, such as an 8/2 tencel or bamboo.  You do need to beat chenille in place as if it were an 8/2 yarn, so for a balanced plain weave with an 8/2 tencel warp you would want to strive for 20-24 ppi.  If you wanted to you could use cotton chenille for the weft but cotton chenille will NEVER be as soft and sumptuous as rayon, so I would not suggest using it.  You can weave chenille in plain weave even with a tencel/bamboo warp without a supplementary binding pick if you sett and beat appropriately.  If you wish to do a twill you will need the binidng pick.  I suggest sewing thread, but RAYON sewing thread, or silk, not poly or cotton/poly.  The latter won't shrink appropriately and the disaster Sally's friend had results.  Rayon sewing thread is inexpensive and easy to find in a variety of colors.  

Book order - if you ordered from me I have not yet received the order.  If you did not I am curious, becasue at present I do not think anyone else is carrying copies....PM me if you have questions.

Posted on Fri, 10/25/2013 - 20:45

HI Rita...sorry I didn't answer this in June...for some reason this forum is sometimes impossible for me to enter!!  Perhaps you have already done your project, but if you have not, I want to caution you about using something as heavy as 500 ypp cotton chenille for a shawl.  It will likely be very, very heavy and not drape the way you intend a shawl to drape.  You can weave with a rather open sett, but cotton chenille just does not have the drape and luster, nor the soft and yummy feel of rayon chenille.  It could be used as an accent thread in a shawl made of cotton or tencel etc. 

Again, sorry I didn't answer sooner....this is the first I have seen this post.  PM me if you have any questions....

Su :-)

Posted on Fri, 10/25/2013 - 20:48

Hi Sally....your friend probably used cotton or cotton/poly sewing thread, which would not shrink like rayon.  I am so sorry she had such a disaster!  In future, use rayon or silk sewing threads and you will avert the issue.  

Rayon chenille is subject to silverfish attack and can rot, just like cotton.  I guess that is what your guildmate purchased and that is a shame.  I have some rayon chenlle that is over 15 years old and still fine, but I have seen some that is just junk.  I suspect your guildmate purchased rotted yarns.  

Love the quote!!!!  A really good piece of rayon chenille SHOULD feel great naked!!!  Lol.....

Su :-)

Posted on Fri, 11/08/2013 - 15:02

Does anyone have experience with acrylic chenille, 1300ypp, weaving at 15epi?

Does it wash up as rayon chenille does?  Hand?  Sheen?  Please advise as I have opportunity to purchase at bargain price.  Thank you in advance.

Posted on Fri, 11/08/2013 - 20:11

Is it coned or skeined, or put another way, spun for weaving or knitting?

If a mill end cone, do you know what it was used for? The stuff from upholstery that may come on cones feels icky when woven as a scarf. It never seems to soften up or drape. However, if you want to make a rug, it may work great for that purpose.

Can you obtain a small bit of the yarn as a sample, do a needle weaving, and see what you think about the hand when woven before you buy a ton of it?

Posted on Fri, 11/08/2013 - 23:11

HI Pine Tree.....acrylic chenille will NEVER be as soft and luxurious as rayon.....never.  You could knit it up and it would be alright, but woven is just is thick and coarse in comparison to rayon.  If your goal is a sumptuous chenille scarf that has sheen and drape, stay clear of acrylic.  As Sally states, it may work as a rug weft, but really nothing, including silk chenille, has the drape, sheen and luster of rayon chenille.


Posted on Sun, 11/10/2013 - 16:56

When I moved my stash of rayon and cotton chenille to new shelving, I didn't have enough room for a separate shelf for the cotton, so some got intermixed with the rayon.  I figured, I can tell the difference, so it's OK. (Not all is labeled)  Well, now I want to use some of these yarns, and I can't tell which is cotton.  Some is obviously rayon, but some I can't tell.  Is there a way to tell unmarked cotton from rayon chenille?

Posted on Sun, 11/10/2013 - 22:38

HI Big White Sofa Dog.....the burn test can be used but it is hard to tell the difference between cotton and rayon because they are both cellulose and both burn about the same.  Rayon chenille will be cool to the touch and shiny, cotton will be matte finish and will warm as you hold it in your hands.  Cotton chenille will not have a sheen at all and rayon will catch the light and glimmer.  That is probably the easiest way to tell the difference.  If you want to try and smell the two yarns, rayon will have a delicate but distinctly chemical smell and cotton will smell more "natural".  Hope that helps.

Su :-)


Posted on Tue, 11/19/2013 - 06:04

I have had more than a couple chenille disasters in my life and this thread was quite a find. It's amazing how helpful this forum is and the generosity of Su and Sally and others who keep on helping.

Posted on Sat, 05/10/2014 - 13:49

I am weaving a series of shawls in the Heartthrob pattern from Twill Thrills, which is an advanching twill with some long floats.  I am using 18/2 wool at 20 epi for warp, and have made several using 10/2 bamboo or silk for weft which worked well.  I decided to try a 2010yd/pound rayon chenille for the next one.  i remembered from your book (great investment!) that I should use a suplementary weft and not wind my pirns tightly.  Unfortunately, I did not remember how to use a suplementary weft properly, and have been weaving every other shot as a tabby, using the 18/2 wool.  Will this give me a stable fabric, or will this worm? 

Also, I am confused about pile direction.  I know how nap on fabric affects the look of a garment, and the importance of cutting all pattern pieces with the nap running the same way.  But in a warp or weft, each pick or warp strand is going to be the opposite of the previous, so why does it matter which way the pile direction started in?  

Posted on Sat, 05/10/2014 - 15:35

HI big white sofa dog....your floats may or may not worm, depending on how you sett and finish.  Since your warp is wool, I would recommend fulling the wool by hand carefully when completed and the rayon chenille should not worm, IF....*IF* the floats are not too long.  I don't have a copy of the book you refer to so cannot check float length.  You did use your supplementary binding pick properly by weaving tabby every other shot.  Since you used wool, I hope the fulling will help secure the chenille, but of course rayon will not shrink as much as wool.  I wish I could offer you a guarantee, but without seeing the fabric, it is really hard for me to say for sure.

Pile direction....it makes a difference when you add a new color or a new thread in the warp/weft.  If two threads with pile going the same direction are placed next to one another, it will show a a small "V" shapein the weaving.  It looks like an error but there is no structural error.  You are correct that in the warp and weft every other thread has the pile going opposite directions, and that is desired...it is when a new thread is introduced that you have to be really careful.  Hope that helps.....


Posted on Mon, 05/12/2014 - 00:19

Thanks!  The wool is from one of my favorite mills,  J&M Dyers (Hanora Spinning) and fulls easily.  The longest floats are about 1/4 inch, or a little more.  I now understand the business of pile direction.  If I use only one cone, and it is not joined in any place, I should be OK.  After I started this shawl, I took another look at you book and thought that the suplimentary weft should go in the same shed as the chenille.   At this point, I am halfway done with the shawl, and decided to ask your advice.  I will continue the tabby.  This is unusal weaving for me; I have never beat anything strongly on this loom; the beater is heavy and overhead, the swords are five feet long, and beating hard usually  results in a weft faced fabric.

Posted on Fri, 08/08/2014 - 23:16

I am taking a chenille workshop. I want to wind my warp ahead of time. How long can rayon chenille stay on the warping board? 

I am guessing that it would be in more control if left on the warping board until the workshop rather than removing it and then transporting it. Am I correct?




Posted on Sat, 08/09/2014 - 01:55

HI Carolyn....you should not leave your warp on the board any longer than necessary, but it should be fine laid to rest while waiting to go onto the loom.  Do not hang it, just place it in a bag and let it rest.  Tie choke ties with plastic strips and tie your cross and then place it in a bag to transport.  If you leave it on the warping board it will elongate and cause all kinds of problems later on.  

Posted on Fri, 11/21/2014 - 17:29

Hi, Su:

First of all, thanks for all the valuable advice you've given here. I just finished my first chenille pieces, which would have been a disaster if I hadn't read up here and elsewhere for advice!

I made three plain-weave scarves, rayon chenille in both warp and weft. Both were sleyed at 18 epi, and beat quite densely. The first was made on a 3-yd warp, and the second and third were both on the same 7-yd warp, with two different colors of weft. I had plenty of trouble beaming the 7-yd warp, but got there in the end. 

The first scarf wet finished beautifully, as did the third one. The second one came up lovely over about 8 inches at one end, but developed what appear to be permanent creases over the rest of its 64 inches. What I'm trying to figure out is whether these distortions were created on the loom, either by inadequate packing or poor tension control, or later, in the heat of the dryer. 

The creased scarf was the first woven on the 7-yd warp, and I don't know if the "nice" end of the scarf was the beginning or the end of it now. It would have been on the cloth beam under the third scarf, which came out great.

I think it is more likely to be related to the drying, as I noted that the good end of this scarf dried quickly, while the rest of it stayed wetter and creased. It also twisted up a lot during drying; much but not all of that relaxed. I didn't change weft yarns within the scarf, and the warp is the same as the third scarf. It didn't seem that I wove it with a different ppi than the other scarves (or the good end of this one), but I'm baffled as to why only this one and only part of it was affected. I tried repeating my wet finishing of it, but the effect appears permanent. Too high a heat?

Any thoughts would be welcome! 







Posted on Fri, 11/21/2014 - 19:35

HI Jennifer....it is most likely the creases happened in the spin cycle of the wash.  If you use water that is too warm coupled with very high revs in the spin cycle, it can set permanent creases in rayon chenille.  Since the dryer action continually tumbles the cloth, permanent wrinkles don't often happen at that stage, but if the heat is too high it is possible.  Rayon chenille should always be dried on LOW heat.  Hope that helps....  

Posted on Sat, 11/22/2014 - 17:31

Thanks, Su.

It must have happened in the dryer, as I soaked it by hand in lukewarm water, and rolled it in a towel, rather than using the spin cycle. I will have to watch the dyer temp in future!

Posted on Mon, 02/09/2015 - 18:17

I haven't been able to find any examples of 1000 ypp Cotton Chenille used in projects.  I have some variegated that I got from a friend's destash, and thought I would combine it with 5/2 cotton for a baby blanket.  I'm thinking of starting with a sett of 15, but it seems like that may be a little stiff.  Any opinions?


Posted on Tue, 02/10/2015 - 14:13

HI Diane.....sampling is always best for a product that needs to have a specific hand.  Cotton chenille is not nearly as termpermental as rayon chenille, so you can sett it about the same as the 5/2 cotton and get good results.  5/2 cotton is usually sett about 15-18 epi for plain weave and about 20 epi for twill.  So your sett will depend on what weave you are going to do.  If your cotton chenille is going to be inserted occasionally as an accent thread or used alternately etc, then the sett you choose for the 5/2 will work.  I would not sett the cotton chenille as the entire warp as it will be very heavy when completed.  Hope that helps.


Posted on Tue, 02/10/2015 - 14:14

HI Diane.....sampling is always best for a product that needs to have a specific hand.  Cotton chenille is not nearly as tempermental as rayon chenille, so you can sett it about the same as the 5/2 cotton and get good results.  5/2 cotton is usually sett about 15-18 epi for plain weave and about 20 epi for twill.  So your sett will depend on what weave you are going to do.  If your cotton chenille is going to be inserted occasionally as an accent thread or used alternately etc, then the sett you choose for the 5/2 will work.  I would not sett the cotton chenille as the entire warp as it will be very heavy when completed.  Hope that helps.


Posted on Tue, 08/25/2015 - 18:31

Hello - I just finished a rayon chenille scarf (wet finished with a small amount of liquid soap in warm water with a few drops of fabric softener in the final rinse and then dried it almost fully dry in the dryer). I have made lots of rayon chenille scarves and notice a difference in how soft they are when I am done. This feels a bit too stiff to me. In the warp I mixed rayon chenille with what may be acrylic chenille and the weft was the one that may be acrylic. Could that make a difference? Is there anything I can do at this point (rewet it for example) to make it softer? Thanks. Lee

Posted on Tue, 08/25/2015 - 20:39

HI bluetreeweaver.....you mentioned several things that could affect the hand of your scarf, most notably the acrylic content.  Acrylic will NEVER feel as soft and luxurious as 100% viscose chenille.  You mentioned you washed with soap and warm water then added fabric softener.  You might want to avoid using fabric softener with rayon chenille, as it causes the yarn to become coated with the substance and makes it even more flammable than it already is.  100% viscose will not need fabric softener.  To get them really soft they need heat and agitation, including that from the washing machine.  While you do not want to wash in HOT water, warm water and agitation for 2-3 minutes will help.  Then the tumble in the dryer on LOW heat will make the chenille retract, forcing the pile to the surface to create that really soft feel.  But, if you have acrylic in both the warp and weft it will never be as soft as an all viscose chenille piece.....sorry!

Posted on Thu, 02/25/2016 - 20:18

Hi! I'm planning a project with chenille as warp and it will be my first time working with it. This post has been helpful so far, but I still have a couple of questions.

The chenille yarn I'm planning on purchasing has a recommended sett of 12 epi. It's 1000 rayon chenille. I want a slightly looser weave and was planning on using 10 epi. Will this cause problems? It's a plain tabby weave.

For the weft, I will be using a mix of materials for lots of different textures. Does fiber content matter, especially for finishing? I would think it does as the fibers will shrink differently. How would you suggest finishing it if I have a mix of fiber contents? Or are there any fibers I should specifically avoid using with it?

Also, I would like to have long fringe knotted in a macrame pattern, but I noticed on here everyone seems to be twisting their fringes. Do you know if it will work alright to do macrame?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you,

Posted on Thu, 02/25/2016 - 21:14

HI Raintree....you do NOT want to sett your rayon chenille at 10 epi, regardless of what the supplier is telling you. If you yarn is 100% rayon chenille it WILL worm at that sett.  If it has an acrylic content you might be able to get away with it, but I would not suggest it.  The yarn should be sett according to the size of the CORE yarn, which is likely about the size of an 8/2 cotton.  So you *need* a sett of 16-20 epi for plain weave to keep the yarns from worming. If you plan a twill or other weave then you need to sett more closely.  

You can use a variety of weft materials, but keep in mind how they will shrink when you wet finish your piece.  If your chenille is not sett proplerly, they too can worm out of the structure.  If you mix your different fibers consistenly avoiding large areas of one fiber you will probalby be OK.  This is why weavers sample.  Do you have enough warp to weave a bit and then wet finish and see what happens?  You will want to wet finish according to the most sensitive yarn in the mix.  I don't think you have to avoid any fibers,  but if you mix silk, wool and cotton and then wet finish in hot water the wool will felt.  Just keep those kind of things in mind,

You can do your fringes in macrame if you want to, but they will not last very long.  The pile in chenille yarns will shed if the yarns are not twisted or braided.  That is why you see everyone doing that to the fringes.  Anywhere you leave an unfinished end of chenille hanging, you can count on it shedding in short order, probably in the first wet finishing.  

Experiment with your edge finishes...perhaps hem the chenille then add in alternative fringe in the form of your weft yarns and tie those in the macrame pattern you want.  Try things out and see what happens.  But **please** help yourself and sett your chenille closer than is being recommened to you!  That will save you a lot of headaches!

Posted on Sat, 02/27/2016 - 07:20


Be careful about using acrylic chenille knitting yarn. I wove a project with some Red Lion brand and it came out awful. Use chenille designed for weaving from a reliable source.

The project may seem stiff when weaving at a tighter sett, but if you follow the wet-finishing recommendations, it softens up beautifully. (Except for the acrylic/Lion Brand.)

Posted on Sun, 05/01/2016 - 17:35

I was just gifted a ton of lovely cotton chenille.  I've been searching among the comments here to determine any particular problems I might run into. Does anyone have any thoughts, warnings, concerns?  A starter pattern you could recommend?  




Posted on Sun, 05/01/2016 - 17:46

HI Chrysalis...cotton chenille is a completely different animal than rayon chenillle.  You need to sett it more openly and it will be quite heavy when woven.  I think it more appropriate for things like towels, bathmats and such.  You can weave with the chenille in the warp or weft, but I have found I am happier with the finished fabric if I also use a finer cotton and just use the chenille every third or fourth warp or weft.  Of course, it all depends on what you want to weave.  To experiment with the yarn itself, why not set up a warp for some bathroom handtowels?  You can see if you like the feel and weight of the finished cloth without wasting too much yarn or time.  

Posted on Tue, 08/30/2016 - 23:08

Dear Su:

Thank you for all of your time (unpaid?) devoted to this Forum.

I need to use some of my tonnage of donated chenille. I have cones of both cotton and rayon and lots of "mystery" content . . .

I read your extremely helpful advice about using linen (water-tolerant) warp and cotton chenille (relatively durable) weft for rugs using a thin cotton as tabby for leavening (thus project's decreasing weight and density).

I am not interested in weaving rayon clothing (unless for millinery) and there are enough rayon scarves in the world to cover us all three layers deep (another type of global warming.) Should I use my rayon chenille as weft in upholstery material? If so, what do you suggest as warp and tabby?



Posted on Tue, 08/30/2016 - 23:23

HI twintied.....you can certainly use your rayon chenille as weft in upholstery fabrics....there are a lot of commerically woven examples to study.  I would use something sturdy for warp - silk, cottolin, wool, or cotton.  You will want to use a very fine supplementary binding pick after each chenille pick to lock the chenille into the weave, unless you plan to do plain weave.  I tend to use 140/2 silk, but sewing thread works as well.    And make it 4 layers deep on those chenille scarves when you add my stash of them! Lol......

Posted on Thu, 06/29/2017 - 02:20

Any experience with bulky polyester chenille on a rigid heddle loom? I'd love to do a double weave throw with it but don't know whether it will behave. It seems VERY different from rayon or cotton chenilles.