My most recent chenille handwovens

Here's a blanket and scarf that I wove recently.  The scarf is 1450 ypp black rayon chenille.  I added supplemental warp of ladder ribbon in bright jewel tones, with the chenille in plain weave.  I braided the fringe since I often have trouble with twisting.  Adding the ribbon is simple and inexpensive, but people really love it.

The blanket is a simple plain weave plaid of navy blue and white.  I think they're both around 1450 or 1300 ypp, but theyre unlabeled mill ends so I'm not sure.   The white feels thicker, though, and I had trouble with the shed in the white areas.  I had to use the shuttle to beat against the warp on the open sheds to open it up at the fell line.  So it was slow going, but it turned out nice.  I entered it in a arts & crafts competition and won 3rd place!  I was very pleased since it's the first competition I've entered.

Both were sleyed at 16 epi. 




Posted on Tue, 07/28/2009 - 02:01

Lovely Tina!!    The ribbon really adds a nice sparkle to the black scarf......and the blanket is yummy!   Good job finishing the fringes appropriately!  Wish we had feely monitors, so we could all feel how lush and lovely these pieces are!

Posted on Fri, 08/07/2009 - 17:29


After putting my rayon chenille shibori scarf to the test, this is what I have to report:

I loved the "honeycomb" effect of the shibori but wasn't sure that the look would stay in after wearing the scarf for a while. I washed it again and put it in the dryer as recommenced by Su.  I still had a bit of honeycomb but it looked more wrinkled that honeycomby.  Read ugly!!!  I couldn't steam it flat enough so I send it to the cleaner.  It came back flat,  lustrous and much softer that after washing.  The color staid beautiful.  Now I want to try steaming but this will be for another update :-)



Posted on Fri, 08/07/2009 - 21:07

Maryse wrote:

>>put it in the dryer as recommenced by Su

Sorry that didn't work out for you Maryse.....but glad the cleaners could do something for you!  I wonder what temp they used to press the piece?  I imagine they used a big steam iron press?? 

Glad you are experimenting and finding what works......I hope to try some shibori with chenille very soon!!

Su :-)



Posted on Fri, 08/07/2009 - 21:28


I am sure that the cleaner used the big steam iron press since the scarf is flat!  Must be pretty hot!   I should have asked.   Let us know of your experiments.  I am now doing lots of painted warp scarves with fancy twill.  Lots of fun.  I play at the computer and then, play on the loom :-)

I trust that you had a great trip and a wonderful class.  Wish I had been there.

Happy weaving.

Maryse   updated


Posted on Wed, 08/19/2009 - 11:25

I am very interested in trying shibori on chenille.  Your results have me wondering though.  I will probably try it when I empty a loom.  Thanks for the input and direction .  I will let you know the results when I get to it.


Posted on Mon, 09/21/2009 - 15:04

Promised I post this a long time ago......this scarf was woven as one of a series done for MAFA 2009.....8 shaft Single Two-Tie Unit weave (commonly called Summer and Winter), all chenille warp and weft.  The blue is a little more purple in the actual scarf......

Sooooo... what are the rest of you working on??

Su :-)

Posted on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 02:56

That's gorgeous Sue!  Can you share the ypp of the chenille you used?  I haven't done any weaving with chenille in a while.  It always feels like a winter thing to me, but that's not too far off is it?  I'm putting a cotton warp on my portable loom for a workshop this weekend with Bonnie Inouye, but I think after that a chenille warp might be in order.  And I need try something other than my usual plain weave or shadow weave.  Thanks for the inspiration.

Posted on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:46

Thanks Tina.......I'll happily share any info.....the yarns were 1450 ypp chenille.  I did a series of these scarves, some with 1450 ypp chenille as pattern weft and 10/2 tencel as the ground weft, some with 1450 ypp as pattern and 3000 ypp as the ground weft and some, like the one pictured with the same 1450 ypp yarn as both pattern and ground weft.  The ones I felt were most successful were those with the finer ground weft, but this one is the only one I have left, and it is fine too, just a bit heavier than the others.  <g>.  I agree that chenille feels like a "winter" thing.....I find it incredibly comforting to wear a chenille piece when the weather starts to turn colder.  

Plain weave and shadow weave certainly have their place when weaving with chenille, but there is no need to stop there....below is another piece I did this summer.....24S tied weave of my own long as you have a fabric that is structurally very sound, you can do a heck-of-a-lot with chenille!!

Su Butler, 2009 Chenille scarf      Happy chenille weaving!!


Su :-)

Posted on Wed, 09/23/2009 - 03:37

I have to get your book out again and go over your recommendations for using rayon chenille in these weave structures.  It's mostly about watching the floats, right?

Posted on Wed, 09/23/2009 - 14:48

HI Tina......

You stated:

>> have to get your book out again and go over your recommendations for using rayon chenille in these weave >>structures.  It's mostly about watching the floats, right?

Well, actually it's about using the yarn in a way that will keep it structurally sound, from beginning to end......that's why I wrote a book on the subject......the answer is not as simple as a line or two.....<gg>.......

But keeping floats under control is certainly one major issue when working with chenille.   Proper sett, beat, structure, yarn handling etc all come into play when working with all chenille in complex structures.  Since you have my book, re-examine chapters 3 and 4.  Those two chapters offer a lot of information on how to successfully use chenille in most any weaving structure.


Posted on Sun, 09/27/2009 - 15:40

I wanna know how to desing complex patterns like this  one!    Su, this scarf is beautiful, thank you for sharing.


Posted on Mon, 09/28/2009 - 00:10

HI Maryse.....then you'll be quite happy when you learn more about tied isn't hard once you understand how tied weaves work! 

Su :-)

Posted on Mon, 09/28/2009 - 18:48

I want to weave warp faced chenille scarves.  I was thinking of a 30 epi set.  Would this be enough?  What kind of weft at what ppi would you suggest?

Thank you all for your help.


Posted on Thu, 10/01/2009 - 11:02

HI Maryse......the sett will depend on the chenille you are using.  The more ypp and shorter the pile, the closer the sett.  If you are using 1450 ypp chenille with a dense pile, 28-30 epi should work fine.  If you have a chenille with a very short pile, you will need to increase the sett to get a true warp faced piece.   I tend to use sewing thread or a fine silk 60/2 or finer, for weft for warp face chenille.  As long as the weft is substantially finer than the warp (and remember that chenille core yarn is approx the size of an 8/2 or 10/2 cotton), you will get good results.

Happy weaving!

Su :-)

Posted on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 05:21


Here's one of my latest chenille scarves.  The warp is varigated chenille, with each warp thread cut at the end of the warping board and then brought to the beginning and specifically placed on the board to create the color pattern.  The warp threads alternate with black.  The weft alternates black chenille with a thin black wool weft, making the back side of the scarf darker. 

This is one of my favorite scarves.


Posted on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 09:58

Have enjoyed looking at your work here and at Fearless Sissors group.  I've a few of questions if you don't mind ... 1. how much wastage do you factor in with your method of manipulating the variegated yarns in the scarf and sweater?   2. the alternating warp in this scarf - was the black yarn the thin wool or chenille?  And  3. I'd have thought that a wool weft with a chenille, rayon I'm supposing, would have resulted in different shrinkage to cause a collapsed weave, why doesn't that happen in your scarf?  Thanks, Liese

Posted on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 14:52

Lovely scarf Janene!  It is a lot of work to manipulate a variagated warp the way you did!!  I think the choice of the wool as an alternating weft with the chenille was a great one....the scarf must feel sumptuous!! 

Liese asked about the differential shrinkage.....that happens when areas of one fiber with high shrinkage properties alternate with areas of fiber with low shrinkage properties.....since the weft was alternating with a chenille weft in Janene's scarf, the differential shrinkage, which will happen if the scarf is laundered improperly, is negated by the balance of the alternating fibers.  Whenever you use fibers with different shrinkage properties, as long as you intersperse them on a very regular basis and never have a section that is made of of one with extreme propeties, the fibers can work together to make some amazing cloth. 

Posted on Sat, 10/10/2009 - 04:41

Glad you liked my weavings.  As far as wastage goes, I'd say to figure on at least an extra 1-2 feet of warp per warp thread.  Some threads needed less, others more. It helps to take some time to figure out what the length of the repeat of the color change is.  With the variegated chenille it was fairly obvious to see where the colors repeated.  I then made my total length of the warp threads a multiple of the repeat of the color pattern.  I chose the  yellow to make my pattern and focused on the area I guessed would be the center of the first scarf (I warped enough for 2) and the other colors followed suit.


I alternated the warp threads with black chenille, and I agree with Su's response regarding the shrinkage.


It's a fun way to play with colors and have some control over varigated yarns.