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Twice Woven - Chenille

Sally Orgren's picture
Must use a really beefy shuttle for bundled weft: 4.25 picks per inch
Must consider the quick build up on the cloth beam & proximity of castle
A roll of woven chenille warp, ready to be cut into worms
4 inches left of the woven warp, being cut into worms approx. 1" in diameter
Weaving the chenille worms for the body of the rug, and then a binding edge.
Project Status: 
Project Date: 
Fri, 10/20/2017
Number of Shafts: 
Number of Treadles: 
8.00 EPI
Length on Loom: 
6.00 yd
Width on Loom: 
10.00 in

The warp is #14 linen from Silk City in 2 related colors.10/2 or 16/2 cotton could also be used, along with Carpet warp. (Carpet warp will make a thicker "core" to the chenille worm)

The warp was threaded F2B, because of the unusual denting. (Using a raddle when beaming B2F would not confine the warps as needed.) Lease sticks were used, and moved toward the back of the loom as the threading progressed.

8 threads in one dent, in a 10 dent reed. (= 8 epi, but ALL the warps were clustered in a single dent, so it is works out to be one warp "bunch" per inch, resulting in chenille worm about 1" in diameter.) After one threaded dent, leave 9 dents empty. There are 4 threads making up each selvedge, threaded in one dent, with 4 empty dents between the selvedge threads and the next group of warp threads. A 12 dent reed could also be use, placing the8  warped threads in one dent, and leaving the next 11 dents empty.

The warp is threaded 3,4,1,1,2,2,3,4. The selvedges were threaded 1,2,3,4. Treadled plain weave: 1+3 vs 2+4.

The weft was knitting yarn from JoAnn's: Wool Ease Thick & Quick, 80% Acrylic 20% Wool,  6 oz. skeins at 106 yards per skein (17.6 yards per ounce). The weft was 4 different colors wound onto a large stick shuttle. Make sure the loom used to weave the chenille has a decent-sized shed. The resulting weft pass was about the size of a pencil. 4.5 picks = about an inch.

The beat must be *very* firm as the weft picks want to expand.

When weaving, watch the build up on the cloth beam, as the fabric will accumulate quickly. You may need to tie and cut it off before continuing. Table looms can be used but 1) they tend to have small sheds, so you can't load up the shuttle, 2) the weft has to be "squeezed" into place. Table looms don't render a firm beat, and if the chenille is woven too loosely, when cut, the yarns will fall out, and 3) the chenille worms will be shorter because the cloth beam is typically smaller, and close to the castle and frame, not allowing for a great amount of cloth buildup.

Once I finish weaving the yarn, I plan to try fabric strips to make chenille. Again, bundled to equal the size of a pencil to render a fluffy chenille worm.

I was originally thinking to make a 15 x 15 cushion, but when I was considering materials, I realized if I bought 2 skeins of each yarn (8 total) I would have less waste, and could make 2 pillow cushions at that size. However, now that I am about finished weaving the chenille, I think my estimates were off, and I may have enough to weave a full rug. Stay tuned!


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