What is chenille? How to use it in your home

I am a self-confessed, fabric fanatic; one who will literally spend an entire day, expressing my love for every textile on the market. Its not only the visual beauty and the sensual touch of various fabrics that do it for me - but its how different types of fabrics inspire me momentously to beautify my home (and yes, I do have a collection of fabric rolls that I may or may not get round to using one day!) I know that if I was to imply every fabric that I had ever took samples of into my home décor - well, it would be rather excessive to say the least. Less about me, more about the new miniseries I should be presenting!

The beginner's fabric guide is for those of you who want to learn more about individual fabrics - a little background info perhaps, its uses in home decorating and of course - some key looks for using it in YOUR home.

You might never be as obsessive as me - but I will do my best to convert you into a fabric connoisseur, in as little as one week!

History of Chenille

If you ever wondered where the word 'chenille' comes from, its meaning is 'caterpillar' in the French vocabulary and I guess there are some minute similarities (that fuzzy appearance for one!) This fabric emerged three times between the mid 18th century and the late 19th century - first in France, Scotland and then the U.S. In France, chenille fabric was hand produced with knot stitching which gives a textured finish to the fabric, by using a linen base and woollen threads on the surface to create a (often nature inspired) motif.

Chenille for interior decorators

Chenille as we know it today goes through a unique manufacturing process that gives it that soft look and feel like no other. Due to the alternating directions of its fibres, the material can be seen in another light from different angles and often has an iridescent appearance.

Chenille home textiles have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, supported by advancing techniques in its production. Innovative curtain fabric online have excited more than just a few home owners, who wish to take full advantage of the latest colours and designs used to dress up windows.

Key looks with chenille

Chenille curtain fabrics are one of the best ways to use this textile in the home. A key look would be a predominantly white room for bringing in lots of light and an airy feel. Chenille is a heavier, woven fabric that should not be used in currently overdressed rooms. It will give you an understated elegance with little to no effort when left to take centre stage, as opposed to being drowned out by other heavy décor.

Due to the luxuriousness of the fabric, large windows show it off best - place your curtain poles high and look for an on-trend colour such as mink for your chenille curtain fabric; let it hang with soft pleats and pool to the floor below. Pull up a decorative chair in white to the window and use any leftover fabric to make cheap cushions. Do have some reading material nearby - I can guarantee this will be your favourite place to sit and relax from now on!

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