What is Chenille Yarn?

Named for the fuzzy caterpillar-like hairs, chenille yarns are regarded as novelty yarns in the design industry as they are uniquely suited to yield super soft cozy textiles. Find out why Perennials is obsessed with chenille and how the yarns are made.

What makes some of our most popular fabrics and rugs so soft and cozy? Chenille yarns!! This yarn is used to make luxurious, soft fabrics and rugs with great depth of color and shading, as well as increased durability.

Where did Chenille Originate?

Relative to other yarn types, chenille is a fairly recent invention. Historians track chenille back to 18th century France. Hence, the name – chenille, French for caterpillar for its fuzzy structure. Early adopters of the textile used it for shawls, blankets, and carpets.

With the dawn of commercial chenille production in the 1970’s, the fabric became popular in the apparel business. Chenille scarves, shawls, and sweaters were all the rage. Today, apparel manufacturers continue to utilize chenille for items like varsity Letterman patches, sweaters, and beanies!

Chenille sweater

What Makes Chenille Different?

At Perennials we have seven yarns and counting, from a very fine 24/2 standard to a big boucle chunky yarn. These make up Perennials’ 900+ fabric SKUs, as well as our rugs! For instance, a client-favorite, In the Loop, is crafted using our big boucle yarn.

Chenille is unique in that the structure features two twisted core yarns with short cut piles in between. The cut piles then stand at angles that result in chenille’s signature softness, as well as it’s tendency to look iridescent. Quite the transformation from fiber to fabric! Almost like…. a caterpillar turning into a stunning butterfly!

Chenille Yarn Anatomy

Why We Love It

From upholstery to rugs, chenille yarns yield results that look and feel nothing like your other performance brands. For instance, Perennials’ Fine Tune chenille reversible rug is lusciously silky and ideal for indoor applications.

Our chenille rugs offer a soft and textured feel underfoot – bringing the cozy back to your home. The added texture and durability of our chenille rugs allow them to maintain their position on the floor through traffic and play.

Perennials’ chenille fabrics allow clients to maintain a sense of luxury in a home with pets and toddlers. It also provides excellent durability for hospitality projects. At a time when designers are rethinking hotels, restaurants and public spaces, it is pivotal that fabrics remain bleach-cleanable (both for spills and germs!), year after year.

Browse Chenille Favorites
Fine Tune Flatwoven
Soft Touch
Rock Steady