The Continuing Adventures with Chenille

While it may be August, those of us in Western NY (and most northern areas) realize winter's chill is around the corner. We soak in the warm weather because we know it's only temporary. It's supposed to be in the upper 70/80 degrees Fahrenheit or upper 20s in Celsius, but within the next thirty days, we'll be inching our way down the temperature scale.

With winter in mind, one thing I create are scarves, which leads to the title of this post The Continuing Adventures with Chenille - sounds like some 1930s radio adventure, but it isn't.

Chenille Scarf
The first time I wove with chenille (here), I used it as both the warp and the weft in a project. It was fun as long as I looked at it as an experiment. I didn't enjoy weaving with it the first time around simply because of all the trouble I had with the warp, but I knew I wanted to come back to the fiber later.

When I started weaving after college (I wove only two projects in college), I ended up being frustrated with the warp. It didn't wind up properly; the tension was off; I had to keep cutting off portions. It was a pain.

Cotton and Chenille (left) Full Chenille (right)
Chenille Warp Scarf
To counter the frustration of the chenille warp, I tried a second experiment - cotton warp with a chenille weft (here). I like the feel of the cotton and chenille mixture, primarily because it gives a slightly lighter feel to the chenille weight. When you feel a chenille scarf compared to a cotton scarf, there is a marked difference in weight. The cotton warp/chenille weft scarf falls between the two in matter of weight, thickness and drape.

A secondary difference between using a cotton warp opposed to a chenille warp is the visibility of the warp.

On the right is a photograph of the chenille warp scarf, while below is a photograph of the cotton warp scarf. The darker vertical lines in the photograph below are the warp. While visible in the chenille warp scarf, they aren't as distinct.

Cotton Warp Scarf
I've found both are practical in their own ways. The chenille warp fabric provides an elegant, jewel-like appearance whereas the cotton warp scarf has a wonderful everyday elegance to it. It would be easy to pair different scarves for different looks while still retaining the elegance of chenille. Perfect for the upcoming cooler season.


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