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Chenille Yarn – Guide To This Yarn Material & Best Uses

Looking for a fuzzy, cuddly yarn?

Chenille fibers might be the perfect choice. I explore what chenille yarn is, and ways to use it for knitting.

Chenille yarn in grey

Table Of Contents

What Is Chenille Yarn?

It’s a synthetic fiber sold at affordable prices.

This fiber isn’t super popular, but it’s soft, has a lovely texture, cuddly, and warm.

They’re bulky and great for quick knit projects. It’s available in all colors of the rainbow.

Where It Comes From

It’s made of rayon, cotton or synthetic fibers.

How It’s Made Into Yarn

First, they spin the fiber into long continuous threads.

These threads are put through an ‘abrasive’ process, which fuzzes the fibers and makes them shorter.

They’re put through a process called ‘heat setting.’ This make it durable and less likely to shrink or stretch when wet.

How To Wash Chenille Yarn

Here are the care instructions for chenille fibers.

  • Wash in cool water on the delicate cycle.
  • Use a mild detergent or wool wash.
  • Don’t use bleach or fabric softener
  • Lay flat to dry

Does It Shrink When Washed?

They don’t usually shrink, but check the care instructions on the label before washing.

How To Soften Chenille Yarn

Here is a quick and easy method to soften this yarn. Washing it after you’ve finished knitting always helps!

Pin For Later

Chenille Yarn Pin

What Do You Use It For?

Wondering whether you should use it to make a project? Here’s why this fiber is used to make yarn.

It’s often used for projects and things like

  • Blankets
  • Throws
  • Pillows
  • Scarves
  • Hats
  • Rugs
  • Carpets

Use it for anything you want to be soft, cuddly, and warm. I wouldn’t recommend it for clothing like sweaters and shawls.

Here is a video tutorial by Lir from Ribblr on working with this yarn. 

YouTube video

This in-depth video is a must if you want to learn about how to knit with this textured fiber.

Here is a video tutorial by BeCozi on joining one skein of this yarn to another. 

YouTube video

The information in this video on joining these yarns will be a great help!

Where To Find It

Here’s where to find this yarn.

  • At a yarn store or craft stores in your area
  • At big box stores like Michaels, Walmart and Joann
  • Online brand shops

Here are brands or manufacturers of chenille yarns to try.

  • Bernat Yarn
  • Lion Brand Yarn
  • Red Heart Yarn

What’s The Price Like?

It’s usually an affordable yarn, though slightly more expensive than acrylic yarn.

Interesting Facts

Want to know some fascinating tidbits about this material? Impress your friends with these.

  • The word ‘chenille’ means ‘caterpillar’ in French
  • Chenille work was popular from the mid 19th century into the 20th. (1)
  • The same word is used for a fabric, that was created before the yarn was.
  • A yarn often donated to Thrift Shops (2)
  • A chenille textile is often used for upholstery
  • They have a luxury feel without being expensive – so you can buy a pile of it for big projects
  • At certain angles, the yarn has a tendency to look an iridescent color
  • It’s used in textile art(3)


Is Chenille Yarn Safe For Babies?

Yes, I recommend this yarn for a baby blanket or clothes.

Is Chenille Yarn Ethical & Eco-Friendly?

This yarn is made of natural fibers like cotton and rayon, but there’s a huge amount of water required for cotton production.

What Can I Make With Leftover Chenille Yarn?

You can make a small blanket, hat, scarf, or rug.

Is Chenille Yarn Itchy?

No, this yarn isn’t itchy, it’s very soft.

Is Chenille Yarn Good For Clothes?

I don’t recommend it for clothes, but it’s great for blankets and other household items.

Is Chenille Yarn Good For Winter?

Yes, this yarn is great for winter home décor items like throws, blankets and pillows.

Is Chenille Yarn Good For Summer?

I don’t recommend it for summer, as it’s too warm.

Do Chenille Yarns Pill?

No, they don’t pill.

Can You Dye Chenille Yarns?

No, you can’t.

How Do You Keep Chenille Yarn From Worming?

Chenille yarns can worm” their way out of stitches.

If this happens, try knitting at a tight gauge. Sometimes it helps if you knit from the other end of the skein instead.

Can You Crochet With Chenille?

Yes, you can!

What’s The Difference Between Cotton And Chenille?

Chenille is a yarn, while cotton is a fabric.

Chenille can be made from different materials, while cotton is only made from the plant of the same name.

Happy crocheting or knitting! Hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have questions? Please leave them below!


  1. “Skeins of Chenille Embroidery Yarns.” n.d. National Museum of American History. Accessed October 14, 2022. https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_629913.
  2. Miller, Betty. 2022. “Assistance League’s Thrift Shop Spins a Yarn of Beauty and Support.” Patch. September 25, 2022. https://patch.com/california/martinez/assistance-league-s-thrift-shop-spins-yarn-beauty-support.
  3. Global Design News. 2022. “American Artist Nick Cave Creates New Adventurous Textiles with Bravado, a Vibrancy of Aesthetic Value, and Designs That Advance Social Justice for KnollTextiles.” Global Design News. October 7, 2022. https://globaldesignnews.com/american-artist-nick-cave-creates-new-adventurous-textiles-with-bravado-a-vibrancy-of-aesthetic-value-and-designs-that-advance-social-justice/.

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Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

Jodie Morgan Profile Pic

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

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