Did you know that chenille is the French word for caterpillar? The fabric does, indeed, resemble in feel the softest, fuzziest caterpillar. Chenille is made by placing short lengths of yarn, called pile, between two core yarns, which are twisted together. The piles, which stand at right angles, are responsible for the softness and look of chenille. Chenille is most regularly produced with cotton fibers, though it can also be made with artificial fibers as well.
Chenille dates back to the 18th century, when it was made by cutting fabric into strips to make the yarn. Chenille's popularity peaked in the 1930s, when it was used for housewares including bedspreads, carpets, and blankets for the tufted fabric became widely desirable for throws, bedspreads, and carpets. I love the look of chenille bedspreads, like this Vintage Chenille Bedspread ($65) from Etsy seller vintagejane.
Looking for some other chenille products to add to your home? Check out my favorites below.