Friday, July 23, 2010
A lot of weavers ask me how I finish the chenille. To start with when I'm weaving I put a smooth waste yarn in the fringe area to protect it during the washing/drying process. Anyone familiar with chenille knows that the individual threads tend to fall apart if not protected. After the piece comes off the loom I machine stitch across the ends where the waste yarn is. Then I soak it in soapy water, rinse, and put it to soak a bit more with fabric softener. I hang it over a rod to dry, or almost dry. At that point it's as stiff as a board, not the supple drapey chenille we all love. All it takes is 10 minutes on fluff in the dryer (a little heat if not quite dry) and it's as soft as butter. At that point I pull out the waste yarn and twist the fringe - a twisted fringe is a must unless you want to eventually see just threads hanging - another option is a hem.
Some weavers think chenille is out of style and don't use it as much anymore but my sales say otherwise, I sell a ton of chenille scarves and shawls - all it takes is one feel for someone to fall in love with it.