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Chenille, from the French word meaning "fuzzy caterpillar", is a type of embroidery made from loops of yarn, resulting in a finished design with a soft, fuzzy appearance. The marketplace, in its never-ending search for something new and different, is rediscovering the world of chenille. Chenille is also making its way into the home decor market. This market offers a variety of opportunities in the form of custom-designed throw pillow covers, sofa throws etc.

Chenille is produced on special chenille embroidery machines. Today's automated machines offer a combination of both chenille and regular embroidery on the same design. Most machines produce a chenille stitch, often used as fills and chain stitching, often used for monograms and outlines. In contrast to embroidery needles, chenille needles have a hook instead of an eye. Also, chenille machines do not have a bobbin. Instead, yarn comes from underneath the machine and is pulled up one loop at a time by a looper.

Chenille designs demand size. The amount of design detail is directly proportional to the design size. The smaller the design size, the less detail. This makes perfect sense when you consider the relative size of a moss stitch or chain stitch versus the size of a standard embroidery stitch. Unlike standard embroidery, the nature of chenille embroidery does not permit the use of multiple layers. However, significant detail can be added to smaller chenille designs by over-sewing the chenille design with standard embroidery.

Want to try something different? We can use multiple strands of yarn - The look and texture of three, four or even five strands of thread are quite distinctive and unique. And by the way, no one ever said each strand must be of the same colour. Children's apparel is especially attractive with chenille decoration. The promotional products industry also makes use of chenille for sweat shirt emblems, or direct chenille-embroidery combinations on sweat and wool jacket backs.

Today's feature-rich machines are just waiting for someone to put them to use outside the sports chenille realm. There's a whole new world just waiting to be explored by those with an adventurous spirit and no sense of boundaries. Stunning results can be achieved when liberal amounts of both chenille and chain-stitch embroidery are incorporated into a single, well-integrated design.

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