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Handwoven Rayon Chenille Scarves

I’ve been working exclusively on custom weaving orders this month. I accepted four orders in mid-late December, telling each of the people when in January they’d have their scarves.

First on the list was a solid black rayon chenille.
handwoven black rayon chenille scarves

I was happy to get this order. Although I’ve made lots of handwoven rayon chenille scarves, I hadn’t done any in solid black. In fact, I hadn’t used black rayon chenille at all. So I got to order some, which meant I’d get to try out some of the many ideas I had for color and pattern that have been in my mind for a long time.

It’s not efficient to set up the loom for a single scarf, so even when I’m doing custom weaving, I usually wind a warp for three scarves at a time. This was no exception.

I wove two scarves in solid black, believing that other customers would like it, too. Like every other rayon chenille scarf I’ve ever woven, these were done in plain weave. (Rayon chenille has problems with those fibers escaping, ‘worming,’ if they’re not tightly woven, usually in plain weave.)

Then I had to try something else. Su Butler, the widely-recognized expert in rayon chenille weaving, says you can weave twills with rayon chenille IF you use another, finer thread to lock the fibers together.

double shuttleSo I had the first opportunity to use my new double shuttle, with rayon chenille in one opening and a fine rayon sewing thread in the other. (Actually, I used grays of each for the bottom scarf, but I used them up.) No doubt this locked in the rayon chenille as intended, and it wasn’t hard.

That being said, I’m less than excited about the twill scarf. The design is just ok. I’ll try a different technique and design next time.

Coincidentally, after I’d twisted the fringe on the three scarves, wet finished them, and while they were drying I got an order for a solid black rayon chenille scarf. Second order for this ever, and on this very day – what are the odds? However, this customer wants a wider scarf, and one without fringe, so it’s another custom weaving order. I’ll get to it as soon as I finish the other three.

Your turn: have you tried anything new this year?
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3 comments to Handwoven Rayon Chenille Scarves

  • […] 6 Post I've gotten back to posting about weaving. Today's post is Handwoven Rayon Chenille Scarves. […]

  • Carolyn

    I want to weave chenille with a cotton warp in a twill design…do you think I would need to use a thread combined with the chenille in the weft?….thank you

    • Peg Cherre

      Hi, Carolyn. So you want a cotton warp and rayon chenille weft, right? I haven’t done that, but I don’t think you need to use any other threads in the weft with the chenille. However, if you want to be doubly-sure, you could you use a fine cotton thread – maybe more fine than your warp, as a tabby thread between each chenille pick.

      Su Butler literally wrote the book on rayon chenille. Here’s a link to a post at Weavolution where she answers all sorts of questions, including using cotton with rayon chenille and twills. I strongly recommend you check it out.

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