Handwoven Rayon Chenille Scarves

handwoven rayon chenille scarves, Chino
The lovely Tammy has come through again, hand painting yarn that’s absolutely stunning! Of course, I love all of her work or I wouldn’t keep buying it, but this last batch of rayon chenille is truly amazing. Tammy says that her process remains the same, what changes is the actual yarn she buys. Some manufacturers (or is it some yarn-making processes?) make yarn that accepts dyes particularly well.

In any case, I ordered her Chino colorway, which I’ve used before & liked. When I was winding it into balls & measuring it on the warping board, the colors seemed more vibrant than usual. But when I got it on the loom — oh, my! There were at least three shades each of brown, green, blue, and purple, each distinct and beautiful.

I’d ordered solid brown yarn to use as weft, which is what I’d done before and liked. This time, I thought the brown was nice (right in the photo), but that it didn’t show off all the colors in the warp to their best, completely obliterating the lighter colors. So I used the rule that dark intensifies, and did the second scarf in the warp using a very dark rayon chenille I had — a machine-dyed yarn that’s black, dark purple, and dark brown (left, above). It certainly presented a different look, but those light colors still got lost. I reverted back to the solid brown for the third scarf.

Unlike my usual pattern of behavior, this time I actually got the scarves up on my website before I put up this post. With the cold weather right around the corner and my prior stock of rayon chenille scarves dramatically depleted, I want to get all the new scarves up ASAP to give people choices. I have more handwoven rayon chenille drying in my bathroom as we speak, so I hope to get it photographed and posted on both website and blog in the next day or two.

Your turn: what colors near you have really struck your eye lately?

6 comments to Handwoven Rayon Chenille Scarves

  • Koko Baker

    My warping method for rayon chenille is disator. When trying to dress the loom(back-to-front warping), warp tangles up, and usually
    ended up spending much more time untangling each strand of yarn.
    When I dress other fiber such as tencel, wool, wilk, I go zip, zip, zip and no problem.
    Thank you for your help, koko

    • Peg Cherre

      Koko –

      Rayon chenille is a challenge, and a whole different thing than tencel, wool, or silk. I also warp back to front. I assume you’re using lease sticks – they are critical when working with rayon chenille.

      I have two suggestions: although it’s not an efficient use of time, try warping your loom for just one scarf. See if you can’t get a decent warp with a relatively short and relatively narrow warp length.

      Get Su Butler‘s DVD, Understanding Rayon Chenille. Su is widely recognized as the expert on this fiber.

      I’ll admit that the book was out of print when I started working with rayon chenille & the DVD hadn’t come out yet, so I struggled through it and developed my own techniques, some of which Su disavows. I comb, comb, comb the warp as I’m beaming. I go s-l-o-w-l-y —-advance the back beam a few notches, move to the other side of the loom & comb, repeat ad infinitum.

      Ask questions; if I can be at all helpful, I’ll be glad to!

  • Peg Cherre

    Bety –

    I hope you love your Macomber! How many yards per pound (ypp) is your chenille? That will help to determine the ends per inch you’ll want on your floor.

  • The chenille is I have fingering weight(must wrap it to figure out the size) and I was using a 12.5 dpi heddle. Now I have a Macomber with a few sizes of reeds to play with once I unpack it.

  • It’s all about the size of the yarn and the ends and picks per inch, Bety. I’ve successfully woven cotton chenille on my four harness loom – both at close EPI/PPI and at more gentle/looser EPI/PPI. What size yarn were you using, and what size heddle on your RH?

  • I love the colors of the scarves they look wonderfully soft and cushy.

    I have some cotton chenille that I’ve tried to weave with and it was disasterous. I love the feel of it just can’t seem to get it to work out for me. Maybe I’ll try it on the Macomber and see if that would help, I know that on the RH loom I just wanted to scream.

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