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Jane Stafford Textiles Helpline

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Weaving with chenille

1)   Why so much negative talk about the difficulty of working with chenille, and “worming”?

2)   Do I use tighter tension when winding the warp?

3)   Do worms come from different tensions in each of the warp threads – is there a trick to winding the warp?

4)   Is throwing the shuttle different from throwing it for other yarns?

5)   Do the worms generally occur because of slackness in the warp or in the weft or both? I’ve woven four chenille scarves and I liked how they turned out – I understand that practice is the only way to get better but I’m hoping to get as much info as I can before I start with expensive, beautiful chenille.

The french word for caterpillar is chenille.  If the sett is not perfect the yarn wiggles out just like a caterpillar, it doesn’t happen because of different tensions on the warp threads, it just happens because it is not sufficiently sett to hold the structure.  There is so much negative talk because people are not aware of what makes it happen and people just keep repeating what they hear without researching or even trying it. Don’t do anything different, wind your warp the way you always do, throw your shuttle the way you always do, just make sure you get your sett right.   I can’t tell you what to sett other chenille at, but with the Silk City Chenille, I recommend that you sett it at 10 epi and weave it at 10-11 picks per inch for nice drapey scarves.  If you want something a little more velvety, try setting it at 12 epi and weaving it at 12 ppi. Weave a scarf each way and then make the decision yourself………….which do you like better………..then you have your answer and it doesn’t matter what anybody else says.  : )