It is difficult to find an upholstery fabric that combines beauty, durability and softness the way chenille does. It can improve the appearance of everyday items such as furniture. As a decorative fabric it can be used to create area rugs, pillow covers, bedspreads, blankets, draperies, garments and slip covers.
We have chenille fabrics available in solid colors as well as in floral, novelty and retro/vintage prints. They range from simple to elegant but never at the cost of softness.
Take into Account the Pile of Your Chenille Upholstery Fabrics
Preserving your chenille upholstery fabrics presents a special challenge because of their pile and nap. The pile refers to the shorts yarns woven into the backing of the fabric that create the plush surface. The nap refers to the direction of the pile. On furniture, the nap should run down on seat backs and toward the front on seat cushions; this aligns with how our bodies move when we sit down and get up. The fabric will wear better if the nap is running in the right direction.
Keep Your Chenille Upholstery Fabric Looking Fresh
Vacuum or lightly brush your chenille upholstery fabrics weekly to guard against the accumulation of dust and soil and to prevent dirt from becoming embedded between the fibers. Also remember to rotate and turn your cushions weekly to prevent uneven wear. This will also balance the fabric's exposure to sunlight and allow its colors to remain vibrant for longer. Do not place your upholstered furniture in direct sunlight.
Placing newspapers directly onto your chenille upholstery could permanently stain the fabric. Dyes, corrosives, acids, paints, inks, nail polish and chemical-based removers should not be used in the vicinity of your upholstered furniture.
Cleaning Your Chenille Upholstery Fabric
A basic warning before you clean your chenille upholstery fabrics is to never remove the cushion covers for separate dry cleaning or washing. Doing so can destroy the backing and shrink or otherwise damage your chenille upholstery fabric. The zipper is to make it easy to stuff the cushion filling into the fabric cover — not to remove it.
Gently blot up stains as quickly as possible with a clean, white cotton towel being careful not to rub the fabric. If the substance spilled is thick (i.e. mud, candle wax, etc.), allow time for it to dry before prying it off and brushing away the residue. Prompt attention to stains increases success in removing them. Even stain-resistant finishes such as scotch-guard offer only temporary protection. Periodic cleaning by professional upholstery cleaners will maximize the lifespan of your chenille upholstery fabrics.
When cleaning your chenille upholstery you can employ a very soft brush (such as a baby’s hairbrush) for brushing the nap of the fabric. Taking this measure will keep the pile in good condition and help your chenille fabric retain its hallmark softness.
Chenille upholstery fabrics can be spot cleaned with a mild solvent or dry cleaning product. Follow the usage directions for such products and make sure that the area you are cleaning in is well ventilated. Avoid using products that contain the highly toxic ingredient carbon tetrachloride. An upholstery shampoo or the foam from a mild detergent can also be employed on chenille. Always test the cleaning product on an inconspicuous area before proceeding. If the upholstery fabric requires more extensive cleaning, we recommend calling in professional upholstery cleaners.
A Note on Stain Repellants
The stain repellants many chenille upholstery fabrics are treated with form protective barriers around the fibers. Therefore, most liquid spills will bead up on the surface of the fabric for easy blotting before they set in to cause a stain. However, an upholstery fabric's stain repellant properties do not make it waterproof. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of a stain repellant will deteriorate with the wear and abrasion caused by normal use.
How to Store Your Chenille Upholstery Fabrics
If you are going to store your chenille upholstery fabrics for any period of time, be sure to have them properly laundered first to prevent dust, soil and stains from attracting critters. Furthermore, avoid storing your chenille upholstery fabrics in attics, basements and other places that tend to be vulnerable to mold, mildew and insects and other threats. The best storage location is a cool, dry room. If using a closet, make sure there is sufficient air circulation to prevent mold growth. Always store your fabrics out of direct sunlight.
Your chenille upholstery fabrics can be stored in bags of linen, cotton or muslin. Do not use plastic bags, cedar chests or cardboard boxes for storage. Fumes from polyurethane foam, cedar closets and acids in unvarnished wood and cardboard can damage your upholstery fabrics. Acid free tissue paper can also be employed.
It is best to store your chenille upholstery fabrics on rolls rather than folding them to prevent difficult creases from forming. If folding the fabric is your only option, try to air the fabric out and refold it regularly to prevent permanent creasing.
* The above information is intended to aid our customers in their fabric projects. These suggestions are based on manufacturer's recommendations and customer insights. The above statements are not intended to be understood as unequivocal or applicable to every circumstance. Therefore, J&O Fabrics is not responsible for the results of the implementation of these cleaning methods.