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How to Create Chenille

Create chenille from cotton fabric for craft and sewing projects.
Steve Baccon/Photodisc/Getty Images

Chenille is a soft, fuzzy fabric or trim used for clothing, accessories and home decor. You can create chenille fabric or strips from layers of cotton material. Use chenille strips to outline and emphasize shapes, such a butterflies or flowers, on a homemade or store-bought bedspread. Make potholders or a tote bag from chenille fabric. Add a touch of whimsy to a dress or blouse. Chenille is a versatile enhancement to many of sewing, quilting and craft projects.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Pencil
  • Ruler Or Tape Measure
  • Pins
  • Chenille Or Rotary Cutter (Optional)
  • Toothbrush
  • 100 Percent Cotton Fabric

Chenille Fabric

Cut eight pieces of fabric to the same size. Layer the fabric right side down on a flat surface.

Fold the top piece of fabric in half at one corner to find the bias. Bring the bottom left corner up toward the top so that the bottom and top edges are even, and a crease extends from the top left corner. Crease the fold line.

Unfold the fabric and draw along the creased line. Pin the layers together. Draw additional lines 3/8 inch apart on each side of the first drawn line, from the drawn line to the corner.

Stitch along each of the drawn lines. Stitch the lines in alternating directions to prevent puckering. Back-stitch at the ends to prevent the stitches from coming lose.

Turn the sewn fabric right side up. Place the scissor tip or chenille cutter between the sixth and seventh fabric layers, centered between a pair of stitched lines, and cut the top six layers from one end to the other. Cut between each pair of stitched lines.

Use the chenille fabric, cut side up, in a project.

Machine-wash and tumble-dry the completed project. Fluff the chenille with a toothbrush.

Chenille Strips

Cut three squares of fabric to the same size. Layer the fabric right side down on a flat surface. Pin the layers together.

Draw a line diagonally across the back of the top piece of fabric, from one corner to the other. Draw additional lines every 3/8 inch on each side of the center line.

Stitch along each of the drawn lines, starting in the center and working toward the edges. Remove the pins as you go.

Cut through all layers in the center between the drawn lines with scissors or a rotary cutter.

Sew the chenille strips into place through the stitched line. Wash the completed project and fluff the chenille with a tooth brush.


Use basting spray instead of pins to hold the fabric layers together. Position the brightest fabric as the top layer when using more than one color.

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