Chenille is a wildly simple means of adding a bit of texture and dimension to an otherwise ho-hum garment. Rarely seen in machine embroidery, chenille designs add a dimension to your projects unlike any other.
Chenille is created with woven fabrics that fray easily – rayon challis, cotton flannels, and other loosely woven natural fabrics. It is an applique technique that gives a totally different effect from traditional machine embroidery applique.
Machine embroidery chenille is that effect when you say you sewed it people will take a ‘good look’, then ask, “how did you do that?” – smiles!
Basically the process goes like this:
- Place a few layers of the applique fabric over the area.
- Sew the design through all layers.
- Remove the hoop from the machine.
- Cut the excess fabric off about ⅛” or less on either side of the stitching.
- Toss the project in the washer and dryer and let the magic happen.
- Trim off any unruly threads and it is ready to go.
Note: Be sure to carefully read the directions that accompany the designs to get the right stabilizers, fabrics, needles, and layers.
There are very few stitches in chenille designs making them the perfect designs for knits. I sewed mine onto knit tops. That said, I practiced sewing them on scraps practicing my chenille skills before committing to sewing them on ready made garments. Turns out it is quite easy to do. Each of my collections contain a small sample with which to practice.
The fabric trimming does not have to be as precise as traditional machine embroidery applique because once the applique fabrics have ‘chenille’ all those uneven cut edges are hidden.
The stars are perfect for a festive season, which is what I did here with white stars on navy top. I figured this was good for July 4th, Christmas, and when comets pass by – smiles.
Chenille designs sew fast. No other machine embroidery technique can give you this effect with so few stitches. Fringe gives a similar effect but fringe this thick would require thousands of dense stitches making them unsuitable for knits or fine fabrics.
While you are visiting me check out my Fringe designs. If you have been following me for very long you know I love fringe and I add it to all my designs I think I can get by with – smiles.