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What are Chenille Rugs?

What are Chenille Rugs?

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Chenille rugs are luxurious pieces of textile that come at an incredibly affordable price. 

Chenille is a type of soft and delicate-looking fabric used to make blankets, bed sheets, pillows, clothes, towels, and also rugs. It is quite popular due to its durability and appearance. Indeed, chenille comes in a variety of patterns and textures, making it quite versatile as a textile.

This comfortable fabric could be made of wool, cotton, olefin, silk, or rayon. You might also find chenille made from a combination of two of these materials. In addition, chenille has a protruding pile around the woven area which makes it so unique. 

This type of fabric is quite affordable despite it looking fancy and lavish. It looks luxurious thanks to the shiny texture it gains during the production process that ultimately makes chenille look like velvet. 

How Is Chenille Made: Origin and Techniques

The word chenille means caterpillar in French. It is quite a fitting term as the way chenille is made resembles in fact a caterpillar. 

Chenille was first introduced in the eighteenth century. It started out in France, then Scotland, the rest of Europe, and finally America and the rest of the world. The pile is weaved as a weft in a loom and after that, cotton thread is used to bind the tufts. Therefore a long strand is created.

Chenille is cut into striped patterns after it has been initially woven on a normal cloth loom. 

In addition, chenille yarn is created with two core yarns. Short yarn piles are put in between two core yarns that are twisted to give chenille its shine. Because the fibers go in different directions, they reflect light differently and end up looking like velvet. 

Chenille rugs are mostly machine-made rather than handmade. 

Last but not least, nylon or viscose is used to make the fabric more sturdy and durable as chenille sometimes can become loose. These types of reinforced chenille can be used for rugs while the softer chenille fabrics are mainly used for bedding, upholstery, drapes, and clothes. 

Chenille Rug Materials

dining room sisal rug

Chenille rugs are made of a variety of materials. They can derive from natural fibers such as cotton, silk, and wool. Alternatively, chenille rugs can be made of synthetic materials such as rayon, polyester, polypropylene, olefin, acrylic, or a mixture of two of them. 

You can also find chenille rugs made of both natural and synthetic materials, resulting in soft textiles thanks to the natural features of the threads and durable rugs thanks to the nylon or viscose properties. Most chenille rugs in fact use viscose as a second material in the mix in order to achieve a soft three-dimensional look.

These mixed chenille rugs come in bolder colors such as green, purple, pink, blue, brown, or mint green. Chenille rugs that are made of natural fibers on the other hand usually have more toned-down colors such as elegant and modern grey, white and beige. 

In terms of placement, chenille rugs are mostly used in bedrooms (especially kids’ ones as chenille is perfect for babies to crawl on), home offices, and living rooms with low foot traffic. 

You can also find chenille bath mats used in the bathroom thanks to the plush feeling and absorption properties of this fabric, however, rug pads are used to keep the mat or small rug in place and prevent it from slipping. 

Chenille Pros and Cons for Rugs

Chenille is a nice material but nothing is perfect. Here are some pros and cons of using chenille for rugs. 

Pros of Chenille for Rugs

Chenille is soft and plush. As such, it is a very good material for braided or shag rugs. It is absorbent and very comfortable to walk on. 

As a result, chenille feels comfortable and luxurious while still keeping a low price. It is perfect for low-traffic living rooms and nurseries thanks to its softness. 

In addition, chenille comes in a variety of colors and patterns to match any design. You can also find them in a variety of styles, from fancy modern to distressed or shabby chic. 

You can have a mix of chenille and synthetic fibers to increase the durability of the rug. 

Cons of Chenille for Rugs

Chenille is a delicate material and should be kept away from humid places as well as direct sunlight which means you cannot use it in sunrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, entryways, or outdoors. 

Maintenance of chenille rugs is difficult as you need to follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter to preserve the quality of the rug. In some cases, you need to dry clean them professionally. 

You need to use a rug pad to prevent a chenille rug from slipping in most cases. 

Best Chenille Rug Ideas

Are you into chenille rugs already? Do you want to see some cool ideas on how to integrate chenille rugs into your living room, bedroom, bathroom, or other room in the house? Here are some ideas to inspire you. 

Chenille Bath Rug 


Chenille is used for towels and other bath accessories and especially bath mats. While these mats are slippery, when used with a proper PVC layer underneath, they become great rugs for the bathroom. 

Not only are chenille rugs thick and absorbent, but they also come in a variety of colors to match your bathroom style. They are preferred as plush layers right next to the shower so that you can step on a dry and warm mat.

The most popular one is the salt chenille bath rug. These rugs are soft and luxurious, adding a spa feel to your bathroom. You can find them in different sizes, even as runners for an elongated bathroom shape. 

These rugs work perfectly in front of a vanity mirror as well, allowing you to enjoy a warm padded spot where you can rest your feet when putting on make-up in the morning. 

Chenille Jute Rug

Chenille tends to be combined with other materials to increase durability and keep the rugs in place. Some 100% chenille rugs with cotton fibers can become loose and result in empty holes in your rug. This is why the integration of jute is so important. 

Jute is also a natural and attractive material, making your chenille rug a perfect piece for your living room or bedroom. Here are some options you can choose from:

Rust Bri Faded Washable Area Rug

This beautiful rug with a rust color and a faded appeal is perfect for a bedroom with wooden or steel accents. It adds character to the room and allows you to play around with a variety of shades such as orange, white, brown, red, or even some pastel hues in blue and teal to create some contrast. 

The rust bri faded washable area rug is low maintenance. As the name suggests, you can throw it in the washer and lay it flat on a patio to dry. Its composition of 50% chenille, 33% cotton, and 17% jute makes it a perfect rug for nurseries, hallways, living rooms, and even kitchens and dining rooms.

If you are wondering as to why this rug can be used in kitchens too, here is why: this rug is stain and water-resistant! So you can add a luxurious feel to your kitchen or dining room without having to worry about ruining your rug with spills. 

Rust Tiana Oriental Washable Area Rug

The rust Tiana Oriental washable area rug is another great option for any room of the house. It shows once again that chenille and jute rugs can come in any color and design. 

Therefore, with this model, you get the luxurious feel of oriental rugs with the durability of jute, the softness of cotton, and the affordability of chenille. It is a perfect option for kids’ rooms with a high-end design. 

Heather Chenille Jute Rug Pottery Barn


Check out heather chenille jute rugs from Pottery Barn too for more options for your dining room. 

This rug has a natural color and a fancy appearance that will make your dining room feel like a space out of a resort. You can be sure to relax and be enveloped in a getaway atmosphere when stepping on this rug. 

Chenille Area Rug

Chenille area rugs are great for living rooms with low foot traffic. Here are a couple of interesting options for you to choose from. 

Beige Plated Medallion Area Rug

This super creative rug comes in vivid bright colors perfect for a summer home. It is a durable floor cover thanks to the 79% cotton combined with chenille and polyester. 

The intricate design can be matched with farmhouse or bohemian styles and enhance a coastal feel. Thanks to the ¼ inch thickness, you can use it to cover stone floors and still get plenty of padding and warmth for your floors. 

Last but not least, the beige plated medallion area rug is easy to clean and pet friendly. 

Gray Printed Nebulous Flatweave Area Rug

Chenille rugs are so versatile and diverse so you can find them in any design or color. The grey printed nebulous flatware area rug is a fancy looking rug with a sheen that brings up elegance in a room. 

Similarly to the previous one, this rug also has a cotton, chenille and polyester composition that makes it durable and soft. You can use it at the foot of your bed or in your living room to add extra spark to the space. 

Chenille Braided Rug


Chenille braided rugs are unique pieces of decor that can add character to your outdoor spaces, or sunrooms. While chenille does not perform that well with direct sunlight, these rugs manage to bypass that drawback as they look authentic and charismatic even when worn out. In addition, the braided construction helps the colors look diverse and intricate. 

Dorma Regency Chenille Rug


When it comes to chenille, the Dorma Regency chenille rug is a gem. This rug looks elegant, timeless and classy. It can be used in living rooms or hotel rooms to make the room feel more elegant and luxurious. 

You can find these rugs in a variety of colors. The dark ones look perfect on hardwood floors while the light ones can really make tiled or stone floors pop. Either way, your home will benefit from the velvety look of a Dorma Regency chenille rug. 

Most importantly, this rug comes with a built in rubber backing and a very low pile that makes it safe to walk on in every part of your home. 


Is chenille good for rugs?

Chenille is a good material to use for rugs because it is soft, plush, luxurious, and affordable. 

While chenille is not as durable as other options, it can be mixed with nylon or viscose to create a sturdy rug that is also very comfortable. 

Can you wash a chenille rug?

You should not wash a chenille rug, instead, opt for dry cleaning it. Chenille is a delicate fiber that might stretch or expand when washed with water. 

This is why it is advised to dry clean chenille rugs. 

If the label on your chenille rug says you can wash it, do so by hand and cold water. Next, it is best to machine dry it on low heat or leave it on a flat surface. Do not hang chenille on a fence or anywhere else as the rug might get distorted. 

You can try machine washing a chenille rug if the fabric is made of synthetic materials. Choose the delicate or hand wash cycle in the washer’s options too. 

What does a chenille rug feel like?

A chenille rug feels like velvet. It is plush and soft and has a subtle sheen. It feels luxurious and comfortable to walk on. 

Is chenille natural or synthetic?

Chenille rugs can be made of natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or silk as well as synthetic fibers such as olefin, nylon, polyester, or polypropylene. 

These rugs can also be a combination of two materials or even a combination of natural and synthetic fibers. You might also find chenille rugs mixed with jute.