Chenille means “caterpillar” in French, an appropriate name because this soft, dense material has a fuzzy feel. But don’t let its cozy look and soft touch fool you; chenille sofas are also very durable. Chenille has many desirable qualities. It’s constructed from yarn that has a raised tufted pile. The tufted threads poking out at different angles resemble fuzzy hairs, hence its name; which is the French word for caterpillar. The tufted pile creates a very soft texture and also scatters light in different directions, creating shade variation and an iridescent sheen. Chenille, often recommended for heavily used sofas, is made from a variety of materials including cotton, polyester, rayon wool and silk. Chenille sofas should be regularly vacuumed using a brush attachment, to prevent a buildup of dust that can dull the material’s color vibrancy. Water and cleaning products can flatten the tufted pile of chenille fabric, ruining the quality of its feel and appearance.
A liquid spill on the chenille sofas might require the attention of a professional upholstery cleaning service, making it an impractical choice for families with small children. The tufted pile can also be snagged by the claws of dogs and cats. Furniture manufacturers offer wide selections of styles in both chenille and microfiber fabrics, making comparing the two and selecting a preference of your own difficult.