Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by 7wave, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. 7wave

    7wave Trail Blazer

    Chenille is, from what i know, a synthetic fiber woven as wool. I find it very comfortable to wear, even as a first layer, able to breathe better than fleece and extremely hot if needed depending on the layer combination. On the downside it is bulky. Sometimes i wonder why it's not more popular in outdoor community or why is there no specialized components weaved that way that i know about.

    Invented by a scot, chenille.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  2. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Chenille yarn is like velvet only one dimention not two. There is a strong 'base' thread with longer fibers held attached to the base thread and lying horizontal to it making a fluffy yarn. Chenille can be all cotton or using man made fibers, usually acrylic. It is considered a 'fancy' style of yarn and is mostly used in ladies fashion items. It is quite bulky and also heavy, as compared to fleece of an equivalent thickness. As a knitted garment it will have lots of holes so very wind permeable. As a woven fabric is has lots of drape but no stretch and is rarely used for garments. It is not very durable (like velvet) and compresses flat, and stays flat, after not much wear. Nice stuff but I wouldn't class it as suitable for outdoors clothing.

    Sorry, 7wave. If you like it thats fine, I just don't agree. There are lots of other fabrics that are more suitable for outdoors clothing.

    I was as a dressmaker for years and also worked in a fabric shop for while too.
    7wave likes this.
  3. 7wave

    7wave Trail Blazer

    I never used it for outdoor, but i think the process (which is kinda blurry to me, since i'm not a textile pro) could have possibilities, combined with the newer synth components, but if it's not developed it's probably because ain't worth it. Thanks for that detailed info, Cathy.

    Btw, i have a black chenille jersey, nothing ladylike i'd say... :D
  4. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Trail Blazer

    For recreational outdoor use, I'd say the three characteristics that matter the most are weight, bulk and practicality. The practicality of the material refers to durability and whether or not it does what you want it to, which is usually keeping you warm. And the weight and bulk (and compressibility) also are part of the practicality. Most things today are synthetic or man-made (or woman-made!) in imitation of a natural material. Fleece and pile are imitations of shearling, which was so popular for coats in the 1960s. But however practical it might have been for a bomber pilot, it wasn't good for backpacking. I was issued a pile liner for my field jacket in the army in the 1960s. It was perfect for the application but I wasn't in the army for recreation and I didn't go backpacking. All I know is that it was the warmest thing I had for years. It wasn't heavy but it was very bulky. I have no idea what it cost. Today I'd pick a cheap quilted liner instead. Doesn't even have to be down-filled.

    I thought chenille was what they made bedspreads out of. But the French army had something called a chenillette but I don't think there's any connection.
  5. 7wave

    7wave Trail Blazer

    Chenille is french word for caterpillar. Probably off topic with my original post, sorry if misleading, but i noticed it's extremely warm under other garments, so it could be useful for car-campers or so. And, as i said, maybe made from other materials, the volume, weight and durability could be improved. I still find it to be an interesting fabric, a bit like a wool-feather hybrid.
  6. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Trail Blazer

    A chenillette was a small caterpillar tractor of sort, just about the size of a Universal carrier. A cute little thing.

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