Education: Weaving Process of Handwoven Chenille Scarves
Education  yarn Factories  How to tie Scarves  Chenille

The education information on this page has been graciously provided by Christa Gupta.  Christa produces chenille scarves in her studio based in Ohio, USA. She previously had a website,

The Apparel Search Company and our viewers, greatly appreciate the kind donation of information provided by Christa.  Below you can find the educational information that has been provided.

Handwoven Chenille Scarves by The Flying Shuttle

The Weaving Process

This page describes the weaving process for chenille scarves.  The weaving process begins with the loom. I weave most of my chenille scarves using this 24" 8-harness Leclerc floor.

Step 1 - Thread Selection

First, I decide what color I want to work with. i've chosen a beautiful royal blue chenille thread for this project. To ensure I will be getting a soft and velvety scarf, I only use 100% rayon chenille.
Step 2 - Warping

After selecting the color, I now need to measure how much thread will be used. To accomplish this, I use a device called a warping board which is used to measure the thread that will be held under tension during weaving. Since it takes such a long time to set-up a loom, I will warp enough thread to weave several scarves.
Step 3 - Threading The Reed

Once the warp is complete, I move over to the front of the loom and begin to thread the chenille through the reed. A reed is a steel piece that fits into the beater of the loom. Reeds are similar to combs in that they have dents or slits in which the thread passes through. Common reed sizes are 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15 dents per inch.
Step 4 - Threading The Heddles

Having threaded all the chenille threads through the reed, I'm now ready to move to the back of the loom and begin threading the heddles. Heddles are thin strips of metal with an eye in the center. This process of threading the heddles is similar to threading a needle. Every individual thread must pass through a heddle.
Step 5 - Attach Thread To Back Apron Rod

At this point, all the chenille threads are hanging behind the heddles in small, knotted groups. The next step is to take each group of knots and attach them to the back apron rod.
Step 6 - Beam The Warp

The next step is to beam the warp (rolling the warp onto the back beam). All of the warped thread must pass through the reed and the heddles in order to get rolled onto the back beam. In order to maintain even tension across the chenille thread, a heavy brown paper is used to keep the layers of thread separated.
Step 7 - Attach Thread To Front Apron Rod

Now that all of the chenille thread has been beamed and properly tensioned, I now begin to tie the warp onto the front apron rod. This procedure can be done using several different methods. I prefer to lace the thread to the front apron using a strong carpet thread.
Step 8 - Add Header

Before I begin to weave, I need to add in a header for the fringe. The header can be any type of fat thread, a strip of rag, or thin sticks. Once the scarf is completed and taken off the loom, the header will be removed from the scarf. The header also ensures that all the warp threads are lying parallel to the beater and the reed.
Step 9 - Windup The Bobbin

After taking several hours to set-up the loom, I'm now very close to the weaving step. Before I begin to weave I need to take some of the royal blue chenille thread and windup a bobbin. The bobbin is then placed inside a boat shuttle which is designed to glide back and forth through the shed opening discussed in the next step.
Step 10 - Begin Weaving

The actual weaving of the scarf can now begin. The shuttle is passed back and forth through the shed opening (this is the space created between the upper and lower threads). The shed opening is created by pushing down with your feet on the treadles at the bottom of the loom which then lifts the harnesses.
Step 11 - Weaving

In order to create the crossed weaving pattern, every other harness is lifted after each pass of the shuttle by alternating which treadle is engaged. I quickly get into a rhythm of moving my hands and feet and a scarf begins to form. I must pass the shuttle through the shed opening over 1,100 times in order to produce just one scarf!
Step 12 - Tying Fringe

Finishing the scarf can sometimes be as time consuming as weaving the scarf. Each scarf is hand fringed using an overhand knot. I sometimes will hem the end of the scarves upon request, but most people prefer the look and feel of loose fringe.

Step 13 - Final Finishing

After tying the fringe, the scarf goes through a 12 hour finishing process in order to bring out the natural drape and velvety touch of 100% rayon chenille. Finally, no scarf is complete without a Handwoven by Christa M. Gupta tag!

Step 14 - Final Product

The royal blue chenille scarf is now complete. I hope you have enjoyed learning about the weaving process and the many steps that are involved within it.

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