Ask Madelyn

Earlier this week I finished a 45″ x 62″ chenille rug that I wove to use up my acrylic worsted weight stash.  I really like how it turned out, but I’m finding a couple of problems. My rug is already shedding little fuzzies, and I was wondering if that was because it was made from acrylic yarn, or if it is just the nature of handwoven chenille. Also, the chenille is losing some little strands, and I was wondering if I didn’t beat it firmly enough. To make the chenille, I used 16/2 cotton as the warp and three threads of worsted acrylic for the chenille strands. This may sound silly, but I thought of spraying one side of the rug with hairspray so that it would stay together longer! What do you think of that idea?

My last question has to do with cleaning. Obviously you wouldn’t want to wash such a rug in the washing machine even if you could fit it in there! Would you soak it in a tub of warm soapy water, roll it in a bunch of towels and lay it out somehow to dry?

—Jan Casebolt


Hi Jan!

You mean you wove your own chenille! Good for you!

You are probably right in your assessment: if the chenille strands are coming out, they were probably not beaten firmly enough. If  bits of yarn fuzz are coming out, that is probably a feature of the original yarn.

I think I’d try to adhere some kind of fusible interfacing to one side of the rug. That way, at least you’d be sure most of the yarn strands stayed in. I’m not sure what kind of interfacing or backing might be possible (fabric glue and a burlap backing if the chenille pile is really long?). Maybe wander around the internet in search of rug backing. I don’t think hairspray will do the trick!

And right, I’d soak it in the tub with a very small amount of soap. Better would be: If you live where there is snow, put the rug on the snow, walk around on it, shake it out, move it to new snow and keep doing that on both sides. It will leave its dirt (and probably a lot of fuzzies) in the snow.

If it were wool, it would help to get it wet to full the chenille strands and make them more secure. But I don’t think that will happen with acrylic. We might need to ask our readers about this!




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