Chenille vs Velvet for a sofa

What is chenille

This is a trendy fabric that is commonly found in home décor. When designed well, this material offers a boost to the home. It is soft, stunning, and has been in production since the 18th century. Believed to have been created in France, the name also means “caterpillar.” 

It got this name because it can be designed using various materials, most notably silk. The process of how chenille is created has been altered many times since the 18th century for the better. In today’s world, you will find chenille is very durable. This durability results from the material being tightly wound at the core and using tall piles. You can purchase both natural and synthetic chenille fabric. 

Commons uses for chenille

Warm Clothing 

Warm clothing such as sweaters is very often made from chenille. The soft nature of the material, combined with its durability, makes it a comfortable choice for on-the-go living.


Chenille is often used to make premium blankets. These blankets are relatively pricey because the chenille can retain added warmth. This means you will end up with a thick and warm blanket. It is often used to make baby blankets for this reason. 

Home décor

Sofa pillows are often made from chenille fabric because of their durability and softness. It is difficult to crease this material which means you can rest on them without problems. 

Treaezta Suhomra, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Advantages of chenille

  • The material is spongy, supple, and tightly woven. This means it is soft, thick, and durable. 
  • This material is scratch-resistant. This benefit makes it an excellent option for in-home use. Your pets will struggle to put marks on this material. The value of the chenille material will therefore remain constant for a more extended period. 
  • You can have clothing that is both lightweight and able to remain warm. The endothermal nature of the material has made it extremely popular. Without being overbearing, the material can stay warm. This versatility makes it an excellent choice for clothing. 

Disadvantages of chenille

  • Difficult to maintain. The effort involved in maintaining the product is a severe disadvantage. If you do not prepare well, the material can stretch, shrink, or become distorted. Minor maintenance errors will result in massive damage to the material. 
  • Easily stained. The soft nature of the chenille is due to the tall fibers used to weave the fabric. These piles can easily absorb water stains. You will notice that spilling any liquids on the material can be very difficult to clean.

What is velvet?

Velvet is a double cloth material that offers the consumer a plush feeling. This sensation of elitism is one of the main reasons this material is trendy worldwide. It is designed from either silk, cotton, polyester, or viscose. The fabric is then placed on a special loom that denser and smoother than chenille. It has a superb ability to catch the light and reflect it. This benefit is why it is trendy for home décor and fashion. Many designers choose this material when they are looking to make a statement. 


Commons uses for velvet.


The plush nature of velvet makes it exceptional for headboards. The material is soft and spongy, meaning you can rest your head comfortably. It also will help prevent the headboard from losing structure over time.


The ability of velvet to absorb light makes them an excellent option to consider when designing carpets. If you want curtains that can blackout light, then velvet curtains are perfect. They can help manage light and temperature in a room without additional fabric. 


Velvet has been used in clothing since as early as 2000 BCE. Egyptians are believed to have started the trend. The natural softness of the material, combined with its shiny appearance, makes it a daring and bold choice to go with. Celebrities enjoy this material because of the attention it brings them. 

Advantages of velvet

  • Can absorb light. Light absorption is helpful in the home on curtains to prevent glare while watching tv.
  • The soft and textured feel is very cool temperature-wise. Many people feel it is warm enough to wear without additional items underneath. This helps keep people light and warm.
  • Constant in all weather. This material is made to survive in cold and warm environments without sustaining damage. It will hold up its color nicely in both winter and summer.

Disadvantages of velvet

  • When made from silk, the material requires extreme caution. Silk velvet is well known to be delicate and easy to ruin.
  • The maintenance is quite tricky. You will need to carefully study the instructions provided by the manufacturer for your specific type of velvet.

Cost comparison

On average, you will find that velvet costs more than chenille. Chenille costs about $7 per meter at the lower end. Velvet averages at close to the $12 per meter mark.

Durability comparison

Velvet is more durable than chenille. Velvet is less stable than chenille if it is made primarily from silk. Chenille can be easily affected by water stains but is more resistant to scratches than velvet. These water stains will often be absorbed and can be difficult to remove. 

Difference between chenille and velvet

  • Chenille is created by using short-length threads that are bunched up together. These fibers are found at right angles and are more scratch-resistant. 
  • Velvet can absorb light and is much denser than chenille. It is also smoother; however, it requires more maintenance to keep in good condition. 

Similarities between chenille and velvet

  • Both are very soft.
  • Both are very warm.
  • Both can be difficult to keep in good condition


You can easily machine wash chenille blankets, making them a better option to maintain. Velvet often requires dry cleaning because it may shrink if exposed to chemicals or hot water. 

Elissa Smith
Latest posts by Elissa Smith (see all)

Leave a Comment