Bury Me in Chenille: a Love Letter to Winter’s Softest, Most Underrated Material

Photo: Getty Images/Duke Harrod / EyeEm
There are two stages of winter—there's the part where you can wear either a jacket or a thick sweater and then there's the part where you have to wear both (at the minimum). And I know this goes against the idea of sweater weather and the rest of it, but I'm not big on the layering staple. My skin is sensitive and I end up with real and phantom rashes whenever I put straight up wool on my body. So come winter, the only word I want to hear—and the only cloth I want to feel—is chenille. It's the best winter fabric in my opinion.

It feels like being hugged by the physical embodiment of softness and unconditional love.

Chenille, which is the French word for caterpillar, in case you were wondering, is a yarn usually made from 100-percent cotton, silk, or a synthetic material, that's got a pile-face weave (which makes it tufted and fuzzy to the touch). The stuff is like a cross between plush velvet and the unidentifiable magical property that makes the LoveSac so comfortable. It feels like being hugged by the physical embodiment of softness and unconditional love.

If hygge season had an official fabric, given the comfort and warmth it provides, chenille is the mind-blowingly obvious choice. Over the last two years of my obsession with the material, I've found a wild number of ways to incorporate it into my life. It started with the obvious selection—chenille sweaters. They're soft to the touch but also actually provide insulation and keep you warm—without being bulky. (As a thick woman, I don't want, or need, any extra mass.) Sweaters made out of the material are impenetrable and heat-trapping. But! They don't make it look like I'm wearing a fanny pack under my sweater.

From sweaters, I moved on to chenille socks (very real and very comfortable), and the fabric is now an integral part of my home decor. There are chenille rugs (for when you're not in chenille socks), and chenille blankets to cocoon yourself in while wearing a chenille robe. If you can't tell, my hygge setup is about plushness and a type of softness that has me canceling every social commitment (JOMO!) I've made for the foreseeable future, so please don't disturb my chenille slumber unless you have a chenille-related question. K, thanks!

If you are going to switch out of chenille, these are the trends Pinterest is predicting and how gorpcore could become part of your wardrobe

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