Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Word of the Day: chenille

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Chenille is an extremely soft fabric that commonly lines sofas, bedspreads, and throw pillows. Chenille yarn is made from wool, cotton, silk, or rayon, but it’s notable for the way its pile sticks out. Picture a long, thin yarn with hairs sticking out all over. Might work if you’re making a caterpillar in the crafts room. Sure enough, chenille is French for “caterpillar.” Actually, chenille is dimunitive of chiene, French for “dog.” This makes chenille closely related to the English canine. So think twice before telling your furry friend to stay off your chenille sofa, because even dogs are entitled to a little fun with the language.

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