I came across this snippet of textile history. The story of how chenille was invented by Catherine Evans Whitener is covered in a brief article Chenille: American Women’s Ingenuity by Christina Lynn Whited

In 1895, when she was 15, she decided to sew a household gift for her brother, who was to be married. From reading ladies’ how-to books, Catherine was familiar with a technique called chenille, French for “caterpillar.” The French dressmakers used to apply this decorative stitch (comprised of fuzzy cut threads) as a trim. Catherine adapted their instructions and made a unique bedspread.

The story grows from there …

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