Now that boucle is having a major home décor moment; you may be asking yourself, what is boucle? And what is the big deal about it? Well, boucle is a timeless fabric trend that made a resurgence recently. You will find boucle fabric coupled with other fabrics or spot it as an accent feature on a furniture piece. Boucle fabric is having its moment going by its popularity in interior design and the fashion industry.
What is Boucle?
Boucle is a French name that means ‘loop’ or ‘curl.’ Boucle fabric is thus named because of the loops in its yarn. The loops are nubby, with a fleecy appearance. What makes boucle a unique fabric is the wide range of benefits it offers to upholstered furniture.
This fabric is heavy enough to be used for acoustic absorption and soft enough to make pillow covers. Hence, boucle is a versatile fabric with varying applications in the design industry. While you might not know boucle fabric by name, chances are you have seen this ultra-popular fabric on cozy pillows, elegant chairs, or curvy couches. It is not easy to miss this fabric, especially on home décor.
Boucle is highly textured and adds a layer of visual interest for furniture that would otherwise look neutral. Although this fabric was once common in mid-century homes, boucle is making a comeback in our modern homes to create warm and inviting décor.
What is Boucle Fabric History?
What is boucle's origin, and how has this fabric risen to popularity? Boucle has its origin in Europe, where it was a popular mid-century style. Boucle fabric was originally made from wool. However, like most fabrics, designers have found other ways of making boucle fabrics, and they incorporate materials like linen, silk, polyester, and cotton.
Boucle fabric became popular in the U.S in the 1940s. It so happened that an architect asked a designer to make a chair that would allow someone to curl up on it. The designer, Eero Saarinen, designed an iconic chair that featured the soft boucle fabric. The Womb chair by Eero led to the rise in popularity of boucle fabric. As a result, boucle featured prominently in many furniture designs and later in clothing designs in the 1950s. It was first used by Coco Chanel, a popular fashion house in the mid-century. Many world-renowned fashion designers have used it from time to time since.
Today, boucle is an ideal fabric used to add softness to a wide range of things. Materials woven from boucle fabric can make jackets, sweaters, wardrobe items, and accessories in many styles. While the fabric’s name may have been out of trend for a while, the classic boucle (boo-clay) jacket has maintained its popularity over the decades.
The jacket was popularized by Coco Chanel, the iconic French fashion designer. While the term boucle has become synonymous with this classy jacket, it refers to a fabric made from boucle yarn and not a specific garment as some people tend to think.
Boucle clothing is available in a variety of modern blends and acrylics. When jackets and sweaters are made from such lightweight materials as acrylic, they get awesome versatility. Besides, garments made this trendy fabric can be worn in different seasons.
What is Boucle Fabric Made Of?
Now that you know what is boucle, you are probably curious to know what it is made of. Boucle fabric is made by combining two strands of the boucle yarn. Tension is applied on one stand while the other strand is left loose. When the double-twisted strands are piled, the loose stand forms the loops while the other is the anchor.
You can use a roller foot or walking foot on your sewing machine to sew boucle fabrics. Also, you can use any thread to make this fabric, whether polyester, cotton, or a blend of them. Like other fabrics, you can use different colors to develop any pattern or style of your choice.
While boucle fabric was originally made from traditional wool, many designers incorporate other materials such as silk, rayon, alpaca, linen, cotton, merino, and even wool blends. Interestingly, these materials also offer great fabric designs.
What is Boucle Characteristics?
When we think about fabrics, what comes to mind is what they are known for. But what is boucle known for? Generally, boucle is known for its nubbly and fleecy appearance. Boucle offers a textured look because it is made from natural fibers. It falls between the natural linen texture and soft fleece. The fabric looks uneven because it is spun using twisted yarns of varying thicknesses and lengths. Also, boucle can have metallic fibers of gold or silver.
What is Boucle Used For?
Boucle is highly versatile that has a wide range of applications. Some of these uses include:
Boucle fabric has numerous home décor uses, including making cozy furniture. As people try to spend more time with their loved ones at home, warm and inviting home décor is essential. Boucle offers exactly this in a variety of ways. It is a soft-textured fabric that is great for upholstering sofas and chairs. Silky boucle fabric pairs well with furniture pieces with curved edges because the soft curves of the furniture complement the fabric.
Boucle fabric is also great for draping window treatments. Because of its heaviness, this fabric can filter window light and softness to your space.
Throw Pillow and Blankets
The boucle fabric is also great for making throw pillows and blankets, thanks to their textural accents. Boucle throws add an inviting layer to beds and couches.
The use of boucle fabric does not end with interior design. Additionally, boucle is a prominent fabric in the fashion world. Designers have been doing a great job crafting textured shirts, wool coats, couture suiting, and other garments. The most common color that is used for garment making is cream and natural tones. However, designers are always crafting different colored yarns that run through the fabric.
How to Choose the Right Boucle Fabric
Having answered the question on what is boucle and why it is such a great fabric, the next thing is to know how to pick the right boucle fabric that suits you. If you are ready to take the plunge and ride with the boucle wave, you will find that adding it to your home décor for the first time can feel like a daunting and scary task. Luckily, there are ways to ensure that you pick the fabric that best suits you.
It would be best if you first got as many boucle fabric samples as possible since boucle fabrics vary by supplier, color, and type. As you go through the samples, think about the furniture you intend to use the fabric for. You should do your research to determine whether the boucle fabric you have in mind is suitable for the kind of furniture.
It is also important to note that boucle can feel scratchy on the skin. Therefore, you should be careful to ensure that you select the texture that is right for your skin.
To make the boucle trend last in your home for many years, consider choosing neutral colored fabric for your furniture and other decorative accessories. Although boucle is a timeless fabric, neutral colors are more likely to last longer than brighter colors.
What is Boucle Fabric Care Instruction?
If your boucle fabric is washable, you should take the time to clean it so that it stays in its best condition. Generally, the care or cleaning procedure will depend on the type of material. Boucle made from wool is usually dry-cleaned only. However, boucle fabric made from more durable materials like cotton and linen can hold up to an occasional machine wash.
What is Boucle's Cleaning Technique?
- Place boucle fabric in the washing machine and add gentle soap or detergent.
- Set your washing machine to delicate washing.
- Fill in your washing machine with cold water.
- You should then dry the boucle on a drying rack, clothesline or place it on a large towel on the ground if you prefer not to hang it.
- To iron boucle fabric, set your iron box to wool setting.
What is Boucle, and Is It Worth It?
The answer to this question is subjective, but it is fair to say that boucle is worth it. On the downside, boucle is expensive because it is used in modern couture. Nevertheless, there are credible reasons’ justifying that boucle is worth its price.
Boucle will not become matted beyond repairs like in the case of sheepskin or Sherpa. Also, this fabric can be machine-washed even though it is made from cotton and linen. What’s more, is that boucle fabric is extremely durable. Who would not like a fabric that will withstand the test of time?
However, like all other fabrics, boucle also has some drawbacks. It has a high affinity for catching pet hair in its fibers. It should also be obvious that this soft fabric can be easily shredded if left in the company of cats and dogs. Additionally, the fabric is not a good choice for homes prone to spills, such as a home with children. The thing is, while boucle may not be the most practical fabric option, it is a great choice that will add to the beauty and class of your interiors.
What is Boucle Fabric- In Conclusion?
To recap, boucle fabric is a yarn that is mainly used as a textured or accent fabric. It is also used as a dimensional accessory for several other fabrics. If you want to add a timeless look to your home and décor, this fabric is worth considering. Plus, it is prominent in the fashion world, and you can incorporate it into your wardrobe. We hope that this article has answered all your questions regarding: “what is boucle.”