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What Makes Bouclé Fabric Unique? A Deep Dive

what is boucle fabric used for
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Bouclé (pronounced “boo-clay”) is a textured fabric known in the design world for its distinct knotty appearance. The word ‘Bouclé’ comes from the French word “bouclér” meaning “to curl”. This refers to the loops or curls in the yarn, which gives the Bouclé its warm, fleecy look. Bouclé comes in various colors ranging from muted, earthy tones to bright, effervescent hues.

Bouclé Through The Decades: A Journey of Style and Innovation

what is boucle fabric made of

Originating in France in the late nineteenth century, Bouclé started its journey in the local textile industry before transcending boundaries and being adopted around the world. Bouclé began rising in popularity in the United States of America in the 1920s and 1930s and was used in coats, jackets, and skirts.

It was the mid-20th century when Bouclé fabric’s global popularity skyrocketed. The Womb Chair, designed by Eero Saarinen in 1946, drew the world’s attention to this novel fabric and its potential to jazz up interior spaces. 

In the 1950s, Bouclé began its journey in fashion, courtesy of Coco Chanel, who started experimenting with the fabric to design the now-iconic Chanel Bouclé Jackets. The recent years have seen a resurgence in designers wanting to incorporate Bouclé in fashion and interior design.

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What Lends Bouclé Its Signature Texture

what is bouclé fabric

The secret to the curly, nubby texture and visual appeal of Bouclé lies in how it is made. Bouclé yarn combines two or more separate strands of thread, with one strand (called the effect strand) being loosely gathered around the core strand while it is plied.

Bouclé appears in various textures, from subtle nubby loops to bold, voluminous Bouclé yarns. The fabric’s unique construction makes it durable and versatile, giving any design project a chic and sophisticated look.

So, what is Bouclé fabric made up of? Originally made from wool, Bouclé yarns incorporate other fibers like mohair, cotton, silk, polymer, and synthetic blends. While a plain Bouclé is gorgeous on its own, several varieties exist with lurex threads, sequins, ribbons, and other elements incorporated within the textured fabric.

Caring for Bouclé Fabric: Maintaining Its Beauty and Longevity

what kind of fabric is boucle

While the unique and luxurious texture of the Bouclé makes it seem like a high-maintenance fabric, it is quite the opposite! Bouclé fabric is highly resilient and can be maintained in pristine condition for a long time with proper care.

  • Regularly dust Bouclé furniture by gently vacuuming with an upholstery attachment or brushing with a clean microfibre cloth.

  • Take care of spills as soon as possible, using a damp (not wet!) microfibre cloth to dab the fabric gently. Do not rub the cloth onto the Bouclé, as this will damage the delicate texture of the fabric.

  • Ideally, Bouclé fabric should always be washed in warm water. Avoid using vinegar, bleach, or strong chemical cleaners for heavily soiled items, and stick with water-based cleaners. If machine washing, make sure to keep the machine in delicate mode.

  • While washing smaller items like cushion covers or clothing, squeeze the fabric gently instead of wringing them. This helps preserve the looped texture of the Bouclé.

  • Iron Bouclé clothes on the wool setting.

As with most fabrics, the proper storage and handling of Bouclé articles helps prolong its lifespan. Store the Bouclé away from direct sunlight, in a dark, cool area separate from other fabrics.

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Bouclé Fabric: A Canvas for Creative Expression

what does boucle fabric look like

The uniqueness of Bouclé fabric makes it an excellent material for fashion designers, interior designers, and DIY enthusiasts alike.

Creating Inviting and Textured Interiors

If Bouclé fabric had a superpower, it would be the ability to add depth, dimension, and visual interest to any room. This textured fabric is the soft complement for bold single-color accent walls, monochrome ensembles, or colorful cushions.

  • Classy Bouclé curtains or rugs are fantastic ways to make interiors in modern or minimalistic styles appear cozier and more inviting. 

  • Similarly, simple Bouclé couches and brightly patterned throw pillows are a match made in heaven. 

  • The inherent coziness of traditional interior styles is the ideal home for Bouclé accessories like pillows and rugs.

  • Bouclé furniture in bright colors is perfect for those who prefer more eclectic interiors.

Fashion With Timeless Elegance and Modern Twists

While Chanel popularised the use of Bouclé in fashion in the 1950s, its craze is nowhere near over. Bouclé’s timeless appeal transcends trends — the versatile fabric is regularly adapted in styles ranging from casual and street fashion to formal attire. 

Some examples demonstrating the enduring relevance of Bouclé in fashion include:

  • Fashion enthusiasts are finding new ways to integrate Bouclé into their wardrobes by pairing Bouclé clothing with denim or silk camisoles.

  • The ageless appeal of monochromatic Bouclés has been given a modern twist with leather accessories and statement jewelry.

  • While Bouclé is generally associated with classy and elegant jackets, it is no longer limited to them. Fashion influencers like Lauren-Nicole Coppin Campbell and Eni demonstrate the versatility of the fabric by styling them as hats, shorts, skirts, playsuits, and even bucket hats!

Bouclé With A Touch of DIY

Bouclé opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities for DIY enthusiasts. The fabric can be used to create throw pillows, wall hangings, seat covers, and even fuzzy accessories. Bouclé yarn also makes excellent stockinettes, mittens, or hats - the perfect autumn project for crocheters and knitters.


Bouclé fabric, with its versatility and enduring appeal, is a transformative design element that imbues warmth and coziness into any space it is added to. Bouclé’s unique texture and elegance provide visual interest and spruce up your interior design projects. 

Now that you know what Bouclé is all about, it is time to set your imagination free and revolutionize your living spaces with comfort and elegance. But if you feel stuck in your interior design journey, feel free to seek guidance from experienced professional designers. From selecting the perfect fabric to incorporating Bouclé into various styles, ali & shea is here to inspire you through thoughtful design.

So, what are you waiting for? Discover the magic of Bouclé fabric with ali & shea!


What is Bouclé fabric used for?

The unique texture of the Bouclé makes it ideal for accent pieces in interior design. The fabric exudes elegance and warmth, making it popular among fashion designers and hobbyists.

What goes well with Bouclé fabric?

Is Bouclé fabric only for winter?


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