Bouclé, the French word meaning "curled" is a chunky fabric made of nubby looped fibers. The texture is created during the plying process where the fabric material is held taut while looser fibers naturally create random loops in the yarn. Historically, bouclé fabric was made of wool but these days you can find it woven from a variety of materials including cotton, linen, polyester and rayon.
The textile has been taking the design world by storm since late 2020 and picking up steam over the last year becoming the "it" fabric in the interior design world. What came back as a revived mid-century modern trend is a look that seems to have real staying power.
A favorite of iconic fashion houses and mid-century designers, namely Chanel & Vladimir Kagan, bouclé was a mark of luxury and became a staple for both couture houses and renowned furniture designers.
The rich heavy fabric was favored because of its visual texture, soft feel and ability to bring an immediate level of chic sophistication.
While you’ll probably most often see bouclé used on sculptural sofas and rounded modern chairs, these days the material is being applied to home furnishings of all shapes and sizes.
Charu Gandhi of the incredible design studio Elicyon notes:
“We are working a lot with natural materials. Bouclé, wool and linen have replaced silk and sheen fabrics. Bouclé is a beautiful fabric to work with on upholstery and really lends itself to rounder, softer furniture styles that are also popular. We are incorporating a lot of curved, sculptural pieces upholstered in rich bouclé, often in quite neutral tones, which lets the fabric speak for itself. Bouclé can also be a great fabric to use on a statement headboard and adds a fashionable note to a space.”
I best prefer bouclé in a solid color- I am partial to the very rich warm whites- and in very sleek curved shapes.
One of my favorite looks is that of a modern Parisian apartment. Nothing says French vibes like a curved white bouclé sofa in a tall-ceilinged, molding-clad apartment. Pair it with an interesting hard surface coffee table and an elaborate antique chandelier and you've got design magic.
For a more contemporary take, using bouclé in dark tones like charcoal grey or even black is a minimal modern approachI have noticed cropping up in a lot of retail stores like CB2.
As a fabric itself, it is unique in that it is extremely versatile; durable enough for large furniture pieces, sturdy yet light enough for window treatments yet soft and interesting enough for throw pillow coverings.
Furniture designers both high-end and retail level continue to produce bouclé wrapped pieces. The beloved texture even now extends to the walls with bouclé woven wallpapers perfect for creating cozy cocoon-like rooms. In fashion, the classic bouclé blazer gets re-imagined with a modern fit and even hair accessories and shoes are sporting the textured fabric.
Here is a round-up of the best in bouclé this Spring: