There’s a textile that’s taking the design and fashion world by storm. Perhaps you’ve seen it (or felt it!) but didn’t know what it was called. Or maybe you know the name but have no idea how to pronounce it. What is this fabric we speak of? Boucle. It’s become quite the “it” fabric in the interior design world over the past two years. So, we thought it was about time to give you all a proper introduction to this textural and oh-so-soft fabric.
What is Boucle?
Boucle is a very chunky, heavy fabric with serious texture. It’s made of nubby, looped fibers which are very soft to the touch. (Similar to the soft fluffiness of sherpa.) Historically, boucle fabric was made of wool or mohair, with the word boucle referring to both the yarn and the fabric made from the yarn. But today, you can find boucle fabric woven from all sorts of materials—from cotton and linen to wool blends, polyester, and rayon.
The word boucle comes from the French word boucler, which means “to curl.” (You know, because of those curly-looking looped fibers!) And how do you pronounce this fabric’s name? Boo-clay. (You’re welcome.)
We love the cozy texture and super soft feel of this trendy fashion fabric, which can bring that magical je ne sais quoi to any room it’s in by offering incredible visual texture and depth.
Is Boucle Durable and Practical?
With its looped, textural finish, boucle looks (and feels) amazon. But is it practical? We’ve all spilled food on our sofas or gotten drops of coffee on a throw pillow—so you probably want to know if boucle can stand up to daily wear and tear. And rightfully so!
Here’s what we can tell you: Boucle has a low liquid absorption, so spills are easier to clean than on other fabrics. And it doesn’t get matted down or shed like sheepskin or sherpa fabric tends to. It holds up to sunlight, generally resisting fading, and its looped fibers are very durable. However, because of these looped fibers, it does tend to hold onto pet hairs. And while boucle doesn’t exclusively come in shades of white and cream, a majority of boucle upholstery does sit in the light neutrals camp—so, as with any white sofa, there are risks.
But overall, it’s a surprisingly durable upholstery choice for furniture and decor!
How to Decorate with Boucle
While you’ll probably most often see boucle used on sculptural, modern sofas and chairs, this material is being applied to all sorts of furniture and decor, in many different shapes and sizes. Scroll down to see some of the best ways to use bouclé fabric in your home’s design. Keep calm and cozy on!
1. Boucle Sofa
If you want to go all out with a boucle, opt for a boucle sofa (or two!). You’ll not only end up with a major style statement in your living room, but you’ll also have a super soft sofa. (Now that’s a win-win.)
Some people feel that boucle is more of a winter fabrice—but the reality is that you’re not going to swap out a boucle sofa for something else in the summer, like you would throw pillows or duvet covers. So, a boucle sofa is a better choice if you live in a colder climate (or if you don’t mind sitting on boucle fabric in the heat of summer!).
2. Boucle Dining Chairs
Boucle dining chairs are a more low-key way to integrate boucle into your home’s design. This fabric makes for super cozy dining chairs, especially if you’re someone who loves to host dinner parties! This is a less practical choice if you have young kids or don’t want to stress about keeping them clean!
However, you can always use boucle dining chairs elsewhere around your home. In the design above, we used them as extra seating in a home office!
3. Boucle Armchair
Boucle is endlessly cozy—making it the perfect upholstery choice for a chair in a reading nook! An overstuffed boucle armchair will help create the ultimate cozy reading zone, giving you the perfect place to snuggle up with a book. Try it in your living room or even as a reading nook in your bedroom!
4. Boucle Ottoman
Ottomans and poufs are a great way to dabble in decor trends without committing to it in a big way. After all, these are smaller, movable pieces of furniture that can easily be moved from room to room. So, boucle-covered ottomans and poufs are a great, small way to incorporate this fabric into your home’s design. They can add a pop of texture to any space. And with boucle’s softness, a boucle ottoman would be great in a living room—but also a super fun addition to a kids’ space!
5. Boucle Pillows
Throw pillows are another small but simple way to incorporate boucle into your home decor. Swapping out your pillows is a great way to make a seasonal update. You can easily pull out those boucle pillow covers in the winter, then retire them during warmer months. And since pillow covers are relatively inexpensive, this is a great way to try out the boucle trend without a major financial commitment.
Designer Tip: Boucle pillows are a great addition to your cozy winter decor—and boucle happens to pair beautifully with velvet!
6. Boucle Bed Frame
If you want to go all in on embracing cozy vibes year-round, consider a boucle bed frame. A bed is a place to snuggle up and relax, making boucle a great fit for an upholstered bed. A shelter headboard like the one pictured above creates an enveloping feel so you’ll be wrapped up in a cozy cocoon every time you crawl into bed!
7. Boucle Bench
An upholstered boucle bench is the happy medium if you’re looking for a larger way to incorporate boucle but don’t want to commit to something so foundational as a sofa or bed frame. It rides the line between being a smaller decorative accent item and a larger functional piece—and may we just say, it does so quite elegantly.
The boucle bench pictured above makes a definite style statement, but the benefit of a bench is that you can easily move it from room to room if you want to change things up. And that simply leaves you with a fun, sculptural piece that will have everyone saying, “Oooh! Where did you get this?!”
8. Boucle Rugs
Plot twist! While boucle is generally an upholstery material, it isn’t confined to just that. In fact, as we mentioned at the top of the post, boucle not only refers to the finished material but also to the yarn used to make the material. And do you know what that means? You can also cover your floors in a luxurious coating of boucle with a boucle rug! Talk about super soft and cozy underfoot!
Designer Picks: Our Favorite Boucle Products in the Modsy Catalog
Want help incorporating this “it” fabric into your home’s design?