Bouclé – pronounced ‘boo-clay’ in the Queen’s Australian or ‘boo-cleh- if you want to get Frenchy about it – is making one hell of a comeback, and if you’re about to redecorate your place, you need to know about it.
If you were around in the fifties, you might remember Chanel using bouclé fabric to make iconic skirt suits, or perhaps you recall the infamous pink bouclé suit that Jackie Kennedy was wearing when her husband was assassinated in 1963.
Or maybe you’re reading this wondering what the bouclé we’re even talking about.
Well, never fear, our design team has given us the low-down on bouclé, and they are all heart-eyes and swoony-knees over this tactile trend.
Bouclé creates warmth, texture and depth in interior styling, and the best part is that it’s as functional and comfortable as it is gorgeous.
It’s perfect for Scandi and Mid-century Modern spaces, but touches of bouclé can be integrated into most interior design styles to add texture and cosiness.
Image courtesy of @McMullinandco
What kind of fabric is Bouclé anyway?
So, what does bouclé even mean?
The term bouclé can be used to describe yarn made from looped fibres, or the fabric that is made from it.
The name ‘bouclé’ comes from the French word meaning curled, or looped, and it’s usually made from wool, but can also be created from silk, linen and cotton.
It was first created in 1948 by furniture designer Eero Saarinen when he created his now iconic ‘womb chair’ to add an extra element of comfort to his design.
In the years that followed, the fabric was used for fashion (oui oui Coco), and became a favourite upholstery option of mid-century designers.
It went out of favour for a while there, but now it’s back in a big way, and contemporary furniture and interior designers are loving its nubby texture and durability for injecting some personality into their work.
Image courtesy of @BrosaDesign
Why do we love bouclé so much?
Bouclé is the ultimate hat-trick of a fabric – comfy, hard-wearing, and beautiful.
It can be used for a variety of home decorating tricks, and is soft and teddy-bearish – and who couldn’t use a hit of that cosy feeling right about now?
It absorbs light, so never gives off that nasty sheen that man-made fabrics can, and its matte, fleecy appearance makes it really versatile, and perfect for dressing modern homes.
"Bouclé is the ultimate hat-trick of a fabric – comfy, hard-wearing, and beautiful"
How to use bouclé in your home décor
One of our favourite things about bouclé is its versatility. You can go in hard, with bouclé upholstered furniture, or you can introduce it slowly, with subtle bouclé accents.
- Bouclé furniture As an upholstery fabric, bouclé works particularly well with curved furniture shapes – think a gorgeous curvaceous couch or armchair.
Because bouclé works so well in cream and neutral tones, it’s nice to balance a bouclé couch out with a fairly plain coffee table in a dark colour to make the creamy couch really pop, as will pairing it with angular pieces and contrasting textures.
Ottomans are another easy way to introduce bouclé to your living room, and look fantastic when paired with a leather couch.
In the eating areas of your home, bouclé dining chairs and stools make a luxurious statement, especially when paired with squared off tables and benches and angular/geometric accents.
In the bedroom, bouclé makes a fabulous bed-head, and creates a truly cosy and inviting place to lay your head at the end of another long day.
- Bouclé accessories If you’re not quite ready to commit to a piece of bouclé furniture, you can dip your toe in the bouclé pool with soft bouclé cushion covers, or a nubby bouclé blanket draped across the couch or bed.
Bouclé is also a fantastic option for window furnishings, due to its acoustic absorption properties.
Image courtesy of @GlobeWest
How to maintain bouclé and keep it looking schmick
One question that’s regularly asked about bouclé, especially given that it’s most commonly found in shades of cream and pale neutrals, is – is it hard to keep clean?
And the answer, thankfully, is no!
It has a low liquid absorption, which means if you’re quick on your feet, spills won’t be a big deal.
The vacuum will be your bestie with a piece of bouclé furniture – give it a whiz with the upholstery attachment for general maintenance and to keep the pile looking the goods, or to deal with dry spills like crumbs.
It’s important not to use the spinny floor attachment though, as it’ll damage the bouclé pile.
As with any kind of upholstery, if you spill a liquid on to bouclé, get onto it before it dries.
Use a clean microfibre cloth and some warm water with gentle soap or wool wash to coax the stain out in circular motions, moving towards the centre of the stain, and let it dry naturally.
Keen to see how a bouclé piece or two would look at your place? The FURNISHD. crew can design your ideal space and send you a suggested layout of your rooms, an item list with recommended sizes where applicable, and budget allocations to suit your needs to let you see exactly how bouclé furnishings could elevate your interior, before you purchase your perfect piece!