Sandy Chilewich has popularized and boosted the reputation of extruded yarn manufacture, specifically in vinyl, which used to be reserved for more industrial applications. She took advantage of a fairly simple mechanical process involving relatively few steps to make much of the woven vinyl products that are part of her eponymous line. The extrusion process begins with polymer pellets, which are melted and extruded through spinnerets. The filaments solidify and cool during the transit when they are drawn to the right diameter and finally wound on a cone to begin the weaving process. Unlike staple fibers, such as cotton and wool, which have a limited length, extruded yarns are a continuous filament and can be any length.
Brocade Nickel is a very dense jacquard woven textile using two sizes of extruded yarns: the standard, thin extruded yarn, and Chilewich-designed “bubble yarn” (a bumpy and irregular yarn that results from a flaw in the extrusion process, and which Chilewich used in other textiles). The “bubble yarns” provide luster and texture when contrasted with the long floats of thinner yarn resulting in a very dimensional textile.