Machine washing chenille is okay as long as a delicate or gentle cycle is used, along with a mild detergent and cold water. Hand washing makes chenille fabric last longer. Turn sweaters inside-out before hand washing, and wring the clothing out before drying.
Only use a clothes dryer if it has a delicate or gentle setting. Only use low heat. Otherwise, line dry or lay the clothing flat to dry.
Check the label on the clothing for specific washing and drying instructions for a particular garment. Even when the label says that a chenille garment is machine-washable, washing may not be the best option because chenille tends to fray.