Custom slipcovers can change the look of a room instantly and extend the life of your upholstery. Beyond the advantages of easily expressing a different style or color palette (and changing it back again if and whenever you want), slipcovers are a beautifully relaxed option for vacation houses and rental homes, or just for making visits from the grandkids completely worry-free.
One thing you may be asking yourself, is “How much fabric do I need?” Custom slipcovers are often less expensive than reupholstery. Calico design shops can provide better estimates when they know more about your furniture and fabric. The following are “ballpark” estimates and do not factor in the additional fabric needed for pattern repeats:
Add 1½ yards for each additional loose cushion on seat or back
Add 1½ yards for sofas that are 90″ to 108″ long
These estimates assume that the slipcover will be made with self-welting and a skirt.
Separate estimates can be provided for contrast welting.
There will be many different layers of fabric where seams join.
Consider prints, twills, denims, cotton duck and sailcloth. Linen and linen blends are guaranteed to wrinkle, which may be undesirable.
Tightly woven, colorful fabrics will not reveal the upholstery underneath.
A contrast welt draws attention to the lines of your furniture. If using a contrast welt, choosing a similar weave and weight as the slipcover fabric. If your furniture has matching side pillows consider using a contrast welt or fringe on just the pillows. This will provide visual interest, even if using self-welting on the body of the slipcover.
Latex backing causes the fabric to buckle and wrinkle instead of sliding over the fabric beneath it.
An exposed wood frame will be felt beneath the slipcover, unless it is designed to tie-on like a pinafore, instead of covering the frame like a dress.
Slipcovers will not fix sagging cushions or broken springs. Add new foam or Dacron wrap to renew your cushions.
You’ll save on fabric if your sofa or chair is suited to a slipcover without a skirt, or if a dining chair can be made with a short skirt. Wing chairs with legs can also be slipcovered without a skirt, or have a short pleated or gathered skirt added.
Be sure to specify the look you want. Your slipcover will be cut and fit in your home so you wont be without the use of your furniture.
This will preserve the hand of the fabric and reduce the risk of shrinkage. Most slipcover fabrics are not suitable for washing., which could cause shrinkage, stress on the seams, and shorten the life of the slipcover.