Slipcover Denim: Beyond White and Natural

Do you love the look of denim slipcovers but want more color than white or natural? You’re in luck! Cotton bull denim and yarn dyed denim fabrics are showing up in all kinds of colors — from earthy neutrals to saturated brights to classic blues. Here are a few colorful denim slipcovers to spark ideas for your next project.

Arhaus Baldwin Cotton Denim Custom Slipcover

This Mist cotton bull denim is a chalky sage-aqua color. You have to see it in person — it’s soooo pretty. I’ve been drooling over it ever since I made a slipcover copy for this Arhaus Baldwin chair.

A cheery yellow denim slipcover and sunshine streaming through the window. You can’t beat that happy combo ūüôā

Burlap Brown Custom Denim Slipcover

Denim fabrics in warm shades of brown, earth and mushroom are versatile neutrals. A good option when you want to hide dirt and pet hair. I made this slipcover with 14 oz cotton yarn denim in Burlap Brown.

Classic Indigo Denim Love Seat Slipcover

Classic indigo denim never goes out of style. I used heavy weight, medium shade indigo yarn dyed denim for this project.  This darker shade looks great, too. Washes, wears and fades beautifully just like a pair of old school Levis.

Grey is another versatile color that looks fantastic in cotton denim slipcovers no matter the style. Like any color, grey hues vary greatly. Right now Big Duck Canvas stocks several shades from light grey to charcoal.

Want more denim options? I share more resources on my DENIM page.

3 Reasons to Slipcover in Summer

Custom Chair Slipcovers Natural Denim

Mary does “summer dress” beautifully.

As soon as warm weather arrives she swaps out her cozy, plush winter decor for fresh, breezy items in a lighter color palette.

Sheer linen curtains replace dark winter drapes. A bouquet of homegrown lilacs take a front and center spot on her mantle. And, her new natural denim slipcovers brighten up her English roll arm chairs.

I got talking to Mary about her seasonal makeover ritual when I was pin fitting at her  home in Lowell, MI. Here are 3 reasons why summer slipcovers suit her lifestyle so well:

1. Instant refresh.¬† With slipcovers, Mary can create an entirely new look & feel in her living room for the warmer months. Then, when winter returns she can store her summer slips and enjoy the texture and darker colors of her upholstered pieces once again. It’s like having two sets of furniture!

2. Protective and practical.¬†Durable, washable slipcovers are the best way to prolong the life of upholstery. Mary’s home is busy¬†during the summer, welcoming family, friends and pets. Her slipcovers protect her furniture from harsh sunlight, dirt, sweat, spills and muddy little paws.¬† Who cares if they get dirty — they’re washable!

3. Provides cool comfort.  Cotton denim slipcovers feel cool to the touch, which is ideal for our hot and humid summers here in Michigan. Mary chose a light color and a washed, casual fit for her covers, a comfy combo for laid back summer living.

Want more summer slipcover inspiration? Check out my denim slips in white and natural.

Slipcover Style: Indigo Ikats

Cotton Ikat Prints for Slipcovers

There’s no doubt a slipcover made in an Ikat print is truly a statement piece. Just look at Pam Morris’s¬†camel back sofa and armchair above. Stunning, right?¬†Especially in those inky blues.

These home decor prints are inspired by woven Ikat designs that use a resist dye method on the yarns before weaving the pattern. Ikat prints do a good job of capturing the tie-dyed look of the woven version. They’re good mixers, too. Don’t be shy about combining your favorite Ikat with other patterns such as stripes, checks and small dobby designs like French General’s Ikat Pointe.

Look for Ikats printed on medium weight duck/canvas in 100% cotton or a linen blend. They work well for slipcovers that get moderate use and occasional wash.

Slipcover Cotton Ikat Prints

Ikat fabric images from Fabric.com

Here are a few Ikat options I curated for your next slipcover project — clockwise from upper left:

As always, if you plan on making a washable slipcover be sure to do a wash and dry test on a one yard sample before you commit to purchasing your yardage.

Got Pets? These 5 Protective Slipcover Fabrics Will Save Your Upholstery

Pet-Friendly Slipcover Fabrics

Hello pet owners! In today’s post I’m answering your most frequently asked question: what is the best pet-proof fabric for slipcovers? Is there one that will repel pet hair and withstand cat scratching and dog drool?

Yes, there is one fabric that will do it all: Cordura Classic nylon canvas in 1000 denier. This super durable, stain and abrasion resistant cloth will completely protect your upholstery from cat claws and muddy paws. Oh, and pet hair brushes right off.

But fair warning, Cordura canvas is slippery, shiny and feels cold. Forget about comfort and beauty. It‚Äôs primarily designed for heavy duty use like horse blankets, back packs, work boots and even seat covers for an old pick-up ‚Äď yes, I‚Äôve made one.

My guess is a slippery, shiny nylon slipcover is not the look and feel you’re going for even with all of its protective bells and whistles. So, what’s the alternative?

I recommend these 5 fabrics for protective slipcovers:

  • 10 oz Army Duck — very tightly woven with 2-plied yarns making it very strong and resistant to tearing and moisture. Smoother surface than canvas.
  • #12 weight Cotton Duck — densely woven with 2-plied yarns. Very durable. A little more grainy¬† appearance than Army Duck. Resists moisture.
  • 14 oz Yarn Dyed Denim — heavy weight cotton denim with a two-tone color effect good at camouflaging pet hair and dirt. Wears and washes well like a good pair of blue jeans.
  • 12 oz Heavy Weight Cotton Canvas¬†— workwear tough canvas (designed for coveralls, jackets) that can withstand heavy use.¬† Extremely durable yet soft.
  • 12 oz Cotton Bull Denim Natural¬†— tight weave, strong and excellent coverage. Most durable 12 oz natural denim I’ve come across.

Are these cotton canvas and denim fabrics pet-proof? No, not 100% but they are tightly woven, durable and washable — key features that make a slipcover protective and long lasting.

In addition to guarding your upholstery against pet wear and tear, you’ll find these options make a good looking and comfy slipcover. Pet hair will likely stick to these fabrics. It’s inevitable. And, of course, excessive cat scratching on these fabrics will cause snagging and tearing over time.

Finally, you might be wondering why I didn’t include¬†any synthetic performance fabrics in my fab five list. I’m talking about the high-end decorator upholstery fabrics (for indoor or outdoor) that resist stains. That’s because those type of fabrics (usually made from Olefin) are dry clean only and typically attract pet hair much more than unbrushed cotton denim and canvas.

Do you have pets and use slipcovers? What protective fabric do you like best?

Slipcover Replacement: Can your old sofa or chair cover be copied?

Replacement Sofa Slipcover DenimCatherine’s old slipcover was cat scratched, stained, shrunk-up and stretched out. At first glance you might think how in the world can her cover be copied with good results.

Well, in spite of its worn out condition, Catherine’s slipcover turned out to be a straightforward pattern to replicate. Here’s why:¬†¬†

  1. Overall good fit. The slipcover frame (the body) fit relatively well. It only needed minor fit adjustments — a few simple fixes to restore the original shape such as adding ease, squaring up corners and raising the slouchy skirt.
  2. Cushion covers intact. The overall shape and fit of the back and seat cushion covers could be copied as-is. No additional pattern drafting or guesswork needed.
  3. New slipcover fabric similar to original.¬† Slipcover fit translates best when the fabric for the new slipcover is the same or similar weave and weight as the original. Catherine’s old cover was made with a sturdy cotton denim. For her slipcover copy I used this durable, washable¬†12 oz cotton bull denim in color Soft Cream¬†from Big Duck Canvas.

See more slipcover copies I’ve created and learn what else to consider when it’s time to have your old slipcover copied.