Author Archives: slipcovermaker

About slipcovermaker

I'm Karen, The Slipcover Maker. I make custom slipcovers inspired by casual, comfy living spaces and natural fabrics.

Old Ticking Stripe for New Slipcover

Back in 2014 I posted Ticking Stripe Fabric Reviews. At that time I tested a variety of ticking stripes all of which turned out to be too light weight, too limp or too narrow for slipcovers.

My search continues for the classic, old school stuff —  a cotton woven ticking (not printed) in a heavy weight twill or herringbone weave without fire retardant.

In the meantime, I leave you with a little ticking inspiration. For this simple tie-back slipcover, I used my stash of vintage ticks from the 1960’s — tightly woven, weighty and durable.

Indigo Ticking Stripe Chair Slipcover


Natural Canvas: 3 Favorites for Slipcovers

Natural canvas is one of the most popular fabrics used for casual, washable slipcovers.  Why? It’s affordable, durable and versatile. Below are 3 of my favorites.

Natural Cotton Duck for SlipcoversNatural Cotton Duck #12 Weight:  This tough cloth is designed for tents, awnings and tote bags but I found it works great for slipcovers. Pile on the kids and pets! It’s denser, thicker and more durable than 10 oz and 12 oz canvas. The look is simple, wrinkled and super casual. I buy it at Big Duck Canvas.

Cotton Poly Blend Canvas Natural

Natural Cotton Poly Canvas 12 oz:  No extreme wrinkles! This lovely cotton canvas is blended with a bit of polyester, which helps soften the wrinkle and adds strength. The subtle rib in the weave replaces the grainy texture found in 100% cotton canvas. I think you’ll love the French laundered look after it’s washed — softy crumpled, relaxed and very cottage-y.

Washed Natural 10 oz. Canvas Slipcover

Natural Cotton Canvas 10 oz:  Sewing your own slipcover? This 10 oz. canvas will sew just fine on your home sewing machine.  It’s the most economical canvas, a good choice when you’re on a tight budget and want to make a simple, medium weight slipcover. The hand-feel softens after it’s washed and takes on a relaxed, broken-in look with a grainy texture. Expect high wrinkle. I buy it at Big Duck Canvas.

Check out my reviews of the two Big Duck natural canvas fabrics mentioned above to get an idea of shrinkage and usage. Don’t forget to follow my fabric pre-shrink instructions to minimize wrinkles.

Denim Slipcover FAQ

Denim Fabrics for SlipcoversDo you wonder if denim is the right choice for your project? Below I answer your most frequently asked questions about one of my favorite slipcover fabrics.

Does denim work better than canvas for a slipcover?

For my own slipcovers I use denim more often than cotton canvas because I like the appearance better. I like the twill weave texture as opposed to the flat look of canvas. Denim also has less wrinkle than canvas.  Both denim and canvas are strong, versatile fabrics that make a good looking and durable slipcover. Consider the look you’re going for, your budget and what kind of use your slipcover will get.  Buy a yard of each denim and canvas you like, wash them and throw them over your furniture to see which one speaks to you.

Will un-dyed natural denim cover my dark color upholstered furniture?

Heavy weight 14 oz. natural denim does a good job at covering dark colors.  Most 12 oz. denims will, too. I recommend testing a sample to be sure.

What type of denim holds up best to kids and pets?  

A heavy weight 14 oz. denim will be the most durable and can take frequent washing.  It makes a very substantial slipcover. Some 12 oz. denims will also work well.  Both yarn dye denim and bull denim will work as long as they are heavyweight.  I don’t recommend denim that is lighter than 12 oz. for high traffic slipcovers.

 Is $18 denim better quality than one that is half the price?

Price doesn’t always reflect the fabric’s quality. I bought a $10 natural denim and liked the quality much more than a more expensive one I had.  I have also purchased discount denim and was very disappointed with the amount of flaws and extremely high shrinkage.  You can find out a lot about the fabric quality by doing a wash & dry test on one yard.

I bought denim that is pre-washed. Do I have to pre-shrink it before making my slipcover?

Yes! A fabric labeled “pre-washed” means the fabric has been finished in a way that makes it feel soft and supple.  It doesn’t mean all of the shrinkage has been removed.  Be sure to pre-shrink your denim yardage so your slipcover doesn’t shrink later on.

I found a denim I like but its Dry Clean Only.  Can it be washed?

The best way to find out is to wash test a yard.  I have washed many dry clean only cotton denim fabrics and most of them turned out great.  Sometimes they shrink more or fade easier than a washable denim so be sure to test a sample before you commit to a lot of yardage.

The indigo denim I bought feels very stiff after I washed it.  How can I soften it?

Frequent washing will relax the fabric over time but it probably will never feel like a soft and supple “pre-washed denim”.  Special chemicals and wash treatments are applied to the denim during production. These cannot be duplicated in a home laundry. In lieu of chemicals, I have tried vinegar, fabric softeners, dryer sheets and dryer balls to soften stiff denim without success.

When shopping for denim, don’t confuse stiffness with weight.  Denim that feels very stiff or rigid doesn’t always soften after it’s washed and might wrinkle like crazy.

Slipcover Fabric Favorite: Oatmeal Linen Cotton

Linen Cotton Chair Slipcover

Many of you have asked for an oatmeal linen cotton that’s slipcover worthy. Good news! I found one I think you’re going to love. It’s called LATIN and it’s a beauty!

When I first sampled this fabric from InstaLinen I was immediately drawn to the simple rustic texture and two-tone natural color. Think hemp grain sacks and homespun linen sheets. I especially like the look & feel of this cloth for making cottage and farmhouse style slipcovers.

Oatmeal Linen Cotton Slipcover

Washable and tightly woven, this 12 oz linen cotton blend is a good choice for casual slipcovers that get moderate use.  Here’s what you can expect:

  • High shrinkage during pre-shrink (5″ on a one yard length and 3″ on the width).
  • Grainy, soft crumpled texture after wash. Be sure to follow my wash instructions to avoid deep set wrinkles.
  • Subtle stretch up the roll (on the straight of grain).
  • Easy to sew on a home sewing machine.
  • Versatile design appeal. Will make up nicely in any style of slipcover.

Oatmeal Linen Cotton Armchair Slipcover

Khaki Denim Sectional Slipcover

Jen’s outdated plush brocade slipcover is a thing of the past. Now, her sectional has an entirely new look with a Khaki denim slipcover. Looking fabulous especially with her pretty mix of patterned and textured accessories. Even her protective doggie blankets fit right in!

Sectional Slipcover Copy in Khaki Denim

This project was a slipcover replacement. Jen sent me her old covers to copy and update. I changed the gathered skirt to a tailored style for cleaner lines.