Category Archives: linen

Slipcover Maker News: Oatmeal Fabrics, DIY Tips & My Move

Stay inspired! Sign up to follow my blog and get my slipcover tips, resources and news.

SLIPCOVER STYLE: RUSTIC OATMEAL

Cotton Linen Oatmeal Slipcover

What exactly is oatmeal fabric? It’s a cotton-linen blend, or poly-linen, woven with two colors: natural and undyed flax. Most oatmeals take on a grainy texture and rustic appearance after washed. The flecked cloth is a versatile alternative to solid neutrals such as natural and beige.

Cotton Linen Oatmeal Home Decor Fabrics

Look, feel and weight vary greatly in oatmeal fabrics. So does the performance i.e. coverage, level of wrinkle, washability, etc. Explore! Here are several I like for home decor:

  1. Cypress from InstaLinen. A light weight 100% linen in a gray-tone oatmeal color. Too light for slipcovers but works beautifully for other home decor projects: shade valances (shown above), kitchen towels, pillow covers, lamp shades, curtain panels and more.
  2. Linen Slub from Big Duck Canvas. A textured 14 oz. polyester-linen blend.
  3. Latin from InstaLinen. This medium weight cotton-linen blend has a rustic, grainy appearance and works well for slipcovers that get moderate use.
  4. Vintage Linen Blend from Big Duck Canvas. A soft 12 oz. linen-cotton with a subtle fleck.
  5. Cotton Linen Blend from Big Duck Canvas. A pronounced basketweave with a soft hand.
  6. Boyd Natural from Calico Corners. I used this fabric for the chair slipcover shown above. It’s a medium weight cotton-linen blend that takes on a rustic texture after washed.
  7. Washed Grainsack from Pottery Barn. An upholstery weight poly-cotton-linen blend.

DID YOU KNOW?

You can find affordable used furniture at Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Chairs and sofas in good shape just waiting for a slipcover makeover.

This medium weight, tightly woven chino twill is a good option for making slipcovers when your home sewing machine can’t stitch through thick denim.

Big Duck’s #12 weight canvas is different than 12 oz. canvas. Both work for slipcovers but #12 weight is made with 2-ply yarns, which means it’s more durable and less grainy.


FABRIC BUYING TIP

Don’t judge fabric by the price. Fabric priced at $25 per yard isn’t necessarily a better choice for slipcovers than a $10 fabric. Just as a $5 fabric isn’t really a steal if it pills, shrinks-up or stretches out soon after you start using your slipcover. Shop smart. Buy a one yard cut to test shrinkage, coverage and durability before you commit to yardage.


NEW WORKROOM

This month I’m celebrating my 6th year in business and a move to my new workroom here in Michigan! I’m now tucked into a small, efficient live/work space with lots of natural light, wood floors and nature views. No commute and less stuff to manage. Yay! I’m looking forward to sharing more slipcover makeovers with you from my little creative spot.

All for now!  –Karen

Slipcover Linen Favorite: Washed Navy Blue

Navy Blue Linen Chair SlipcoverA request for a washed, navy blue linen slipcover is a sure sign of spring!

For this project I updated Roz’s vintage channel back chair with Brazil, a 100% linen in color navy blue 6 from InstaLinen. Brazil is offered in different shades of navy but no. 6 is my favorite. I love this dark inky color. It has just the right amount of black to make it a classic navy.

I’ve worked with Brazil several times and it never fails to impress. It’s a 12 oz. that is weighty and offers good coverage over worn upholstery.  The after washed look is beautiful! I rarely press this linen after I pre-shrink it (you can, but don’t have to). It comes out of the dryer with a soft dimpled texture  and floppy drape — like a quality linen should — but never any hard wrinkles. Be sure to follow my pre-shrink instructions.

Custom Chair Slipcover Navy LinenRoz’s vision for her new slipcover was casual with a tailored fit….and a little pleated skirt, which I will be adding. Cute! That’s easy to achieve with this type of linen. It’s versatile and works well for many different slipcover designs.

Want to learn more about linen? Check out my article, 4 Things to Look for When Choosing Slipcover Linen. 

Channel Back Chair Slipcover

Slipcover Linen: A Pretty Alternative to Classic Grey

InstaLinen Slate Blue Chair Slipcover

Today I added a gorgeous new color to my list of favorites from Insta Linen’s Brazil Linen collection. It’s color Blue 5.

This grayish-blue shade is a soft slate color that can easily be used as a versatile neutral. It’s a very pretty alternative to classic grey.

I love how Blue 5 works with my customer’s hardwood floors, white walls and beige home furnishings!

Brazil Linen looks best when it’s pre-washed and styled in a relaxed, tailored slipcover. A softy crumpled texture and casual vibe are part of it’s charm and natural beauty.

For more linen slipcover inspiration, check out this pair of Quatrine slipcover copies in Brazil White and a simple cover for a wingback chair in Brazil Off White.

 

InstaLinen Brazil Blue 5 Linen Chair Slipcover

4 Things to Look for When Choosing Slipcover Linen

How to choose linen for slipcovers

Fabrics in photo: InstaLinen Brazil Blue #5, Brazil Off-White and Manchester Natural Brown.

The type of linen fabric used for washable slipcovers is anything but fine and fancy.

It’s nothing like a light weight linen blouse pressed smooth and then creases like crazy the minute you put it on.  And, it’s a far cry from starched-stiff, heirloom napkins and tablecloths — the “good linens” used only for special occasions.

Instead, slipcover linen is weighty, slubby, floppy and softly dimpled after washed. It’s strong and wears well. The look is imperfect and uniquely different than any other natural fiber fabric.

Linen is offered in many different weights, weaves and finishes. Here are 4 key things to look for when choosing the right one for your slipcover project:

1. Authentic Look & Feel — a 100% linen, or a linen-rich cotton blend, will give you all of the rustic character, strength and natural beauty linen has to offer.

I avoid linen blended with rayon or polyester. These fibers change the look, hand-feel and performance of linen: rayon adds a weird wrinkle and sheen and polyester may add pilling, seam puckering and a sheen.

2. Heavy Weight  — 12 to 14 oz linen, sometimes referred to as upholstery weight, works best for slipcovers that get daily use. A weighty, supple linen will drape beautifully and provide very good coverage over upholstered furniture.

3. Tight Weave — a densely woven linen in a plain, canvas or herringbone weave will be your best bet for durability. All linen fabrics have a natural ease so look for the tightest weave you can find. It will hold it’s shape better than loose weaves.

4. Washable — make sure the slipcover linen you choose can be washed and dried with good results.  When yardage is preshrunk correctly, it will not have deep set creases or sharp wrinkles.

Most linen fabrics are labeled “dry clean only” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t be washed. The only way to find out is to do a machine wash and dry test on a one yard piece — hot water and hot dry.  This is very important to do before you commit to buying lots of yardage. Avoid linen that pills, fades, has flaws and extreme shrinkage.

Want to explore slipcover linen for your next project? Check out my favorite resources:

12 oz. Brazil Linen from InstaLinen. This 100% linen fabric is offered in many gorgeous colors. My favorites are Blue #5, Off-White (both shown in photo above) and White.  Read my review  and take a look how it made up in a chair slipcover and a sofa slipcover.

13 oz. Manchester from InstaLinen, color Natural Brown (shown above). This is my go-to when I want a heavy, rustic, undyed linen. It’s got that chic European look. Love it! Read my review.

Fritz Linen-Cotton Stripe by Richloom. Offered in lovely muted colors with a simple ticking stripe pattern woven in. I first spotted this fabric in a slipcover made by Sherri at August Blues. Even though this fabric is made with more cotton than linen, it still has many of the linen characteristics I love.

Hemp French Linen from Hemp Traders. This fabric is 100% hemp and won’t disappoint. It has the same look, feel and performance of a heavy weight linen. Hemp and linen are very similar in so many ways. What makes it unique is the “old style” weave — reminiscent of vintage linen textiles. Here’s how it looks in a chair slipcover.