Category Archives: slipcover fabrics

Slipcover Makeover for this Craigslist Find

Old Henredon Sofa With New Slipcover

I think this project is THE slipcover makeover of the summer! What a transformation!

My customer found this big, comfy Henredon sofa on Craigslist complete with thick quilted floral upholstery. There was no doubt in her mind that a washable, white denim slipcover would give it the style boost it needed to fit right in with her other white slipcovered furniture and vintage eclectic decor.

For this custom cover, I used 12 oz white cotton bull denim from Big Duck Canvas and trimmed it with navy bull denim.  Both fabrics were factory seconds but you’d never know it — very good quality and no major flaws.

I changed the outdated kiss-pleat design on the back cushions to a narrow boxing and updated the skirt with 8″ wide box pleats all the way around.  It’s those little details that make all the difference.

Tip: if you want to use a dark color welt trim on your light color slipcover be sure to test it first for crocking and bleeding.

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

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 4 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’s primarily designed for heavy duty use like horse blankets, back packs, work boots and even seat covers for an old pick-up – yes, I’ve 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 4 fabrics for protective slipcovers:

  • #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.  Durable without being stiff.
  • 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 any fabric will cause snagging and tearing over time.

Finally, you might be wondering why I didn’t include any synthetic performance fabrics in my fab four 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 Maker News: Oatmeal Fabrics, DIY Tips & My Move

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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.


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.


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.


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

Charcoal Canvas Slipcover Custom-Fit for Pottery Barn Chair

A custom-ft slipcover in charcoal cotton-poly canvas for my Kalamazoo customer, Andrea. It’s just what her Pottery Barn chair needed to look new again. Farewell old brown slipcover!

Pottery Barn Slipcover Copy in Grey CanvasSlipcover Fabric Cotton Poly Canvas GreyFabric for this project: 12 oz. cotton-poly canvas, color charcoal. Look closely and you will see a subtle two-tone color effect.  Love that!

This durable canvas is made with 11% polyester, which softens the wrinkle and adds strength.  It takes on a wonderful relaxed French Laundered look after it’s washed. It has a more upscale, substantial look than basic cotton canvas.

Great for family-friendly, washable slipcovers that get moderate to heavy traffic.