Category Archives: slipcover fabrics

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.

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.

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