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SLIPCOVER STYLE: RUSTIC OATMEAL
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.
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:
- 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.
- Linen Slub from Big Duck Canvas. A textured 14 oz. polyester-linen blend.
- Latin from InstaLinen. This medium weight cotton-linen blend has a rustic, grainy appearance and works well for slipcovers that get moderate use.
- Vintage Linen Blend from Big Duck Canvas. A soft 12 oz. linen-cotton with a subtle fleck.
- Cotton Linen Blend from Big Duck Canvas. A pronounced basketweave with a soft hand.
- 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.
- 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.
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 floor and nature views. No commute and less stuff to manage. Yay! I’m looking forward to sharing my work with you from my little creative spot.
All for now! –Karen
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!
Fabric 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.
Judy’s buffalo check slipcover and wing back chair are a match made in home decor heaven!
Bold, versatile and timeless, this classic combo is a keeper no matter the season or trend. As Judy put it, “It’s exactly what this (living) room needed. It pulls everything together.”
Fabric: Lyme Buffalo Check in color Black/Natural from Roth & Thompkins. A washable, medium weight cotton that works well for slipcovers that get moderate use.
For more buffalo check slipcover inspiration check out this English rolled arm chair in Black/White.
I’m currently working with a few customers on choosing just the right Khaki for their slipcover projects. As I evaluate dozens of swatches I realize the range of Khaki hues are more diverse than ever before: pale nudes, rich camel, classic chino and many more.
Given Khaki’s popularity, it’s fairly easy to find a shade that works with most interiors. But finding the right color in a washable, medium to heavy weight slipcover fabric is a bit tricky.
To avoid a dull looking Khaki slipcover, stay away from flat fabrics such as canvas or plain weaves. Instead go with a 12 to 14 oz. cotton denim or twill. Here are 6 Khaki denim options worth exploring:
Pottery Barn Cotton Twill in colors Parchment or Walnut, 12 oz.
Topsider Camel Brown 100% Cotton Bull Denim, 11.5 oz.
Washed Khaki Upholstery Denim (yarn dyed), 14 oz.
Wheat Bull Denim 100% Cotton, 12 oz.
Pebble Bull Denim is a new Khaki color arriving soon at Big Duck! Contact them for details.
Khaki Bull Denim 100% Cotton, 12 oz.
Quality, weight, wrinkle and hand-feel differ widely from one denim to the next. Colors shown on screen are rarely accurate. Be sure to get a swatch or buy one yard for review before you commit to yardage.
Imagine making a slipcover (or having one custom made) and then the first time you wash it you can’t get it on your furniture because it shrunk. WHAT!!?
Yep, it’s a common scenario. And, once your slipcover shrinks there’s nothing you can do to restore the original fit. That’s why if you want a washable slipcover that will maintain its fit, you must preshrink your slipcover yardage before you start your project.
Even fabrics labeled “laundered” or “preshrunk” will shrink. It’s misleading, I know. Those labels only mean the yardage has undergone a finishing treatment that softened the hand-feel and drape. During that process, a tiny bit of shrinkage is removed but not enough to keep your slipcover from shrinking up so much you can’t use it.
To minimize shrinkage in 100% natural fiber fabrics and blends I recommend preshrinking your yardage by washing and drying it on hot. Read on to find out how I do it. Continue reading