Category Archives: slipcover trims

Why I Never Use This in My Slipcovers

Welt Cord Trimmed Slipcover

I often trim my slipcovers with welt cord (piping).  It adds a subtle design detail and professional finish. When the cord is covered in the same fabric as the slipcover it blends right in.

Welt cord also adds a lot of function to a slipcover. It gives structure to the furniture body, cushions and arms. It defines a skirt line or hem edge. And, it adds strength to seams.

The right type of welt cord will hold its shape and look smooth and straight throughout the life of a washable slipcover. I always use washable, flexible, non-shrinking cord. It has a poly tissue core that’s wrapped with a braided cover.

What I NEVER use is plastic clothesline.  Here’s why:

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Slipcover Zipper: Quick Tip for Making it Look Invisible

Slipcover with Zipper OpeningI almost always put a zipper opening in my custom slipcovers for easy on and off.

For most styles, I insert the zipper in the left back corner. My customers don’t know it’s there until I point it out.

You might think it’s an invisible zipper. It’s not. It’s just a regular #3 nylon coil type and I sew it in much like you would a lap zipper.

But the trick to making it look invisible is how you close it. Here’s how:

Slipcover Zipper Opening

Closing Slipcover Zipper

Hiding Zipper in Slipcover


Welt Cord for Slipcovers: Which one works best?

Polyester Welt Cord for SlipcoversWhat type of welt cord works best for slipcovers?  My favorite is medium-firm polyester in size 5/32.  This cord (above) has a poly tissue-like core and wrapped with a braided cover. Here’s why I like using it for sofa, chair and ottoman covers:

  • Firm enough to keep its shape yet soft enough to bend around curves smoothly
  • Doesn’t shrink or pucker when you wash your slipcover  
  • 5/32 size is ideal for slipcovers and the slightly smaller 4/32 is good for pillows

There are many retailers and wholesalers who carry this type of welt cord.  For small quantities I recommend the retailer Sailrite and for large wholesale quantities I would go with Rowley.

Online upholstery suppliers often carry this type of cord, too.  Tip: sample before you buy.  I recently purchased 500 yards of “polyester welt cord 5/32” from an upholstery supplier and I was very disappointed with the quality.  The 5/32 size was wimpy and the core was mushy and flattened quickly.  Now I know not all poly welt cord is made the same way.

Cotton Welt Cord

Avoid using cotton welt cord (left) for washable slipcovers. The cotton fill is a bit lumpy and loosely covered with fishnet.  Another type of cotton welt cord is twisted like a rope. Either way, it’s mushy and flattens easily. Watch out, this stuff will shrink!