Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.


Cotton Linen Oatmeal Slipcover

Custom slipcover for my client’s swivel chair in Boyd cotton-linen blend.

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. No longer available
  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. No longer available.


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

Replacement Denim Slipcover for Tuxedo Arm Sofa

Sofa Slipcover Copy Big Duck Mushroom Denim

Are you thinking about replacing your white slipcover with color? If bright and bold isn’t your style go with a rich neutral.

That’s what my customer did for her pair of tuxedo arm sofa slipcovers. She chose Big Duck’s 12 oz. cotton bull denim in color Mushroom, a versatile earthy shade that blends nicely with other neutrals and colorful accents.

No welt cord for these classic covers. Instead, I finished the seams with an edge stitch. Clean and simple.

Denim Slipcovers FAQ

Denim Fabrics for SlipcoversDo you wonder if denim is the right choice for your project? Below I answer your most frequently asked questions about one of my favorite slipcover fabrics.

Does denim work better than canvas for a slipcover?

For my own slipcovers I use washable, cotton denim more often than cotton canvas because I like the appearance better. I like the twill weave texture as opposed to the flat look of canvas. Denim also has less wrinkle than canvas.  Both denim and canvas are strong, versatile fabrics that make a good looking and durable slipcover. Consider the look you’re going for, your budget and what kind of use your slipcover will get.  Buy a yard of each denim and canvas you like, wash and dry them, and then throw them over your furniture to see which one speaks to you.

Will un-dyed natural denim cover my dark color upholstered furniture?

Heavy weight 14 oz. natural denim does a good job at covering dark colors.  Most 12 oz. denims will, too. I recommend testing a sample to be sure.

What type of denim holds up best to kids and pets?  

A heavy weight 14 oz. denim will be the most durable and can take frequent washing.  It makes a very substantial slipcover. Some 12 oz. denims will also work well.  Both yarn dye denim and bull denim will work as long as they are heavyweight and tightly woven.  I don’t recommend denim that is lighter than 12 oz. for high traffic slipcovers.

 Is $18 denim better quality than one that is half the price?

Price doesn’t always reflect the fabric’s quality. I bought a $10 natural denim and liked the quality much more than a more expensive one I had.  I have also purchased discount denim and was very disappointed with the amount of flaws and extremely high shrinkage.  You can find out a lot about the fabric quality by doing a wash & dry test on one yard.

I bought denim that is preshrunk. Do I have to pre-shrink it before making my slipcover?

Yes! A fabric labeled “preshrunk” or “prewashed” means the fabric has been finished in a way that makes it feel soft and supple.  It doesn’t mean all of the shrinkage has been removed.  Be sure to pre-shrink your denim yardage so your slipcover doesn’t shrink later on. Here’s how.

I found a denim I like but it’s Dry Clean Only. Can it be washed?

The best way to find out is to wash test a yard.  I have washed many dry clean only cotton denim fabrics and most of them turned out great.  Sometimes they shrink more or fade easier than a washable denim so be sure to test a sample before you commit to a lot of yardage.

The indigo denim I bought feels very stiff after I washed it.  How can I soften it?

Frequent washing will relax the fabric over time but it probably will never feel like a soft and supple “preshrunk denim”.  Special chemicals and wash treatments are applied to the denim during production. These cannot be duplicated in a home laundry. In lieu of chemicals, I have tried vinegar, fabric softeners, dryer sheets and dryer balls to soften stiff denim without success.

When shopping for denim, don’t confuse stiffness with weight.  Denim that feels very stiff or rigid doesn’t always soften after it’s washed and might wrinkle like crazy.