What are the best slipcover fabrics?

I recommend medium to heavy weight fabrics that are durable, washable and have long lasting design appeal.  Learn how I choose the best fabric.

Below are some of my favorite slipcover fabrics. Retailer links are provided. I use these fabrics with good results for my client jobs and my own projects. 

NOTE:  fabric quality, color, price and availability change without notice. Always sample before buying your slipcover yardage. Read my fabric review disclosure policy on my About page.


Natural Bull DenimNatural Bull Denim 12 oz. Thick and durable, this cotton denim is a good basic for casual slipcovers that get moderate to frequent use.  It offers very good coverage. The hand-feel is somewhat stiff but will relax and soften when you pre-shrink it. Shrinkage: Natural 6″ on a one yard length and 3″ on the width.  

See this natural denim made up in a slipcover: Marilyn’s sofa and Barb’s sofa.

White Topsider Denim for SlipcoversWhite Topsider Denim 11.5 oz.  My favorite white denim. The white color is just right — not too bright, not too creamy. This cotton denim is tightly woven and stable, which gives it good coverage, a substantial look and bit of a crisp hand-feel. To avoid deep set wrinkles be sure to pre-shrink it per my washing instructions. Shrinkage: 6″ per on yard length and 3″ on the width.


White Heavy Weight Denim 14 oz.  An optic white denim for slipcovers that get frequent use. This cotton denim is durable, very densely woven and has a crisp, slightly stiff hand-feel. It softens up a bit when you pre-shrink it. Watch for flaws. Shrinkage: 3″ on a one yard length, 1″ on the width. 

Yarn Dyed Denim 14 oz., colors Indigo, Khaki, Burlap

Taupe Cotton Bull Denim 12 oz.  See slipcover made in Taupe Denim: Andrea’s Chaise


Natural Cotton DuckCotton Duck #12 weight, Natural  A heavy duty canvas made with 2-ply yarns in the fill (width of fabric). It’s denser, thicker and more durable than 10 oz and 12 oz canvas. Designed for tents, awnings, tote bags, etc. but I found it works great for slipcovers. I love the casual, relaxed look after washed….wrinkles and all. Shrinkage: 4″ on a one yard length, 2″ on the width.

See this canvas made up in a slipcover: Kitty’s sectional and Sharon’s sofa.

Hemp CanvasHemp Canvas 11 oz., Natural  A hard-wearing 100% hemp canvas with linen-like texture and a more upscale look than cotton canvas. It’s weighty but not stiff and offers very good coverage. Softens nicely with wash and wear. The look is relaxed like washed linen. NOTE: The natural color varies dramatically from lot to lot so be sure to swatch it before you buy yardage.  Shrinks 3″ on a one yard length, 1″ on the width.

Whit CanvasWhite Cotton Duck (Canvas) 12 oz. I like this heavyweight duck cloth (canvas) for simple white slipcovers that get a lot of use and frequent washing. It’s a good choice when lighter-weight white fabrics are not dense enough to cover dark colored upholstery. Shrinkage: White 3″ on a one yard length, 2″ on the width.

See this white canvas made up in a slipcover: Pam’s chaise

Cotton Canvas 10 oz.   This is an economical canvas that makes a casual slipcover of medium-weight. The hand-feel softens after it’s washed and takes on a relaxed, broken-in look. Expect high wrinkle on the natural and low to moderate wrinkle on colors depending on how you wash/dry it.  Shrinkage: Natural 4″ on a one yard length, 2″ on the width. White and colors shrink 3″ on a one yard length, 1″ on the width.

See this canvas in color Burnt Scarlet made up in a slipcover: Karen’s chair

Grey Stonewashed CanvasStone Washed Cotton/Poly Canvas 12 oz. color Grey Stone and Natural. I love the faded vintage look of this stone washed canvas.  It’s thick and durable with a soft, broken-in hand-feel and drape. Great for slipcovers that get a lot use. Made from cotton and polyester, which means it wrinkles and shrinks less than 100% cotton canvas.


Cotton Cargo CanvasCarr-Go Cotton Canvas 8 oz.  A good canvas for light weight slipcovers that get moderate use and few washes. It’s tightly woven with finer yarns than a utility canvas so the texture is a bit more refined. Hand-feel is peach skin soft. Overall good coverage but check white and natural to make sure your upholstery color doesn’t show through. Some colors fade in direct sunlight. Shrinkage: 1.5″ on a one yard length and 1/2″ on the width.

See Carr-Go Canvas made up in slipcovers: Sherry’s sofa and Bonnie’s chair


Heavy Weight White LinenBrazil Linen 12 oz.  White and Off-White and many other colors.  I’ve looked high and low for a 100% linen like this! After washed, Brazil takes on a lovely casual look, floppy drape and softly crumpled texture. I like the 12 oz. weight. It feels substantial without being stiff or coarse. Works well for both tailored and loose fit slipcovers.Very nice quality. Expect good coverage over most upholstery fabrics and colors. Shrinkage: 5″ on a one yard length, 4″ on the width.

See this linen made up in a slipcover: Karen’s chair and Shelley’s sofa.

Manchester Linen NaturalManchester Natural Brown Linen 13.5 oz. Go to InstaLinen.com and get a special discount on Manchester Linen when you use this promo code at checkout: slipcovermaker

This un-dyed, natural brown linen is a beauty! It’s also the most durable 100% linen I’ve found for slipcovers. Heavy weight and tightly woven, this fabric offers excellent coverage and is a good choice for slipcovers that get daily use. Low wrinkle (more of an overall soft crumple) when you wash and dry the yardage following my fabric pre-shrink instructions.  Shrinkage: 4″ on a one yard length, 3″ on the width.

InstaLinen Latin Linen Cotton Latin Linen Cotton Natural Brown Off White. I’m drawn to the simple rustic texture and two-tone oatmeal color. The look reminds me of hemp grain sacks and homespun linen sheets. Washable and tightly woven, this 12 oz linen cotton blend is a good choice for casual slipcovers that get moderate use.  Shrinkage: 5″ on a one yard length and 3″ on the width.  Expect subtle stretch up the roll (on the straight of grain).

See this fabric made up in a slipcover for Pam’s chair.


Cotton MatelasseCotton Diamond Matelasse by Roth & Tompkins.  My favorite 100% cotton matelasse in color Natural. Thick, supple, not too stretchy. The classic diamond pattern looks great in so many styles of slipcovers. Launders beautifully. Very little shrinkage but still requires pre-shrinking.

See this matelasse made up in a slipcover: Sherry’s wing back chair and Vanessa’s day bed.


Cotton Poly Buffalo CheckNaples Shade Buffalo Check A striking black and white large check. This cotton poly blend is heavy weight and durable.  Machine washable even though the label says dry clean only. Very little shrinkage. Excellent coverage. This check is a directional pattern and offered in other colors.

See this check made up in slipcover:  Brittany’s chair.

Cotton Gingham CheckChester Gingham Check by Roth & TompkinsI like this beefy cotton gingham check. It’s a classic and the Charcoal & Antique White colorway is a neutral I never grow tired of. Be mindful of the directional (one way) check pattern when cutting your slipcover. Nice texture, a subtle horizontal rib. Offered in many other colors. Shrinkage: 6″ on a one yard length, 2″ on the width.

See how this gingham check looks in a slipcover: Annette’s chair.


Polyester Velvet BellaBella Velvet 12 oz.  This washable polyester velvet-like fabric has a low pile and a woven back. No stretch, barely any shrinkage and no wrinkle. I like the soft hand and semi-mat appearance. A good choice when you want a soft, plush slipcover for everyday use. Offered in many colors.

One thought on “Fabrics

  1. Pingback: Sewing slipcovers for a fresh new look

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