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 my favorite slipcover fabrics. Retailer links are provided. I use these fabrics often with good results for my client jobs and my own projects. I’ve tested each one for shrinkage, coverage and durability.

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


Bull Denim Natural for SlipcoversNatural Bull Denim 12 oz. http://bit.ly/1GWXoYz  Also in Khaki http://bit.ly/29ziUKG and White http://bit.ly/1DjxV89

You can’t beat the quality of this U.S.A. made cotton denim for the price. It offers very good coverage and the after washed look is casual-chic. This denim has crisp hand-feel 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 denim made up in a slipcover: Marilyn’s sofa and Barb’s sofa.

Washed French Twill Washed Upholstery Denim 14 oz., Natural http://bit.ly/1XSgvML and White http://bit.ly/1VqgT59

This cotton denim has a washed finish giving it a “French Laundered” look and feel. Even though this fabric is a 14 oz. it feels lighter and has a softer drape than most 12 oz. weight denims I use. Shrinkage: 1″ on a one yard length, 1/2″ on the width.  

See this denim made up in a slipcover: Peggy’s sofa and chair.

Brushed Dockside Denim WhiteWhite Dockside Brushed Denim 12 oz. http://bit.ly/1p9eoHj or http://bit.ly/1OWUfca

This medium-heavy weight denim offers pretty good coverage for a white fabric but the weight is less substantial than the denims listed above. Soft brushed surface.  Warm white color. Shrinkage: 3″ on the 1 yard length and 1″ on the width.

See this brushed denim made up in a slipcover: Theresa’s sofa.

White Denim for SlipcoversWhite Topsider Bull Denim  11 oz. http://amzn.to/2hlAOT7

A good choice when you want a bright white denim with good coverage. This denim is durable, very densely woven and has a  crisp hand-feel. It softens up when you pre-shrink it. Shrinkage: 6″ on a one yard length, 2″ on the width. 


Big Duck Canvas 10 oz Natural

Cotton Duck 10 oz. Big Duck Canvas 10 oz Canvas for Slipcovers

This is an economical duck cloth (canvas) that makes a casual slipcover of medium-weight. I like the hand-feel after it’s washed; the fabric softens up without becoming too limp.  It takes on a relaxed, broken-in look with moderate wrinkle. Go with color Natural for a painter’s drop cloth look. Shrinkage: White and colors 3″ on a one yard length, 1″ on the width and Natural 4″ on a one yard length, 2″ on the width.

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

Big Duck Canvas 12 oz WhiteWhite Cotton Canvas 12 oz. Big Duck Canvas http://bit.ly/1ulUPqb

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

Heavy Weight Natural Canvas for SlipcoversCotton Duck #12 weight Natural, Big Duck Canvas  http://bit.ly/1O6ywFs

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.

Carr Go Canvas NaturalCarr-Go Cotton Canvas 8 oz. http://bit.ly/NAucQ9

A good canvas for medium weight slipcovers that get moderate use and washing. It’s tightly woven with finer yarns than a utility canvas so the texture is a bit more refined. I love the look and feel of the sanded surface. It’s slightly suede-like, which gives the fabric a rich appearance. Overall good coverage but check White and Natural to make sure your upholstery color doesn’t show through. 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 chairs

Hemp Traders Hemp CanvasHemp Canvas 11 oz., Natural http://bit.ly/No2cze  

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.


Insta Linen Brazil WhiteMy favorite white 100% linen!

Brazil Linen 12 oz.  White http://bit.ly/2hiTKEf and Off-White http://bit.ly/2gsCrRA

I’ve looked high and low for a linen like this! After washed, Brazil takes on a lovely casual look, floppy drape and softly crumpled texture. I love the 12 oz. weight. It feels substantial without being stiff or coarse. Works well for both tailored and loose fit slipcovers.

Very nice quality, a good value for the price. Expect good coverage over most upholstery fabrics and colors. Shrinkage: 5″ on a one yard length, 4″ on the width.

Natural Heavyweight Linen for Slipcovers

Manchester Natural Brown Linen 13.5 oz. from InstaLinen http://bit.ly/2hiMV5C

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.

Classic linen and rayon for slipcoversClassic Linen Blend 12 oz., color Steel http://bit.ly/2hlJkRR

A versatile, medium weight linen and rayon blend from Big Duck Canvas.  Good coverage. Expect subtle stretch across the width (from the rayon). Surface takes on a soft crumpled texture after washed and dried, slightly different than 100% linen. I love this Steel color — reminds me of the greyish taupe color found in vintage linen and hemp fabrics. High shrinkage: 4″ on a one yard length and 4″ on the width.  Many other colors offered.



Matelasse2 copyCotton Diamond Matelasse by Roth & Tompkins  http://bit.ly/29vZ4OS

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.


Roth Tompkins Gingham CheckChester Gingham Check by Roth & Tompkins http://bit.ly/29pyl4T

I 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 Cynthia’s slipcover and Annette’s chair.

One thought on “Fabrics

  1. Pingback: Sewing slipcovers for a fresh new look

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