Favorite White Fabrics for Slipcovers
I love the look of white slipcovers. They brighten up a space and are super versatile. I can easily live with them year round.
My customer, Nellie, loves them, too. Every piece of her furniture (including the sofa above) in her living room and family room is covered with white slips. And, she has five kids and a dog!!
I’ve worked with many different white fabrics over the years and I always return to my favorite denims and canvas. They are heavy weight, densely woven and washable. All of them provide very good coverage over most upholstery colors and textures.
I also found an 8 oz. cotton chino twill in white that I really like for medium weight slipcovers. I share the link further down in this post.
When choosing a white fabric make sure it’s durable and has a stable weave so it can be washed on a regular basis (at least 3 times per year) without pilling, developing weak spots or shrinking excessively.
12.5 oz Cotton Twill — A heavy weight bull denim that is ideal for everyday slipcovers and up to 6 washes per year. The look is casual and soft after washed. The white color is not too bright or too creamy. Excellent coverage. Shrinkage: 2″ on a one yard length, 1″ on the width.
12 oz Cotton Canvas Duck — I like this substantial, 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.
If heavy weights are too thick for your home sewing machine to handle, try this 8 oz white cotton chino twill. It’s a tightly woven cloth that makes a terrific medium weight slipcover. This twill is also offered with a brushed finish, which gives it a slightly beefier hand-feel.
All fabrics listed above are machine washable. Be sure to preshrink your yardage before making your slipcover even if the fabric is labeled “pre-shrunk”. To avoid deep set wrinkles pre-shrink your yardage per my washing instructions.
Do you want to bleach your white slipcover? The fabrics above can be bleached but I don’t recommend doing it on a regular basis. Chlorine bleach weakens natural fiber over time. It can create thin spots. White cotton slipcovers that are bleached on a regular basis can yellow when they come into contact with bright light for an extended period of time.
To keep your white covers bright I suggest using a non-chlorine whitener like OxyClean. Always test laundry products and stain removers on a large fabric scrap before using them on your new slipcover.
Until next time, have a great week and thanks for reading! — Karen
Thank you for this wonderfully informative and valuable post, Karen. I ADORE white sofas. I have never slip covered one, but I have found that the absolute best recipe for removing stains from any sort of cotton fabric, is a combination of hydrogen peroxide and Arm & Hammer washing soda. I cannot wash them in this solution because I have a high efficiency washing machine, but I wouldn’t dilute the solution with water anyway. For all white and light colored items, I just use it straight, and most of the time pour the H2O2 directly onto the fabric, then sprinkle the washing soda on top and let it soak for a while. Then I brush off the dried washing soda, put it in the washing machine and wash like I normally would. (For darker or brighter colors, I recommend mixing the H2O2 with the washing soda FIRST, and then applying it. And don’t leave it on too long before washing the garment.) Works great –
Lisa, thanks for your natural stain remover tip! Can you share the ratio of hydrogen peroxide to washing soda? I ask because one time I used H202 by itself to remove a stain from a white cotton fabric and it yellowed! I couldn’t whiten again. I think I might have soaked it too long or didn’t dilute it enough. –Karen
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