Slipcover Canvas FAQ

Grey Cotton Poly Canvas for Slipcovers
Cotton-poly canvas slipcover color Dove for my customer’s Neo Bensen sectional.

Canvas, also referred to as duck, is a strong, plain weave fabric. Made from cotton, linen, hemp or blended with polyester, canvas makes a versatile and family-friendly slipcover.

Is it the right choice for your project? Below, I answer your most frequently asked questions about one of the most popular slipcover fabrics.

1. How does cotton canvas compare to cotton bull denim?

Both cotton canvas and cotton denim make a durable, long wearing slipcover when you choose a tight weave and the right weight for your slipcover’s use.

Each one has its own unique look, feel, and function. Canvas is a square weave with a flat surface and a crisp hand feel. By comparison, denim is a twill weave with a diagonal ribbed texture and feels softer than canvas.

Consider the look you’re going for, your budget and what kind of use your slipcover will get. Buy one yard each of the canvas and denim you like, machine wash and dry them and throw them over your furniture to see which one speaks to you.

2. What is the best weight canvas for a slipcover?

10 and 12 oz are the most common for washable, cotton canvas slipcovers. It’s important to match the weight with the function of your slipcover. General rule of thumb: light to medium weights (8 to 10 oz) are best for moderate use and heavy weights (12 to 14 oz) provide more durability for high traffic.

3. Will white or natural canvas cover my dark color upholstered furniture?

Most tightly woven 12 ounce white and natural canvas fabrics and this #12 weight natural duck will cover dark colors. A 10 ounce white canvas might work if it’s tightly woven. Test a sample to be sure.

Durable Natural Duck Slipcover
Durable #12 weight natural duck sofa slipcover.

4. I have kids and pets. Which canvas should I use for my slipcover?

A heavy weight 12 ounce cotton canvas that is tightly woven and feels dense will hold up well to daily normal use and a few washings per year. If you need a tougher, more protective slipcover, go with this #12 weight cotton duck cloth.

5. Is inexpensive canvas good quality?

Price doesn’t always reflect the fabric’s quality. I bought a $5/yard canvas and found the quality to be better than a $24/yard canvas fabric I tried.

I’ve also purchased inexpensive canvas from a discount fabric retailer and was very disappointed with the amount of flaws and extremely high shrinkage.

You can find out a lot about the canvas quality by doing a wash & dry test on one yard.

6. I bought a canvas that is pre-washed. Do I have to pre-shrink it before making my slipcover?

Yes! A fabric labeled “pre-washed” or “pre-shrunk” only means the fabric has been finished in a way that softened the hand-feel and drape. It doesn’t mean most of the shrinkage has been removed. Be sure to pre-shrink your canvas yardage so your slipcover doesn’t shrink later on.

7. I want a durable canvas for my slipcover, but I don’t like wrinkles? What do you recommend?

100% cotton canvas in any weight will wrinkle. Level of wrinkle varies from low to extreme. Some cotton-poly canvas fabrics like this rustic stonewashed canvas wrinkles less than 100% cotton.

Rugged Stonewashed Cotton Poly Canvas for SlipcoversRugged stonewashed cotton-poly canvas color Moon Dust.

8. I found a cotton canvas 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 canvas fabrics and most of them turned out great. Sometimes they shrink more or fade easier than a washable canvas, so be sure to test a sample before you commit to a lot of yardage.

9. How can I reduce the stiffness and wrinkles in the canvas slipcover I just made?

Frequent wear and washings might soften the hand-feel and wrinkles somewhat overtime. I’ve tried fabric softeners, vinegar, baking soda and drier sheets. Unfortunately, they don’t work.

Cotton Poly Canvas Loveseat Slipcover
Washable, low wrinkle cotton-poly canvas for my customer’s love seat.

Now that you know all about canvas, get inspired! Look at the possibilities on my Pinterest page featuring canvas slipcovers I made for my clients.


  1. First of all, I love your posts and have been so inspired to actually finish the two chairslipcovers I started years ago (7, but who’s counting…), so thank you for the time you put into this!
    Second, could you please lost the source for the “Washable, low wrinkle cotton-poly canvas” shown in the last photo?
    Third, does the addition of some polyester make a fabric a bit more suitable for use with pets? We had zero pets when I started my project and now we have four cats. 🙄 I’m hoping to find something they won’t destroy in 3 days.

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