Welt Cord for Slipcovers: Which one works best?

Polyester Welt Cord for Slipcovers

What type of welt cord works best for slipcovers? My favorite is medium-firm polyester in size 5/32.  This cord (above) has a poly tissue-like core and wrapped with a braided cover. Here’s why I like using it for sofa, chair and ottoman covers:

  • Firm enough to keep its shape yet soft enough to bend around curves smoothly
  • Doesn’t shrink or pucker when you wash your slipcover  
  • 5/32 size is ideal for slipcovers and the slightly smaller 4/32 is good for pillows

There are many retailers and wholesalers who carry this type of welt cord.  For small quantities I recommend the retailer Sailrite and for large wholesale quantities I would go with Rowley.

Online upholstery suppliers often carry this type of cord, too.  Tip: sample before you buy.  I recently purchased 500 yards of “polyester welt cord 5/32” from an upholstery supplier and I was very disappointed with the quality.  The 5/32 size was wimpy and the core was mushy and flattened quickly.  Now I know not all poly welt cord is made the same way.

Cotton Welt Cord

Avoid using cotton welt cord (left) for washable slipcovers. The cotton fill is a bit lumpy and loosely covered with fishnet.  Another type of cotton welt cord is twisted like a rope. Either way, it’s mushy and flattens easily. Watch out, this stuff will shrink!


  1. I was searching for cording at Walmart one evening after all cloth stores were closed. I discovered they had none. But, it came to me that clothes line cord might work. It was exactly what I needed. 5/32 poly cotton cord and it has worked beautifully on my slipcover. BTW, your slipcovers are beautiful!!

  2. Thanks for listing your source. I recently bought cording from a new supplier and it was the lumpy cotton type. Will only use it for dry clean slipcovers or not use it at all.

    1. You’re welcome, Karen. I always sample before I buy because I have found many supplier’s description of their welt cord doesn’t always match the quality.

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