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room layout showing furniture with slip covers and slip cover details

Slipcover Tips


How To Choose & Care For Furniture Slipcovers

Choosing Your Slipcover

  • If you’ve got pets or children, or you simply use your furniture a lot, then look for a durable fabric that’s been tested for color-fastness and shrinkage, and is fully machine washable such as 100% cotton or twill.


  • Look at your rugs, carpets, walls and curtains and pick a color or pattern that blends in with or enhances your existing décor.


  • A patterned slipcover can look great and add a splash of color to neutral décor.  Solid colors are very versatile and can look better if you’ve got patterned wallpaper, rugs, curtains or carpets.


  • To help you make your decision, order some samples of slipcover fabrics so you can see which goes best with you décor.


  • Remember that if you want to cover dark colored upholstery, you may need to put a white sheet over your furniture before fitting the slipcover, to ensure the old color or pattern doesn’t show through.

Caring For Your Slipcover 

  • Always follow the washing and drying instructions that come with your slipcover.

  • If your slipcover can be tumble dried, a good way to get rid of creases – for example, if it’s been stored in a cupboard for a while – is to put your slipcover in the tumble drier on a low heat along with a wet flannel for 10 minutes.

chair slip cover and slip cover detail

  • If your kids have been jumping on your sofa, or your furniture has been used a lot, your slipcover might get a bit wrinkled.  Creases can easily be smoothed out by lightly spraying them with water – a plant mister is handy for this – and pressing them out with your hands.

  • An easy way to tidy up your slipcover when you put it on is to use a wooden spoon or spatula to push any loose fabric into the cracks at the edges of the cushions.

awkward shaped slip cover

Covering Awkward Shaped Furniture

  • Dining chairs with wooden backs can be transformed by covering the backs with batting or similar material – an old blanket would do – to add padding, then covering them with dining chair slipcovers.


  • To makeover a sofa or chair with wooden arms, it’s simple to add padding by wrapping the arms in polyester batting (available at craft shops) and holding it in place with string or Velcro.  Once you’ve fitted a slipcover over the top, your DIY padding will be completely hidden from view and your furniture will have a smart new look.


  • If you plan to put a slipcover on a leather sofa or arm chair, covering the seat in foam batting first will help the slipcover stay in place without slipping on the slippery leather surface.


  • Two-piece sectional furniture can be covered by using ordinary slipcovers for each section and hiding the excess fabric that would usually cover the arms by tucking it into the space in the middle where the two sections meet.


  • If you’ve got an old sofa bed that could do with an update, you can easily fit a slipcover over it as you would on an ordinary sofa – you’ll just have to remove it when you want to use it as a bed.

  If you would like to make your own slip covers then these instructions as to how to go about it, may prove useful.

Planning, measuring and materials for making your own slipcovers

How to make your own slipcovers





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