Slipcovers Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re thinking about using slipcovers, take a look at some of the most common questions people ask. Hopefully you’ll find the information here helpful when purchasing your new slipcovers.
Q. What’s the difference between ready made and custom slipcovers?
The big difference is the price! Custom furniture covers are made to measure and therefore provide a tailored fit. This means you will either need to take accurate measurements of your furniture yourself, or have a representative from the slipcover company visit your home to give you a price. Because of the work and time involved in producing customized slipcovers, they are generally a bit more expensive than ready made ones. It’s also likely that you’ll have to wait several weeks for custom covers to be sewn, whereas ready made ones are mass-produced and are usually delivered in a few days.
Ready made slipcovers are designed to fit most standard size furniture. The most common three sizes are for sofas, loveseats and arm chairs. Other types of ready made slipcovers include recliner, wing chair, dining chair and ottoman covers. Because these slipcovers come in “one size fits all”, there might be a few wrinkles or excess fabric when you first fit your slipcover, but this is easily solved by tucking the fabric tightly into the creases round the back and sides of your seat.
Ready made or semi fitted slipcovers can look really smart if fitted correctly, making old furniture look almost as good as new. They are made from a range of durable fabrics, with stretch slipcovers being very popular because of the snug, form-fit that they give. SureFit is a great place to find all kinds of ready made slipcovers at low prices.
Q. What’s the best way to wash my slipcovers?
It’s important to follow the care instructions that will come with your slipcover and to check before you buy a new slipcover whether it can be machine washed. It’ll certainly make your life easier if your slipcover can be washed in the machine, rather than having to be dry cleaned or washed by hand, particularly if it gets a lot of use and needs to be cleaned regularly. Having said that, most modern furniture covers are fully machine washable, although it’s always advisable to check before you buy.
To keep your slipcover looking as good as new, there are a few care tips that are worth following. Wash it on a cold water cycle with a gentle spin, and don’t use bleach. Check the label to see if it can be tumble dried – this depends on the type of fabric. If in any doubt, simply hang it out to dry on the line.
Once it’s dry, fitting your slipcover straight back onto your furniture is the best way to stop it getting wrinkled. If it does get creased in storage, check the label to see if it can be ironed, or if it can be tumble dried put it in on a low heat with a damp cloth for about 10 minutes – that should do the trick. If you only notice the wrinkles once you’ve put the slipcover on, it’s easy to smooth them out by spraying them lightly with a plant mister and flattening them by hand.
Q. I’ve got a horrible dark colored sofa and want to give it a whole new look by using a nice light slipcover – will the original upholstery show through if I do this?
It depends on what type of fabric your slipcover is made from. Hardwearing cotton is a good choice, or a textured damask fabric. Really the only way to know for sure is to buy the slipcover you like and try it out. If the upholstery does show through, this can easily be rectified by covering your furniture with a white sheet before fitting the slipcover.
Q. Is it possible to use a slipcover on my leather sofa?
If you want to give your leather furniture a new image by fitting a fabric slipcover, it’s a good idea to fix some inexpensive foam batting underneath the slipcover to stop if from slipping on the leather surface. Foam batting is available from most craft stores.
Q. I’ve inherited an old-fashioned 3-piece suite from my grandmother. The seats are perfectly functional, but they have wooden arms, which I think makes them look dated. Would I be able to use a slipcover to hide the arms?
Yes. Using slipcovers would be a great way to give your sofa and chairs a makeover and give them a modern new style. To make sure the covers fit properly and look OK, try wrapping foam batting around the arms to pad them out and make them more comfortable before you fit the slipcovers.
Q. Are there ready made slipcovers for sectional sofas?
It is possible to find sectional slipcovers. Some stores sell slipcovers with detachable arms that can be used on sectional furniture. However, there is not a great deal of choice when it comes to sectional covers. One way to use slipcovers on a sectional sofa is to treat it as two separate seats – usually a sofa and a loveseat. Then you simply fit both a regular sofa cover and a loveseat cover over your furniture and in the gap where the arms would be, tuck the excess fabric that would normally cover the arms down into the crack between the two seats.
Another way to cover sectional furniture is to buy custom slipcovers that are made to measure. Depending on the specifications of your sectional, you could use a combination of custom made couch covers and armless slipcovers.
Q. What type of fabric is best for a slipcover?
Ideally, when it comes to slipcovers, you want a fabric that looks good and is nice to touch, as well as being easy maintenance. Check out our guide to slipcover fabrics to get more information on the options available.
Q. Do you sell slipcovers for reclining sofas or loveseats?
At this time we don’t know of nay merchants that offer recliner covers for sofas or loveseats. But we’ll keep you posted if this changes!
Q. I live in Australia. Is it possible to ship overseas?
We are working on this and hope to be able to offer this to our visitors in the near future.
Q. Is there any type of slipcover I can get for a couch with loose back cushions?
Yes. Three piece slipcovers are specially constructed to fit furniture with removable back cushions. They are similar to separate seat (two piece) slipcovers, but as well as a cover for the seat cushions they have a separate cover for the back cushions.
Another option would be to remove the loose back cushions altogether, fit a ready made slipcover on your couch, and then replace the cushions with coordinating decorative pillows. SureFit sell pillows, which you can view here.
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