Slipcover FAQ’s

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Are custom slipcovers like the ones I can buy prepackaged at the store?

No, not at all.  Our slipcovers are like a tailored suit of clothing for your sofa or chair.  There is a fitted section that covers the body, arms and skirt; then separate covers with zippers for each loose seat or back cushion.  Custom covers look and fit better, and shift around very little with daily use.

How do you get the custom fit?

We need access to your furniture.  Typically, we pre-wash and shrink the chosen fabric, then either visit your home to cut a pattern, or pick up your furniture.  (We prefer to cut a pattern to avoid moving large pieces like sofas).  The slipcover is sewn in our workroom, then we deliver it, and put it on the sofa to check the fit.  Most of the time, it goes on looking great; occasionally, we will want to make an adjustment to the tailoring.  If you have a smaller chair, a complicated design, or a particularly curvy piece of furniture, we will probably pick it up and take it to our workroom to sew the slipcover.

What kind of fabric do you use?

We have a selection of fabrics that, over the past twenty years in the business, we have found to be the best for slipcovers.  Most are 100% cotton or 100% linen. 

Can I use my own fabric?

No, we do not accept fabrics from outside sources, for many reasons.  In order to ensure the best fit, ease of sewing, and long term performance without too much shrinkage, we use only fabrics that we supply.  We have so many to choose from, most clients are able to find what they are looking for.

Are they washable?

Yes.  All of our fabrics are preshrunk in our workroom before we begin.  All fabrics will have some continued residual shrinkage, but if washing instructions are followed correctly, the slipcover will not shrink too much and will fit well.  A typical sofa will fit in a regular washing machine in two loads, so you can wash it in a couple of hours.  Many people looking for slipcovers want a white sofa, and being able to wash it at home means your spills can be washed out right away.

Can I dryclean my slipcover?

While some people may intend to dryclean their slipcovers, in our experience this is a bad idea; it is very costly and doesn’t work on certain types of stains. Suntan lotion, pet body oils and food stains come out better with soap and water.

How long will my slipcover last?

A slipcover can be expected to last several years; however, since it is being laundered and the fabrics are mostly cotton, it will, like your clothing, look faded and worn more quickly if it is washed more often.  Most people wash their slipcovers seasonally, and get several years out of them.  If you have pets or small children and are washing more often, you may want to consider having extra seat cushion covers made; the seats are where most spills occur, and having extra covers in rotation slows down the wear and tear.   You can even keep some extra fabric on hand for future repairs or replacement parts.

How much does it cost?

The labor for a slipcover costs about the same as re-upholstery.  The cost of the fabrics varies, but they are often less than upholstery fabrics because they do not need to be extra-heavy. 

How much fabric does it take?

Slipcovers take substantially more fabric than re-upholstery.  In addition to having enough for tuck-in flaps and under-cushion areas that aren’t usually upholstered, we need to take into account the shrinkage of the fabric.  For example, a sofa that can be upholstered with 18 yards of fabric may need 22 yards for a slipcover.  We will need some information about your furniture to determine the yardage required. 

Isn’t re-upholstering better than a slipcover?

We don’t think so, but the choice between upholstery and slipcovers is a matter of personal style and lifestyle. Slipcovers are family-friendly, smart and easy to live with, and they give a room a relaxed, inviting look.  They may not be for everyone, or for every room, but done in a nice linen or mattelasse’ they are actually quite dressy and chic.    Some of our clients have nice upholstered pieces for company and slipcovers for the everyday messes when the kids are small.  Others like the seasonal change of tailored velvet upholstery in the winter with a cotton slipcover for summer that is cooler to sit on.  And some beach house owners have a set for themselves and a set for the renters.  Most clients, however, are just redecorating and need a new look, or have decided that washability is a smart feature for their furnishings.

What if my cushions are flat?

We can order quality replacement cushions.  For a medium priced sofa, all new cushions and a slipcover sometimes come close to the cost of replacing the whole piece; however, since the redo offers washability, many people find it to be worth the expense. For a more expensive piece of furniture, it is well worth it to have the work done since it is usually far cheaper than replacing with a piece of like quality.

What can’t I slipcover?

We can’t slipcover anything that reclines.  We can slipcover sleeper sofas (with a zipper to access the bed).   Traditional furniture shapes work best; some of the newer styles with big, puffy attached cushions don’t work out as they lack crisply defined edges.  Leather is too slick and can’t be slipcovered.

How do I start?

Give us a call, or send us an email; you’ll need to tell us the overall length and width of your piece of furniture, and how many loose cushions it has. With that information, we’ll be able to give you a preliminary price quote, which we can confirm after we see the furniture in person. You’ll choose a fabric in our shop, and once we receive a deposit for the order, we shrink the fabric and come out to you to cut the pattern.  From the time you place your deposit, it usually takes four to six weeks for the slipcover to be completed.