by Christina Wright
Slipcovers are an investment in the future of your furniture: Worn furniture gains a new life when you cover the wear with a fun new slipcover, and everybody's favorite chair gets a longer lifespan when you use a slipcover to protect it from wear and color loss. Of course, you have to make several choices about your new slipcovers before purchasing, including the best material for your slipcover depending on how you plan to use it. Read on to discover the best slipcover fabric options for you.
Cotton: Cotton is a great choice for chair and sofa slipcovers because it's a light, natural fabric and is machine washable. Cotton slipcovers are generally soft to touch and add a casual feel to the room, and most people like cotton because it breathes and is very durable. Cotton can be a thin fabric when stretched over your old sofa, so be careful if you want to cover a dark-colored piece of furniture with a light-colored cotton slipcover; the dark color may show through. Slipcovers made of cotton can also become wrinkled, so you may consider regularly removing and steaming them or putting them in the dryer to release wrinkles. Cotton slipcovers are also machine washable, but make sure to follow all care label instructions to minimize shrinking.
Twill: Twill refers to a type of weaving that produces a fabric with a distinct pattern, so twill slipcovers can be made of many materials, usually 100 percent cotton or a polyester-cotton blend. Twill makes good upholstery and chair and sofa slipcovers for several reasons. Twill can be a lighter fabric if it has low thread counts, but it's quite durable because of its distinctive weave. Twill resists staining, and twill with high thread counts resists water damage as well, making twill slipcovers great for families with young children or pets. Twill is also machine washable, making caring for your new slipcover that much easier.
Suede: Suede refers to thin leather with a napped finish, but the term can refer to other fabrics with a similar brushed or napped finish, giving them a soft, velvety texture. Suede slipcovers are made out of synthetic suede, generally 100 percent polyester or polyester-spandex blends. Synthetic suede slipcovers resist stains and water damage, making them great for furniture that must be able to withstand lots of wear and tear while presenting a more formal or luxurious look.
Stretch: Usually a mixture of polyester and spandex, stretch slipcovers give you all the benefits of protection, color choice and easy cleaning as well as an easier time putting them on your furniture. Consider stretch slipcovers for unusually sized or hard-to-fit furniture.
Polyester-cotton blend: This fabric blends two or more fabric fibers, with the goal of having the resulting fabric display the best qualities of its parents. Polyester is a durable synthetic material with a strong fiber that can keep its shape and resist wrinkling, while cotton is a lightweight, natural fabric that can withstand high temperatures and has the ability to breathe. These combined benefits make polyester-cotton blends popular for chair and sofa slipcovers because the fabric is durable, easy to clean and doesn't shrink or wrinkle nearly as much as pure cotton. The polyester in the blend can cause unattractive pilling of the fabric with lots of use and requires cool temperatures in ironing and washing, but the durability of the fabric and its easy care will keep your furniture looking nice for years to come.