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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Slipcover that is Chic but not Shabby

A few years ago a store opened here in Santa Monica called "Shabby Chic" and it specialized in loose slip covered furniture and almost single handedly created a design genre. The look of loose white slipcovers were everywhere. Well I am pleased to say that the store is still going strong and it is still serving the market for which it was designed. I personally am not a fan of that look, it's a bit loose for me, but nonetheless I am thrilled that it has brought slipcovers back into the mainstream.

I like slipcovers to be much more tailored, like the one above. This was a chair that I did for a client years ago, for her bathroom. In fact, I found the chair sitting forlornly on the side of the road, so I threw in into the back of my car and took it straight to my upholsterer. Since it was for a bathroom, we decided that terry cloth was the ideal fabric, but since it was going to be sat in while wet etc, that we should make it a slipcover, so that it could be taken off and washed on a regular basis.

This, to me, is the key to using slipcovers. I think they are great for people with kids, who want the freedom to pull it off the sofa and throw it in the washing machine, or the other great reason is for people who may want to change their look from one season to another, a summer and a winter.

A couple of things to remember:

  • ALWAYS wash your fabric before getting the slipcover made.
  • When selecting a fabric go with a blend of natural and man made fibres, like a cotton/rayon. The natural fibre will allow it to breath and the man made fibres will keep it looking tidy.
  • When getting a fitted cover made, be sure to tell your upholsterer to keep his velcro ties in hidden spots, that way you can still have a great looking sofa when the cover is off.
  • The tighter, more tailored the fit on the cover, the more challenging it will be to get on and off, so you may want to garner some help and not try to tackle the job by yourself.
  • I like to use an inexpensive fabric to cover the sofa, under the slipcover, rather than just using ticking. It's a little more expensive, but gives you two sofa's for the price of one. Just be sure to use a heavy enough fabric on the cover, that you do not see the lining fabric bleed through.

1 comment:

Sarah Jennings said...

I have shied away from slipcovers because I am not a fan of the 'shabby chic' look. However, I just read an article in Charleston magazine that changed my mind about slipcovers...the designer used tailored slipcovers (as you suggest), which works wonderfully with a busy family and a household dog.

Thanks for the great technical information on how to do slipcovers right.