MyHomeIdeas (MHI): When is it better to slipcover a piece of furniture rather than have it reupholstered?
Sheri Cori (SC): A custom slipcover usually costs about the same price as reupholstering. So the choice is up to you. If you have children or pets, slipcovers are great because they can be washed. Also, because a slipcover can easily be removed, you can take it off and enjoy the piece in its original fabric at any time.
MHI: When choosing a fabric, what should we look for look for and what should be avoided?
SC: Usually, I encourage choosing a cotton or linen fabric. I have used upholstery-weight fabric before, but it doesn’t drape as well. Denim and cotton twills are the best. Also, plaids and stripes will require more fabric and time, so they get a bit more expensive.
MHI: How do we know how much fabric to buy?
SC: I usually base it on a standard reupholstery guideline and add a couple of yards.
MHI: Should the fabric be washed before having the slipcover made?
SC: I always encourage clients to pre-wash fabric. Usually, you can fit up to 5 yards of cut fabric into a home washing machine. I advise washing it on hot and drying the fabric all the way to get as much shrinkage as possible out of the way before the slipcover is made.
If someone is afraid to wash it, I tell that person to get 1/2 to 1 yard as a test, and then wash it and see how it holds up first.
MHI: Are there any basic slipcover terms we should be familiar with?
SC: Welting (also know as cording) is the trim that is covered with fabric. And you definitely need to know what type of skirt you want. Most skirts start under the cushion these days, but I have also been doing the waterfall skirt. This type of skirt does not have cording that breaks up the top of the slipcover and the skirt. It looks like it is a continuation of the main part of the slipcover. Ruffled skirts are also popular. Another trend in slipcovers is monogramming.
MHI: Before having slipcovers made, what should customers tell fabric designers?
SC: A customer needs to clearly convey the type of slipcover and the skirt they want. Collect pictures of what you want from MyHomeIdeas, magazines, or at Sew Sheri Designs.