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Tips for Using Slipcovers on Awkward Shaped Furniture

by Guest on May 14, 2012

Furniture slipcovers are great for improving the appearance of old sofas and chairs, or for protecting good quality furniture from pet hairs and general wear and tear. Ready made slipcovers are inexpensively priced and come in various sizes to fit most standard shaped seats. It's possible to buy pre-made covers for regular 3-seat sofas, 2-seat loveseats and armchairs; wing chairs, sofas and loveseats; recliner chairs; ottomans; dining room and folding chairs.

Of course, you'll need to carefully measure your particular furniture and check the slipcover measurements with the store before buying, but generally ready made ones will fit most furniture. However, there are always exceptions to the rules and there are various types of awkward shaped couches that it takes some ingenuity to find a slipcover to fit correctly. Here are some fitting tips to help you use slipcovers on your irregular shaped furniture.


Sectional couches can be tricky items to cover as they come in all combinations of loveseats and sofas, with and without arms. If your sectional has an arm at each end, one solution is to treat it as two separate couches. You can then fit regular loveseat or sofa covers onto each one, depending on the number of seat cushions. Where they join in the corner you'll need to tuck all the fabric that would normally fit over the arms into the gap where they meet.

However, if one or both sections don't have an arm at the end, this method won't work, as you'll be left with excess arm fabric and nowhere to tuck it. In this case, you'd need to buy an armless slipcover, which you will probably have to have custom made to fit. This may be more expensive, but at least it'll be constructed to fit the dimensions of your seat exactly.

Wooden Arms and Legs

If your sofa or chair has arms made of wood, you'll need to do something to pad them out so when you fit a slipcover it's not loose and baggy. This problem is easy to solve using polyester batting from a craft store, or even an old blanket. Simply wrap your material round each arm to give sufficient padding and secure it in place with string. Then fit the slipcover over the top and it should fit snugly around the arms. This can completely change the style as well as the look. Wooden legs are easy to cover up by choosing a slipcover with a built-in skirt.

Leather Upholstery

Many people think there's no point in fitting slipcovers on their leather suite as the leather would cause the fabric to slip and slide all over the place. This would probably happen if you fitted a slipcover straight over the upholstery in the usual manner. But if you secure foam batting over the seat and fit a slipcover over this, it'll stop it from slipping and make it fit neatly.

Loose Back Cushions

It is possible to buy slipcovers designed to cover couches with loose back cushions, but they aren't widely available and there's not much choice of colors or fabrics. An alternative option is to get rid of the back cushions altogether and fit a regular slipcover over the entire couch. You can then replace the cushions with new pillows that complement your choice of slipcover.

General Care Tips

Once you've found a slipcover to fit, be sure to follow the care instructions on the label. Generally, most slipcover fabrics can be machine washed on a cold water cycle and with a gentle spin, with no bleach. It's best to wash them on a fine day where you can hang them outside to dry naturally, although some can be tumble dried on a low heat. There shouldn't be any need to iron, but any creases can be smoothed out by hand once the slipcover is in place, using a plant mister to lightly dampen the fabric first.

This article was submitted by Caroline Smith of GetSlipcovers.com, where you can find helpful hints and tips for decorating with slipcovers, as well as discounts on SureFit slipcovers.

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