The most essential criteria in choosing a suitable material for slipcovers are strength, stability and wash ability, explains Carl Dellatore, the owner of D and F Workroom, to Martha Stewart. Thin fabrics, such as silk taffeta, should not be used, as the upholstery's pattern tends to be visible, and the slipcovers are tougher to clean.
One can create slipcovers for almost any furniture, although it is more difficult to sew slipcovers for more rounded pieces as the covers usually have complex structural requirements, such as darts and pleats, notes Dellatore. It is usually easier to make slipcovers for rectilinear furniture, which need only a few pleats on a skirt or basic cording to define the lines around the arms, base and back.
Cotton is the ideal material for slipcovers, particularly canvas and oxford cloths, as they are easy to care for and are more durable, says Dellatore. To sew a slipcover, measure the furniture's dimensions, adding extra length and width for seams, skirts and pleats. Next, create a muslin slipcover as a sample model. Take the muslin version apart, and use its measurements to sew the final slipcover using your chosen fabric. The main result is a tough slipcover that protects the furniture and likely enhances the appearance of a room.