Before you choose sofa or chair slipcovers, consider that you are in essence choosing to dress up your furniture. Just as you would pay attention to fabric weight, textures, and fit when you dress a human body, you should consider what would best fit your piece of furniture. I should also point out that slipcovers may not be the perfect solution for certain chair or sofa styles.
Cosmetic Change Only: Slipcovers will change the look of your chair or sofa, but the feel or underlying structure will not change. So if your sofa is lumpy, or the springs are sticking out, simply getting new slipcovers will not accomplish much.
A slipcover is cosmetic change only, not a structural one. If your furniture is falling apart, this budget solution could turn out to be a wasteful expense because you stand to gain nothing from it. You are better off buying new furniture.
Choose a Look: Decide on a look for your slipcovers. You can choose a loose or relaxed look for a casual effect, or select one that fits the lines of your sofa or chair more closely. Let your general decorating style dictate the look along with the shape of the piece.
Choose a Weight: Not all fabric is suitable for slipcovers. As a general rule, it is best to avoid very heavy fabrics such as chenille and velvets as they may not adapt very well to the shape a sofa or chair. These materials are only good for a very custom-made, structured look.
Slipcover fabric should usually be of medium-weight so it can easily fit over your furniture.
Choose a Weave: When choosing a slipcover, select a fabric that is tightly woven. Select a color or pattern that does not let the fabric underneath show through.
Choose a Texture: Consider the use of texture before you decide on your slipcovers. Textured fabric such as twill, damask or denim can add visual interest, while also resisting wrinkling.
Consider the Shape: If your chair or sofa has a wooden frame, covering it in a slip cover may not be a good idea, as the wooden frame will be felt through the fabric. A piece that is covered in fabric leads you to believe that it will have a soft feel, and the hardness of wood underneath will not feel pleasant.
Consider Details: Details such as welting can be an attractive feature in a a slipcover. You can buy slipcovers with welting, or order ones that have it when you get them custom made. Decide whether you want self-welting or contrast welting on your slipcovers. Contrast welting will draw attention to the lines of your chair or sofa. If you want to emphasize them choose contrast welting, to play down the shape choose self-welting.
Braids, fringes or buttons can also be added depending on the look you want.
Choose a Length: Your slipcovers do not have to reach the floor, even the loose ones. If you have a wooden frame on your sofa, you can leave the bottom exposed. Or, if you prefer you can change the look by putting a skirt on it.