More than simply an easy cleaning option, the slip cover is a versatile style statement that works well in just about any interior

Living room

Slip covers are easy-going and friendly by nature, but don’t be fooled by their laid-back reputation. Though they work well in casual spaces, they have many looks and are equally at home in a formal environment like this beautiful living room decorated by Lianne Moorgas. The extra-large Manhattan sofa and slip is given a luxe feel with lots of richly textured scatter cushions. A deep-buttoned ottoman used as a coffee table and an upholstered French-style armchair complete the look.

Dining room

There’s nothing better than a slip cover to change the mood of a room. To give this sophisticated space a more casual look for daytime dining simple skirted slip covers in a playful print, which are secured on to the chairs with bows, were added. As these types of slip covers don’t require much fabric, you could consider having more than one set made, allowing you to change them with the seasons or on a whim. Photographed at Pure Restaurant at the Hout Bay Manor hotel.

chair slipcover chair slipcover


Keep your headboard as fresh as the day you installed it with an easy-to-remove slip cover. Using a fairly busy fabric helps to hide marks, but of course being able to just remove and wash it is the perfect solution. Made up by Slipcovers/Mark Miller Furniture Design, this slip cover teams a floral with a contrasting print used for the bows to add interest and detail. Bows are a good way of securing the sides without the need for zips which can give problems with cleaning and wear and tear.

Slipcovers05 Headboard slipcovers

Slip cover tips from furniture designer Mark Miller

Choosing the right fabric

Pick a washable fabric and ensure it’s been preshrunk before it’s made up into a slip cover. The best fabric for slip covers is 100 percent cotton. Bull denim which has been preshrunk and a small textured weave also work well. Be aware that pure linen creases; while this is part of its charm, ensure it’s the look you want. New polyester blends look as good as linen and cotton, and are less likely to shrink and crease. Keep in mind that prints will hide marks better than plains.

How much fabric to buy?

For an armchair you’ll need 5–6m of plain fabric. For a regular dining chair you’ll need 2–3m. For a two-seater couch you’ll need 10–12m of plain fabric and for a three-seater you’ll need 12–16m. Keep in mind that if you choose a print you’ll need extra fabric so that you have enough to match up the pattern.

Cleaning tips

Linen and velvet slip covers will need to be dry-cleaned. Wash bull denim slip covers every 3–4 weeks. Use cleaning sprays for kick marks. It’s worth considering having extra slip covers made for the arms of sofas and chairs as these areas tend to get dirty quicker than the cushions and may need to be washed more often.