Calico offers endless ways for you to customize your rooms and furniture. Two simple ways to bring new life to old furniture is through the use of Calico's services for Slipcovers and Reupholstery.


Custom slipcovers can change the look of a room instantly and extend the life of your upholstery. You can express a different style or color palette easily, and then change it back again, if desired.

When the kids are home for summer, slipcovers are ideal. You and your furniture can be as relaxed as they are. Slipcovers are also wonderful for vacation houses and rental homes.

Top Ten Slipcover Tips

  1. Slipcover fabrics should not be too heavy. There will be many layers of fabric where seams join.
  2. Textured fabrics add visual interest and resist wrinkling. Consider twills, rep weaves, damasks, denims, cotton duck and sailcloth. Linen and linen blends are guaranteed to wrinkle, which may be undesirable.
  3. Slipcovers should be tightly constructed in a color that doesn't reveal the upholstery underneath.
  4. Slipcovers are usually made with self (same) or contrast welting. A contrast welt draws attention to the lines of your furniture. If using a contrast welt, choose a similar weave and weight as the slipcover fabric. If your furniture has matching side pillows, use a contrast welt or fringe for visual interest even if using self welting on the body of the slipcover.
  5. Slipcover fabrics should not have a latex backing, which would cause the fabric to buckle and wrinkle instead of sliding over the fabric beneath it.
  6. Slipcovers are best for fully-upholstered furniture. An exposed wood frame will be felt beneath the slipcover, unless it is designed to tie-on like a pinafore, instead of covering the frame like a dress.
  7. Slipcovers will change the look, but not the sit or comfort, of the furniture. Slipcovers will not fix sagging cushions or broken springs. Add new foam or Dacron wrap to renew your cushions.
  8. Slipcovers can be short and flirty. You'll save on fabric if your sofa is suited to a slipcover without a skirt, or if a dining chair can be made with a short skirt. Wing chairs can also be slipcovered without a skirt.
  9. Slipcovers can fit like a glove or be relaxed for a casual look. Be sure to specify the look you want. Your slipcover will be cut and fit in your home, so you won't be without the use of your furniture.
  10. Slipcovers should be drycleaned to prolong their life and appearance. This will preserve the hand of the fabric and reduce the risk of shrinkage. A wet slipcover is very heavy and stresses the seams.

Slipcover Yardage

Slipcovers are often less expensive than reupholstery, however, slipcovers require extra fabric for securing them to the furniture. Calico stores can provide better estimates when they know more about your furniture and fabric.

The following are "ballpark" estimates and do not factor in the additional fabric needed for pattern repeats:

  • SOFA, 60" to 90" with a tight back and 2 cushions: 17 yards
  • SOFA, 60" to 90" with a tight back and 3 cushions: 18 yards
    *Add 1½ yards for each additional loose cushion on seat or back
    *Add 1½ yards for sofas that are 90" to 108" long
  • LOVESEAT, up to 60" with tight back and 2 cushions: 16 yards
  • ARM CHAIR, club or wingback chair with 1 cushion: 9-10 yards

These estimates assume that the slipcover will be made with self-welting and a skirt. Separate estimates can be provided for contrast welting.


Furniture Reupholstery


A good reupholsterer can give furniture new form, take out dated details and give you back a piece of furniture that's better than new. Springs are replaced and retied. Fillings are renewed and the frame reinforced. That's why the cost of reupholstery is often close to the price of new furniture. Whatever you choose, the cost of the fabric will be the same.

When is it Worth Reupholstering?

When you love it.

Your furniture has a history that can't be bought: the first piece of furniture you bought in your marriage or a wing chair that belonged to your grandfather. If a piece has sentimental value, it's worth recovering.

When it has a good frame.

If your furniture has a sturdy hardwood frame, it's worth reupholstering. Expensive antiques may be reupholstered dozens of times. But if it was inexpensive when first purchased, it may not be worth recovering.

When it can be updated to your taste.

Good upholsterers can update a piece of furniture. They can create a longer skirt, remove tufting or channeling or plump and soften a piece that is too hard-edged — all according to your taste.

When it will cost less than purchasing a new piece of furniture.

Reupholstery isn't cheap — but it may be less costly than buying new furniture.