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Comfort Works

2021-07-01

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Taking care of your fabrics

After a long day, your sofa is where you want to curl up and unwind. Sometimes this involves food and wine. Sometimes your furry friends jump into the mix. Other times, children. With crayons.

Let’s face it, when life happens, the sofa is the first to bear the brunt of it. But that’s why you bought a fully removable slipcovered sofa in the first place – so that you can chuck the covers straight into the wash when you need to.

Of course, you don’t need to wait until there’s a major accident before you wash your sofa covers. If you have pets, then vacuuming up their fur from the sofa should be a regular part of your sofa-cleaning routine. And did you know that excess germs and bacteria buildup on sofas is primarily caused by dead human cells? To keep this buildup to a minimum, avoid eating on your sofa (duh) and alternate between slipcovers when one is being washed (which should be at least twice a year).

Most larger slipcovers will fit into two laundry loads: one load for cushions and one for the body of the sofa. And while nearly all slipcover types are machine-washable, different fabrics require a few different care methods.

Cotton slipcover care

Our Madison Rose slipcovers in action. Image credit: Comfort Works

Cotton is one of the most common fabric used in making slipcovers. It’s comfortable, durable and easily dyed in many colours.

How to wash your cotton slipcovers

If your cotton slipcovers are machine-washable, put them on a cold, gentle cycle in your machine. The gentler the fabric is treated, the longer your slipcovers will last. If possible, try and wash the whole set at the same time to maintain the same shade and finish across the whole set.

Most cotton slipcovers will get softer after each wash, and darker fabrics may fade very slightly, but that’s part of the charm of a slipcover. Your slipcover should last several years, since most are washed just a few times a year.

How to dry and iron your cotton slipcovers

If you’ve heard of the myth of fitting the covers while they are still damp, it’s true! Leave them to drip dry in the shade for a few hours and put the covers on the sofa while they’re still a little damp. The covers slip on easier as they’re looser, and as the covers dry they will tighten slightly around the frame and cushion for a nice snug fit. Once the damp covers are fitted, keep the air flow moving as much as you can around the sofa – turn on the fan and keep the windows open.

If your covers need ironing, now’s a great time to sharpen up the corners of the pleats and skirts. But wait until the covers are fully dry to iron the rest –wet ironing can sometimes stretch out your slipcovers.

How to spot clean cotton slipcovers

Moisten a clean cloth or sponge with water and press the cloth gently against the fabric. Work your way from the edges of the affected area into the centre, blotting the stain as you go. Then, press clean paper towels against the damp fabric after the furniture has been cleaned. This will absorb excess moisture and speed up the drying process.

Cotton slipcover care guide

  • Machine wash not exceeding 30°C.
  • Iron on medium heat.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Drip dry in shade only.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Do not wring.
  • Do not expose to direct/indirect sunlight.
  • Fit covers back on sofa when slightly damp.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture regularly.
  • When possible rotate cushions regularly.

At Comfort Works, we offer two kinds of pure cotton slipcovers: Madison, our silky, stonewashed cotton in six soft shades, and Cotton Canvas, a durable but comfortable cotton.

Find out more about our pure cotton slipcovers 

Polyester slipcover care

Comfort Works Performance Blend slipcovers in Cream. Image credit: Comfort Works

Polyester is made up of synthetic fibres that are strong and durable. There is a wide range of polyester fabrics, and they are known to be soft, durable and hard-wearing. Often polyester is blended with natural fibres to get the best of both worlds.

How to wash your polyester slipcovers

Most of the time, polyester covers are safe to be thrown into the washing machine, on a cold wash on the gentlest cycle of your machine. For extra protection, turn your slipcovers inside out before washing them.

How to dry and iron your polyester slipcovers

Before you throw the covers into the dryer, know that polyester is prone to melt under high temperatures. Polyester covers can hold up for a short time in the dryer, on a low temperature setting, but be careful not to leave them in there for too long. Zippers and velcro straps can also be worn down in a tumble dryer,

Generally we recommend drip drying your covers in the shade, which shouldn’t take too long, as polyester covers don’t absorb much water and dry pretty quickly.

Polyester covers don’t wrinkle easily, so that should save the job of ironing but for that crisp look, ironing the corners of skirts and the pleats inside out under low/medium heat should do the trick.

How to spot clean polyester slipcovers

Spot treatment for polyester fabrics is similar to that for cotton. Moisten a cloth/sponge with water and press the cloth gently against the fabric. Work your way from the edges of the affected area into the centre, blotting the stain as you go. Then, press clean towels against the damp fabric after the furniture has been cleaned. This will absorb excess moisture and speed the drying process.

Polyester slipcover care guide

  • Machine wash not exceeding 30°C.
  • Iron reverse side in low heat.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Drip dry in shade only.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Do not wring.
  • Do not expose to direct/indirect sunlight.
  • Fit covers back on sofa when slightly damp.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture regularly.
  • When possible rotate cushions regularly.

At Comfort Works, we carry a range of different polyester and polyester blend fabrics, including our stain-resistant Performance Blend that’s perfect for families with kids and pets, our durable, commercial-grade Kino, and our bestselling, super-versatile Everyday Tweed.

Find out more about our Performance Blend slipcovers

Linen slipcover care

Comfort Works Pure Linen slipcovers in Natural. Image credit: Comfort Works

Linen is a strong, lightweight fabric that feels luxurious and smooth on the skin. It’s a great fabric for sofas because of its natural breathability and temperature-regulating properties, but can tend to the more expensive side. Linen fibres are also commonly blended with other fabrics, especially cotton, to create a more affordable, everyday fabric.

How to wash your linen slipcovers

Linens and linen blends require a little more care than cotton fabrics to keep them looking fresh and crisp. (Having said that, a characteristic of linen is that it will soften over time, and after each wash.) Linen covers are best machine-washed on a cold, gentle cycle.

How to dry and iron your linen slipcovers

Washable covers should be drip dried in the shade and fitted on the sofa when they’re almost dry but slightly damp. A slightly crumpled finish is part of linen’s signature look, so don’t worry about ironing unless you really want to. If you’re set on ironing your linen covers, it would be a good idea to iron while the fabric is still damp. Otherwise, iron with steam on the medium setting. While white linen is best ironed on both sides, it is best to iron dark linen on the inside only.

How to spot clean your linen slipcovers

Our recommendation is the tried-and-tested 50/50 white vineger and water mix. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water (white vinegar is a non-negotiable; do not try this with other types of vinegar!), pour the mixture into a spray bottle and then test the mixture on an inconspicuous part of the sofa first. If your linen covers don’t react adversely to the mixture, go ahead and spray the affected area, then dab it gently with a clean cloth.

Linen slipcover care guide

  • Machine wash not exceeding 30°C.
  • Iron on reverse side ONLY, on low heat.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Drip dry in shade only.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Do not wring.
  • Do not expose to direct/indirect sunlight.
  • Fit covers back on sofa when slightly damp.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture regularly.
  • When possible rotate cushions regularly.

At Comfort Works, we carry a luxurious Pure Linen and also our Everyday Linen, a practical blend of 55% linen and 45% cotton.

Find out more about our linen slipcovers

Velvet slipcover care 

Comfort Works Classic Velvet slipcovers in Indigo. Image credit: Comfort Works

The most traditionally luxurious sofa fabric, velvet is easy to love –  but is it easy to take care of? Along with the textile industry, velvets have evolved over the years and these days they’re not that much more high-maintenance than any other fabric. Of course, there are a few things you need to look out for.

How to wash your velvet slipcovers

Comfort Works Classic Velvet and Claw-proof Velvet slipcovers are machine-washable, but we always recommend that you use a cold handwash setting. If you’re not confident in your washing machine, dry-cleaning is also a great option.

How to dry and iron your velvet slipcovers

Under no circumstances should you put your velvet covers into the dryer. Don’t do it! Drip dry them in the shade, and use a clothes brush to brush out the nap as it dries. This ensures that the fibres dry smoothly and will stay velvety after washing.

If your velvet slipcovers have lost their shimmer, you can use a steamer to restore its signature shine. Keep the nozzle moving across the velvet at a moderate pace in the direction of the nap.  After it dries, use a soft-bristled hair brush and gently brush it in the direction of the nap.

How to spot clean velvet slipcovers

If there’s a stain on your velvet covers, you should always treat them prior to washing because if not, the stain might set and ruin the nap of the velvet, then you’ll be stuck with a patch of inconsistent nap on your couch.

Use a cloth dampened in lukewarm water and dab the stain gently, moving up and down. Dab with a dry cloth to clear up excess water. After trying to remove the stain, if it still appears to be there, then it’s best left to the dry cleaners.

Velvet slipcover care guide

  • Cold machine wash/cold hand wash.
  • Do not iron.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Dry clean recommended.
  • Drip dry in shade only.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Do not wring.
  • Do not expose to direct/indirect sunlight.
  • Fit covers back on sofa when slightly damp.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture regularly.
  • When possible rotate cushions regularly.

At Comfort Works, we have two velvets: our luxurious Classic Velvet, and our Claw-proof Velvet.

Find out more about our velvet slipcovers

Leather slipcover care

Comfort Works Savannah Saddle slipcovers. Image credit: Comfort Works partnership/House on a Sugar Hill

If you have allergies, leather is a great sofa material as it accumulates far less dust and mites than fabric does. And let’s get it out of the way: leather, in any form, is not washable.

Bycast leather is commonly used on sofas, and may be either completely synthetic, or a combination of real hide with a synthetic backing/coating. This coating also makes the leather stain-resistant and easier to keep clean.

How to clean your leather slipcovers

Using a dry cloth, wipe your sofa every few months to remove dust and grime that might cause wear and tear. For stubborn stains, mix three cups of water with a squirt of liquid dish detergent. Dip a cleaning cloth in this solution, wring out as much water as possible, then continue wiping until it’s all gone.

How to maintain leather slipcovers

After wiping, keep your bycast leather covers looking shiny and luxurious by buffing the polyurethane finish with a soft cloth. You can also find specialised conditioners and protectors designed for bycast leather furniture. 

Leather slipcover care guide

  • Do not wash.
  • Do not iron.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Do not dry clean.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Do not wring.
  • Do not expose to direct/indirect sunlight.
  • Wipe with a dry cloth.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture regularly.
  • When possible rotate cushions regularly.

At Comfort Works we have two leather options: our bycast leather Urbanskin Kramfors, and vegan leather Savannah Saddle.

Find out more about leather slipcovers here

Microfibre slipcover care

Microfiber

How to wash your microfibre slipcovers

It’s always good practice to vacuum the couch cushions with a soft brush, vacuum-cleaner attachment hose to suck up loose dust and dirt. Then set the washing machine to a gentle, delicate or hand-wash cycle. Fill the machine with cold water and add the proper amount of a mild laundry detergent as specified by the detergent bottle.

How to dry and iron your microfibre slipcovers

It’s crucial that microfibre fabric is not exposed to heat, so drip-drying your covers in the shade (near a fan) is always the best option. If you need to use the dryer, use the air-dry option which does not use any heat. While the covers are drying, use a clothes brush to brush them gently and restore the nap.

How to spot clean your microfibre slipcovers

The magic combination is rubbing alcohol, white scrub sponges, and a soft bristle brush. For a demonstration, watch this tutorial by Brieanne from Darling Doodles. The results were amazing! All you need to do is spray rubbing alcohol on the stains, then use the white sponge to gently scrub the grime off. Once that’s done, use a soft bristle brush to fluff the fabric.

Microfibre fabric care guide

  • Cold machine wash/cold hand wash.
  • Do not iron.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Dry clean recommended.
  • Drip dry in shade only.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Do not wring.
  • Do not expose to direct/indirect sunlight.
  • Fit covers back on sofa when slightly damp.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture regularly.
  • When possible rotate cushions regularly.

If you don’t have any washing guidelines for your covers, you will have to determine for yourself whether the material is colourfast, and non-shrinking, and so on, and wash them at your own risk. To determine this, try wetting an inconspicuous area of the sofa, then blot it with a white paper towel. There should be no colour transfer. To investigate for shrinkage, inspect your test patch when it dries to see whether it still lies totally flat. Any buckling indicates that the material may shrink in water.

Interested to try out our fabrics in the comfort of your own home? Choose up to eight of our free samples and have them sent straight to your doorstep!