If you own loose covers your concern will be to preserve their quality and good looks. As time goes by daily life can cause stains, damage and wear. It’s important to know how to remove, clean and refit. However you may not need to remove and wash your covers at all. By using arm covers and following the tips below, you really can keep that showroom finish.
How to keep the showroom finish for years and years:
- Loose cushion covers can be rotated regularly and reversed to give even wear.
- Plumping up the cushions regularly helps to keep the covers looking full and fitted.
- Regular redressing of the loose covers can really help in maintaining appearance. This includes straightening the seams. Any excess fabric can be tucked into the pockets between the arm or back and the seat area.
- Keep out of direct sunlight. Fading is unavoidable on any fabric exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.
- Accidental spills can be spot cleaned very effectively if you are quick. It’s a good idea to do a test in a small area which isn’t visible.
- One chenille and velvet fabrics, the pile will flatten with use. This can result in a ‘shaded’ area where there is contact e.g. on the arms. This is normal with this type of fabric but vacuuming with a brush attachment can help.
Top Tip: Vacuum your covers regularly using a brush attachment. Accumulated dirt in the fibres can cause wear.
How to machine wash your covers:
- Use a colour enhancing liquid detergent.
- Check the wash label in the covers just to check that they can be washed. Some heavyweight fabrics are dry clean only.
- Typically the correct temperature is 30 degrees C. The same is true if hand washing.
- Lightly spin or line dry cotton covers.
- Run a cool iron over cotton covers while damp.
- Polyester covers should be dried on the line and do not need ironing as they are almost always crease free.
Top Tip: A good tip is to wash all components of the cover at the same time. With all that fabric this may be easier said than done.
How to re-fit your covers:
- Remove all loose cushions. Find the sewing label and stand at the back.
- If there is a zip undo it. Pull the cover down over the back until the cover fits snugly along the top edge.
- Continue to pull the cover down over the arms and seat base tucking in firmly where appropriate. There is usually a gap between the arm or back and the seat base. If the covers have piping, make sure the piping sits correctly on the arm scrolls.
- Pull down and smooth the fabric and make sure the valance sits straight at floor level. Close the zip if there is one.
- Finally pull on the separate cushion covers and make sure the piped edges are straight, and replace the cushions.
Top Tip: The sewing label is almost always at the back of the cover in the centre. All that fabric can seem a bit daunting. Stand at the back of the chair or sofa, find the label and it will soon fall into place.
If Loose Covers are damaged:
- If snagged threads are caused accidentally on stretch (polyester) fabrics, draw them through to the reverse side i.e. so the thread is on the inside.
- Arm covers are a great help to protect and prolong the life of covers.
- If the damage is serious be careful to make sure that any replacements are colour matched to other covers. You may need to send a sample.
Top Tip: Avoid sharp objects - If you have cats try and discourage them from scratching. There are a few products available and some good advice at catscratching.com.