Seeking durable slipcovers for RV furniture
July 9, 2013 7:04 AM   Subscribe

We have off-white furniture (sofa/dining chairs, recliners) and two black cats (with claws). You can see where this is going. I'm looking for slipcovers that will match the decor, will stand up to cat hair, incidental claw marks, occasional food spills and tracked-in dirt, and can be thrown in the wash.

I don't have the budget to get these custom-made, although I understand those will look and fit the best. I also don't want to buy just whatever's available at Target. We've gone that route before and it looks like crap. RV furniture is slightly smaller than its real-world counterparts so I'm not sure standard sofa covers will work. I can get measurements later if needed; the sofa length is somewhere between a standard loveseat and sofa.

1. What material am I looking for? Suede-like microfiber is out of the question; it is a fur magnet. I am drawn to textured fabrics like corduroy but feel free to tell me that it would look stupid.
2. What color would split the difference between the light decor and black cats? Do I want a pattern? (Note: the pics linked above have a slightly more greenish tint than reality. I'd call the chairs ecru and the sofa ecru and beige.) Almost all RV furniture is light in color so as not to make the smaller space seem claustrophobic.
3. I'd prefer to buy these in person so I can feel the fabric. I'm in the Milwaukee area but will travel to the North and Western Chicago suburbs or Madison. Failing that, I need an online vendor with a solid return policy.
posted by desjardins to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1. I don't know the name of the actual fibres that go into this material, but the brand name is Sunbrella. It's supposed to be water and stain and fade resistant. It's comfortable to sit on but it's stiff enough for cat claws. I recently got a condo-sized patio set (i.e. small) and the cushions are Sunbrella.

2. I have a black cat too. His fur shows up very clearly on white furniture and black furniture. It's less noticeable on medium-dark fabrics such as burgundy, forest green, darker purple, brown... actually for the Sunbrella fabric, I just wet my hand and run It over the surface and the hair comes off easily.

3. Unknown! I think you can buy Sunbrella cushions at hardware stores. I'm in Canada and I got mine at Lowes but i saw them at Home Depot, Home Hardware... I don't know the US equivalents...
posted by cranberrymonger at 8:20 AM on July 9, 2013

For possible colors to complement the decor without going too dark/claustrophobic, I might go with slate blue, sage green, goldenrod yellow, or maybe a light rust/brick red?

If you're OK with not covering the whole couch from top to bottom, SureFit has some plush-looking almost-full-coverage, non-slip quilted covers, and you can get up to 5 free fabric swatches for $3 shipped to see what works best with your decor without having to haul out to a store or return anything -- they have a lot of nice colors, patterns, and textures. They also have a lot of relaxed fit and form-fitting covers, and appear to be very well-reviewed.

For fabric types, I've actually had a lot of luck with microsuede -- it's the only thing that seems to fail to actively attract my cat's fur, and it's easy to clean up spills with a damp washcloth, although I share my abode with a white-and-orange longhair rather than a pair of black shorthairs so YCFMMV (your cat fur mileage may vary). And honestly, my #1 go-to for fur cleanup will always be a mini-vacuum.

I've heard great things about the fur-repellent qualities of a fabric style called "micro velvet," but I couldn't find slip covers made with that material, only pet beds. There's also Crypton, a high-performance fabric that's supposed to be waterproof, stainproof, and generally animal-proof. You can order free samples of it here. I haven't been able to find slip covers, but they do have nice-looking throws.
posted by divined by radio at 9:01 AM on July 9, 2013

We went with SureFit and we're very happy. The stretchy stuff is a little thinner than I'd like, but it seems protective enough and it looks and feels nice. We ended up getting the color they call chocolate, but I'd call it mocha. It blends nicely with the other decor.
posted by desjardins at 7:15 AM on August 2, 2013

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