How to Buy Chair Covers

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How to Buy Chair Covers

At times, it may be necessary to purchase chair covers to disguise or freshen up unsightly chairs. Perhaps the folding or banquet chairs for an event are drab and ugly and need a makeover, or maybe the living room chairs are worn and faded and in need of replacement. Whatever the reason, chair covers can save buyers money and time.

Different types of chair covers (or slipcovers) serve different purposes. Banquet chair covers are used to add visual appeal to unattractive chairs at special events, while living room chair covers sometimes serve a dual purpose. They give chairs a fresh, new look that brightens up an entire room, and also save buyers money by adding years to the lives of furniture that otherwise might have been thrown away due to wear and tear.

This guide is designed to help buyers learn about different types of chair covers available to brighten up events and rooms, and possibly even save them money.
 

Types of Chair Covers

Covers for both banquet-style and living room chairs are available in a large number of styles and patterns. Selecting the proper type is determined by the type of chair to be covered. These are discussed below.

Covers for Banquet and Folding Chairs

B anquet and folding chairs are the standard seating option for wedding receptions and other special events. They are often plain, bare-metal, unattractive apparatuses. To prevent these chairs from sticking out like eyesores and ruining the elegant ambiance of a special occasion, many people prefer to doll them up with satin, silk, organza, or other types of fabric covers.

Colors, prints, and designs can vary dramatically, although white, cream, and other pale colors are common choices for weddings. Long sashes in the wedding colors are often tied around light-colored chair covers to add just the right amount of color. Covers for other events often feature bold colors or, occasionally, patterns and prints.

Banquet chair covers drape completely over the chairs, and are usually fitted, although some styles may have a looser fit than others. Sashes can also be used to secure chair covers in place, as well as add color and visual appeal. Covers are available in different styles, some of which are best suited to chairs of specific dimensions. The following chart outlines the basic types of banquet chair covers and the average fit for each. These dimensions are estimates, and may vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. For best results, buyers should accurately measure the chair height, seat width, and back width of the chairs they intend to cover.
 

Types of Covers

Average Fit

Common Fabrics

Characteristics

Standard Chair Cover

34" x 18" x 12"

Satin

Silk

Organza

Linen

Polyester

Most common style

Sleek, fitted design

Tall Chair Cover

37" x 17" x 17"

Satin

Silk

Organza

Linen

Polyester

Tailor-made for tall, narrow banquet chairs

Stylish, snug fit

Folding Chair Cover

29" x 16" x 17"

Satin

Silk

Organza

Linen

Polyester

Perfectly cut to fit average folding chair

Fitted design

Pillowcase Chair Cover

34" x 18" x 12"

37" x 17" x 17"

Satin

Silk

Organza

Linen

Polyester

Excess fabric ties in back

Eliminates need for sash

Drapes over standard and tall banquet chairs

Somewhat looser fit than many other styles

Spandex Chair Cover

Fits most sizes

Spandex

Very sleek, modern look

Molds to chairs for a very snug fit

Stretches to fit most banquet chair styles

Universal Chair Cover

36" x 17" x 17"

Satin

Silk

Organza

Linen

Polyester

Elegant design

Drapes over most types of banquet chairs

Snug fit on some chairs, but somewhat loose fit on others


Covers for Living Room Chairs

Many people end up throwing away living room chairs with extremely worn or damaged upholstery, even though the frames and cushions may still have a lot of life left in them. The abuse that living room chairs endure can take a toll on the upholstery, but need not shorten the life of the chairs. If the only problem with a living room chair is the upholstery, a chair cover can significantly increase its lifespan.

Living room chairs generally come in three styles: recliners, wingback chairs, and armchairs. All three types are usually made from durable fabrics, such as leather or suede, because of the amount of use they receive. The chair cover also needs to be made from sturdy materials. Common fabric choices for living room chair covers include cotton, synthetic suede, twill, polyester and spandex blends, and polyester and cotton blends.

Recliners have high backs that can be pushed back and locked into place, to let the user relax in a reclined position. When fully reclined, a footrest pops up from the bottom of the chair to support the legs and feet. Because it shifts and changes shape, a recliner requires chair covers designed specifically for recliners.

Wingback chairs have been around for centuries. Originally designed for use by the sick, the wings on the high backs of these chairs were believed to capture and retain heat from the fireplace. In modern times, wingback chairs are appreciated for their elegant appearance. Some styles of wingback chairs have removable cushions, while others are constructed as a single piece. It is important to note the specific construction of a wingback chair before choosing a wingback chair cover.

Armchairs are what most people think of as standard living room chairs. They have soft, padded armrests and big, cushioned backs. Some armchairs have seats that are upholstered into the chair, but most have removable seat cushions that are either T-shaped, square, or rectangular. The construction of the seat cushion plays a key role in choosing a chair cover, although it is possible to find one that covers both the cushion and the chair, as if they were a single piece.

Measuring Living Room Chairs

Covers for recliners and wingback chairs must be designed for those chairs, but armchair covers tend to be universal. Generally speaking, most armchair covers are designed to fit chairs that measure 32 inches to 40 inches from the outside edge of one arm to the outside edge of the other arm. However, the exact fit for non-stretchy fabrics can vary significantly, so it is wise to take down other measurements, as well.

Different brands and manufacturers label their products with different measurements, so it is a good idea to also measure a chair’s height, arm width (widest point), seat width (widest point), and cushion dimensions, and to compared these measurements to those listed on the packaging.

For the best results, buyers should consider buying covers made from stretchable fabrics, such as polyester-spandex blends. This lessens concerns about whether or not a particular chair cover fits exactly, and lets buyers concentrate on style and color.
 

Buying Chair Covers on eBay

Chair covers for banquet chairs and living room chairs can usually only be found for sale in department stores, although some furniture stores and discount shops occasionally carry a limited inventory. However, many online retailers sell a huge variety of different styles, materials, and colors of chair covers. eBay provides a marketplace for hundreds (or thousands) of such sellers. You can find a nice selection of chair cover choices on the popular auction site at almost any time.

Covers for living room chairs can be found in the Slipcovers category under Furniture, inside the main Home & Garden category. Some banquet chair covers can also be found in that category, but you can find a larger and much more focused selection by navigating to the Wedding Supplies category inside Home & Garden and then running a search for "chair covers."

If you are a new eBay user, or if you simply do not understand some of the aspects of the site, you can find a ton of useful information by visiting the eBay Learning Center. It features helpful articles that cover a range of topics from how to get started on eBay to buying basics and resolving buying problems. At the very least, you should make an effort to learn how feedback works on the site. Feedback is a critical component in the successful buying and selling process on eBay.
 

Conclusion

Unattractive banquet chairs at a wedding or other formal event can negatively impact the overall look and feel of an otherwise beautiful room. The same can also be said for worn and damaged chairs sitting in an otherwise stylish living room. Chair covers effectively fix the problem in both situations.

Banquet chair covers are available in different styles and colors to spruce up any special event. Linen is a common, reliable choice, but chair covers are also available in "fancy" fabrics like satin and silk, to add an extra touch of glamour to any occasion. Colored sashes can also be tied over the covers to add a splash of style and color.

Living room chair covers are also available in different styles and colors, and they can literally transform the look of a room. Recliners, wingback chairs, and armchairs with damaged upholstery can all be revitalized to provide years of use, rather than being discarded before their time. It requires some effort to search for and install chair covers, but the final result is worth the trouble.

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