THE MAKING OF A COMFORT WORKS SLIPCOVER

How It's Made
We’ve put together a behind the scenes, sneak peek in to the making of a custom Comfort Works slipcover. 

Step 1 : Checking the Order

Fabric Availability
“I've just placed my order, what happens next?” 
 
Once an order is finalised, you'll receive an email confirming your payment with an order reference number (for example CW0XXXX-AB). We'll need 1-2 business days to check your order details and confirm the production timeline and fabric availability. While most of Comfort Works’ fabrics are stocked in house - certain popular fabrics may occasionally run low in stock and will require additional batch to be delivered from the milling house. 

Keep in mind when dealing with natural fabrics, especially linens and cottons, there may be slight differences from dye lot to dye lot. Batches may differ in shades and tone, roughly 2-5% variation. What we can promise is that if you place your slipcover order in a single order (eg: 2 sofas and an armchair covers) they will be made from the same dye lot.

In this section, we take you behind the scenes to learn more about the production of a Manstad Loose Fit sofa slipcover in Lino Brushed fabric.

Step 2 : Making the Pattern

Pattern Making
Once we confirm that there is enough fabric for your slipcovers, the Lino Brushed fabric roll is retrieved and delivered to the cutting room. The roll is unhooked and 16 meters of fabric are set aside. 

A rough outline of the Manstad sofa is printed out and measurements are hand-drawn onto the fabric. It takes a well-trained and highly experienced master cutter to be able to visualise how the final slipcover would look like. This is why, if you turn our slipcovers inside out, you may spot a few faint chalk lines along the inner seams.

Yes, we're pretty old school (who even writes anything these days?!) but all Comfort Works upholsterers, tailors and seamstresses are trained to think, draw and match slipcover patterns in 3-dimensions, without the use of a computer! This is what sets us apart and allows us the flexibility to cater to your special requests, enabling our team to provide you with custom made slipcovers, dining chair covers and all sorts of customisations for your Ikea templated sofa covers!

Step 3 : Cutting the Fabric

Pattern Cutting
Usually pattern cutting involves creating shapes on paper templates of each section of the sofa, which is then traced and machine cut. However, as each Comfort Works’ slipcover is made to order only when an order is placed, it requires a unique pattern to be cut, our expert panel makes creating shapes directly on your fabrics look so easy! 

In truth, Pattern Drawing and Cutting is probably the most time consuming, tedious process of creating a tailored made slipcover as measurements must be double-checked at this stage. To make one Manstad Loose Fit slipcover, approximately 31 pieces of cut-outs are made from 16 meters of fabric.

Also, it takes years of experience to be able to cut fabric in long straight line by hand. Why don’t you try it, let us know how you go ;P

Step 4 : Edging the Seams

Edging
Now, we get to the machines! A manual overlock machine, otherwise known as an edging machine, is used to trace the edges of all 31 pieces to create a hem or seam. As the fabric is fed through, the machine cuts the raw edges of the cloth.

The white thread creates a protective loop so that the raw edges of fabric are contained within the seam. This technique creates crisp, neat joins between pieces (we hate frayed or loose strings) while reinforcing high-stress areas, giving you the quality finish you would expect from a tailor made slipcover.

Step 5 : Stitching the Slipcovers

Stitching
At this stage, the pieces of fabric are sewn together piece by piece with all the necessary fastenings and linings. Our products are carefully handmade with expert attention to detail - heavy-duty zippers are locked into place and our non-slip lining is attached. 
 
This is where we start seeing the whole slipcover taking on the shape of the actual sofa and everything starts to make sense!
 
You'll notice that unlike some other companies, our slipcovers don't come with instruction manuals for installation. This is because the process is so simple and intuitive with the little discreet tags we sew inside the covers to indicate which piece goes on which part of the sofa. 

Step 6 : Piping

Piping
Long strips of fabrics are then sewn as “borders” into the edges of the slipcover. This optional process is also known as piping, welting or cording.

Piping is sewn on the outer side first, then once more inside, to achieve a rigid look. Think of it as giving your slipcover a spine. While this step takes a bit more time, it's well worth it if you want to achieve a more streamlined, tailored outline on your slipcovers. If you prefer a more relaxed, rustic look however, you can just opt to have the slipcovers without, we're flexible!

Step 7 : Slipcover Skirt and Pleats

Skirt
As a finishing touch, the Manstad Loose fit slipcover comes with box pleats on all four corners of the slipcover's skirt. 

Piping and pleats give your sofa slipcovers a bit of a personality and reflect your personal interior decor style, which is why we offer Manstad Slipcovers in 3 different styles: loose, basic and snug. The loose fit comes with pleated skirts for a more traditional slipcovered look, and if you want a sofa with nice clean lines, you may opt for the Basic fit with its straight skirt.

Step 8 : Trimming and Testing

Trimming Excess
Fitting, Tweaking
At this stage, we trim off all the loose threads. This may seem like a simple task but it's not something we take for granted, because a little bit goes a long way! Quality control has definitely become more of a culture we've ingrained, as opposed to a job.
 
Once all the threads are neatly removed, we make one final check to make sure all zippers are working smoothly and stitches are doubly reinforced. With the Manstad sofa, we're able to test out the covers and make small tweaks to it if necessary. This is how we perfected our Manstad Snug Fit covers.

Step 9 : Ironing, Packing & Shipping

Manstad Slipcover
The covers are finally ironed and packed to be shipped straight to your doorstep!  On your side, it's a good idea to double check your shipping address (refer to Step 1), as that’s the address we will send your covers to. 
 
We pack the covers in a sturdy bag, kiss them goodbye and send you the tracking number so you'll know when to expect your new slipcovers.
 
Hopefully, this paints a clearer picture of what happens after you place an order through to our webstore. Above is what the end results look like after the covers are installed and you may want to gently steam out some creases in the fabric. 

Don't have a Manstad sofabed? We make slipcovers for a wide variety of existing and discontinued Ikea sofas, so check out other replacement IKEA Slipcovers here.