Fabric experts? I'd like some input
I have slipcovered off white sofas and/or armchairs in my family room, living room, two bedrooms, and our little stonehouse. I liked light-colored furniture and, for me, being able to have it washed has been a huge benefit.
For our beach house, I am custom slipcovering all of the living room furniture. I just picked up the fabric last week.
All along, my plan was to wash the fabric before I had slips made, so that they would then be de facto "washable slips". I tested large samples in my washer and dryer, using hot water and high heat (which was a stress test, as I would not usually do that). The shrinkage was very minimal, about 3% (this is a linen cotton blend, hand printed batik). The color loss was not even noticeable (I retained unwashed samples to compare).
Now, the moment of truth. It is time to wash the fabric, 18 yards for just the sofa, and I feel totally chicken! It is germane to this story that the fabric alone costs 2x the cost of the sofa, and had a 6wk lead time. Hence my palpitations.
What is giving me pause is the following. Aren't all high end upholstery fabrics treated to repel stains? So if I wash it, I am getting rid of that? But if I don't wash it, the slips can't be washed in the future. Should I wash it, then scotchguard it? What happens when I wash it in the future? Could I say, wash it seasonally and scotchguard it each time?
Thanks in advance.