First of all, let me say that I was skeptical and hesitant to jump on the drop cloth bandwagon. I have always made my slipcovers out of white cotton twill and you can purchase that for about $3.00/yard at Wal-Mart. What finally pushed me to try the drop cloths was a pair of wing chairs I wanted to cover that had a high contrast blue and white plaid fabric and it showed through my usual twill. I needed something that was a heavier weight. The drop cloth was my cheapest option.
So, I went to Lowe’s and bought a couple of Finish Factor Canvas 8oz weight drop cloths. They run anywhere from $5.00/piece for a small one up to about $30 for really, really big ones. I’ve been purchasing the ones that run about $13.00. It takes about 1 1/2 4′x 15′ to cover a wing chair with piping, pleats, and a “T” cushion.
3.) Drop cloths are thick. Make sure you get heavy duty needles and use a new one when you’re starting a drop cloth sewing project. I think I broke four needles on my wing chairs and one on my dining room chair slipcovers. If you’re fighting with your machine (and it’s not the bobbin thread), try using a new needle. When the needle is dull or slightly bent, you are going to have all kinds of problems.
4.) Because of the thickness of the fabric, drop cloths do not ruffle well. If you want a girly touch, pleats will be less frustrating. Trust me.
5.) Despite all of the bleaching, they will never be perfectly white. They end up being a grayish off-white. They also have a little bit of a nubby, rough texture and look slightly rumpled. If you want something that looks perfectly white and crisp, you will not be happy with drop cloths.