Lycra chair covers vs Linen chair covers

November 2011

The main question I get asked by our customers week in week out is "Should I choose the Lycra or linen chair covers?" And the answer is simple-it depends on the chairs at your venue.

Most brides have a clear idea in their heads of how they want their wedding function room to look. This is because they've taken in snippets of things they've seen over the years on TV programmes, at other weddings, at wedding fayres etc. Just because the wedding you were bridesmaid at last year looked so beautiful with the linen chair covers does not mean that they will have the same effect at yours.

The first thing to look out for in regards to chairs when visiting your venue is; are the seats drastically wider than the chair backs?? If so then the linen covers are the wrong choice for you. The reason for this is simple-the covers need to be as wide as the widest point of the chair to fit over all parts of the chair. This means on chairs that have slimmer chair backs than the seats, you are left with excess around the chair back, then when you go to tie the sashes round-all that excess is squeezed in and bagged over and it just looks very messy. This is where the durability of the Lycra covers really shines as they mould to match the contours of the chair leaving absolutely no excess.

Linen covers only look their best on chairs that are the exact right size for them. Remember that one size chair cover might "fit" 5 or 6 different size chairs. If the covers are slightly too big, they can look like sacks. Slightly too small and you're exposing parts of the chair legs.

The thing to remember about the Lycra/spandex chair covers is that they mould to mirror the shape of the chair. So, if you don't like the chairs at your venue because of their shape then the Lycra covers might not be the best choice. Generally speaking, Lycra chair covers are easier both from the suppliers' point of view (they don't need ironing) and the customers' (you don't need to give chair dimensions and most companies hire them out cheaper than the linen).

Don't be put off by the Lycra covers. Yes, they are generally cheaper than the Linen ones but this is only because they don't need ironing. If you're hiring chair covers on a do it yourself basis then the Lycra covers are definitely the best option for you. This is because they don't need ironing. Linen chair covers can get creased in transit. I haven't done the market research for it, but I'm pretty sure that no bride out there wants or expects to be spending the night before her wedding day ironing seat covers. We say that the Lycra covers are one size fits all. They have 4 pouches attached to the bottom of them-one for each chair foot. So, if the chairs at your venue do not have feet (i.e the feet are attached by a bar-like the old wooden and plastic school chairs) then the Lycra covers will not fit.

So all things considered, my tip this week is to ask for samples of both to try at the venue before making a decision. And be as helpful as possible by getting both the chair dimensions and a photo. Some companies are a bit particular about exactly which dimensions to get, so find one you like the look of then call them before you're due to visit the venue and ask them the dimensions they need. Some venues actually have the dimensions saved on file which they can email to you for you to forward on.

Most companies won't have a problem with this, they will all ask for some sort of deposit which they will either keep, refund or deduct from invoice upon return of chair cover (we do the latter). If a company refuses to send samples then remember you're paying for a service as well as a product and it might be advisable finding a company who can cater to your EVERY need.