In the early nineteenth century furniture was proportionately more expensive than it is today. It was commonplace for loose covers to be used to cover upholstery. This was before home air conditioning and furniture needed to be protected from sweat. The popularity of slipcovers reached its height during the nineteen twenties. At that time it was in vogue to have furniture that imitated the past styles of furniture such as the Baroque style, Jacobean style (1600-1690), Queen Anne style (1700-1755), and the Chippendale furniture style (1750-1790). These furniture pieces were grandiose, ornate, and were very expensive. Because they were expensive they needed to be protected.
In the 1960s, because of advances in production, furniture became proportionately less expensive than it had been in years past. It became cheaper to buy new furniture than to have a slipcover custom made. The slipcover industry declined. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in slipcovers driven by interior designers and the popularity of the shabby chic design style.