I have an antique kitchen table set that my grandma gave to me when I got married. Back in 2004 my sister offered to help me re-cover the seat cushions, and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to do it in beige canvas. I mean, why not just cover the chairs with a layer of old oatmeal? It's approximately as appealing as beige canvas.
Several years and two kids later, you can see how the cushions held up. In case you can't tell from this embarassing "before" photo, they were literally instead of just figuratively covered in old oatmeal. I tried cleaning them with the brush attachment whenever I steam cleaned my carpets, but they were still gross. And then one day I thought, "Why don't I just cover these in plastic?"
Patterned laminated fabric instead of beige canvas means better form (color!) and better function (cleanable!).