how many yards of fabric to upholster a chair

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Upholstering a chair is an excellent way to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. However, one of the essential things you need to know before you start your project is how much fabric you need. In this article, we will explore how many yards of fabric you need to upholster a chair.

Choosing the Right Fabric

Before you can decide how much fabric you need, you need to choose the right type of fabric. When it comes to chair upholstery, there are plenty of options available. However, some fabrics work better than others. Generally, a durable fabric that can withstand constant use and wear is the best choice. Upholstery weight fabric is usually the recommended fabric for chairs. You may also want to consider the color and pattern of the fabric to ensure that it complements the other furniture pieces in your room.

Calculating the Amount of Fabric Needed

Now that you have selected the appropriate type of fabric, let's dive into how much you need. The amount of fabric you need depends on several factors, including the chair's size, shape, and style. A good rule of thumb is to measure the length and width of each section of the chair that needs to be reupholstered, then add four inches to each measurement for seam allowances. This will give you an accurate measurement of how much fabric you will need to cover the chair.

Example Calculation

Let's assume that you want to re-upholster a basic dining chair with a cushioned seat. First, measure the seat's length and width to obtain accurate measurements. Let's say that the seat measures 18 inches long and 18 inches wide. To calculate the amount of fabric needed, add four inches to each measurement for seam allowances. This means you'll need 22 inches of fabric for the length and width of the seat. Since there are four sides of the seat, you will need a total of 88 inches of fabric. Next, consider the thickness of the cushion you're using. Typically, cushions range in thickness from two to four inches. If your cushion is three inches thick, add three inches to the total amount of fabric required, which equals 91 inches. Now, consider the pattern on the fabric you have selected. If your fabric has a pattern, you will need to factor in the repeat. A repeat is the distance between one point in the design to the same point vertically. If the fabric has a repeat of 18 inches, you will need to account for it when calculating the amount of fabric required. Add the repeat to the total amount of fabric needed, which would be 109 inches.


In conclusion, knowing how much fabric you need for your chair upholstery project is essential. You don't want to run out of fabric halfway through your project, nor do you want to overbuy and waste money. Remember to measure accurately, add seam allowances, and factor in cushion thickness and pattern repeats. Once you have calculated the amount of fabric you need, you'll be ready to start your upholstery project with confidence!


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