how much fabric for dining chair seat

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When it comes to giving your dining room a facelift, reupholstering the chairs is often a worthwhile investment. However, it can be daunting figuring out exactly how much fabric you need for each chair seat. Several variables can affect the amount of material required, such as the size and shape of the chair, the thickness of the fabric, and the pattern repeat. In this article, we will walk you through how to determine how much fabric you need for dining chair seats.

Step 1: Measure the Chair Seat

The first step in determining how much fabric to need for your dining chair seats is to measure the seat. Using a measuring tape, measure the length and width of the seat, making sure to measure at the widest points. For example, if your chair is wider at the front than the back, measure the width at the front. Write down these measurements to refer to later.

Step 2: Add ‘Ease’ to Your Measurements

Ease refers to the extra fabric needed to accommodate curves and cushioning. The amount of ease you add depends on how thick the foam padding on your chair seat is. A good rule of thumb is to add at least 2 inches to each dimension of the seat if you have a thin pad and up to 4 inches if you have a thick pad. For example, if your seat measures 18 inches by 18 inches, and you have a thick pad, add 4 inches to each measurement, making the fabric needed 26 inches by 26 inches.

Step 3: Consider Fabric Width

The width of the fabric you choose can also affect how much you need. Standard upholstery fabric usually comes in either 54 or 60 inches wide. For smaller chairs, you may be able to get away with narrower fabric. However, for larger chairs, you may need to opt for the wider fabric so it can cover the entire chair seat in one piece. When purchasing fabric, make sure to check the width so you can calculate accordingly.

Step 4: Account for Pattern Repeat

If the fabric you choose has a pattern, you need to account for the pattern repeat. The pattern repeat refers to how much fabric is used to complete one full design in the pattern. If the repeat is 12 inches, you will need to add an extra 12 inches to each piece of fabric. The amount of extra fabric you need will ultimately depend on the size of the pattern repeat. It's also important to remember that patterned fabric can require more fabric than solid fabric because the pattern needs to match up.


Reupholstering your dining room chairs can be a fun DIY project and is a great way to give your space a new look. However, it's essential to make sure you have enough fabric before getting started. By measuring the chair seat, adding ease, considering the fabric width, and accounting for pattern repeat, you can ensure you have enough fabric for your project. With these steps in mind, you can confidently choose the perfect fabric and tackle this project with ease.


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