how much fabric to upholster a chair

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Upholstering a chair can be a great way to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. It allows you to update the look and feel of your space without having to purchase new chairs. However, one of the biggest questions when it comes to upholstering a chair is how much fabric is needed. In this article, we will answer that question, providing you with all the information you need to know.

Measuring Your Chair

Before determining how much fabric you need, it's important to measure your chair properly. There are several measurements you need to take, including the length, width, and height of the seat and backrest. Additionally, you'll need to measure the length and width of the arms if your chair has them. These measurements will determine how much fabric you need to cover your chair properly.

Calculating the Yardage

Now that you have your measurements, it's time to determine the yardage of fabric needed. Typically, upholstery fabric comes in a width of 54 inches. To calculate the yardage, you'll need to divide the length of your chair by 36 and then add 6 inches for seam allowances. For example, if your chair length is 30 inches, you would need 1.7 yards of fabric (30/36 = 0.83 + 0.5 = 1.3).

Additional Factors

While measuring and determining the yardage is an essential part of upholstering a chair, it's important to consider additional factors. For example, you may want to consider the pattern of your fabric and its repeat. Additionally, the type of fabric you choose can also impact the amount needed. For instance, if you choose a fabric with a larger pattern repeat or a heavier-weight fabric, you may need more yardage.


When it comes to upholstering a chair, knowing how much fabric you need is essential. It ensures that you have enough fabric to cover your chair properly and can prevent costly mistakes. By measuring your chair accurately, calculating the yardage needed, and considering additional factors, you'll be able to select the perfect fabric and create a beautiful, updated look for your space.


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