how much fabric to upholster a wing chair

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When it comes to upholstery renovation, wing chairs are one of the most popular items to work on. They not only add elegance to a room but also provide comfort. One of the first questions that come to a DIY-er’s mind is, “how much fabric do I need to upholster a wing chair”? This article answers that question in detail.

The Basic Math

To calculate the amount of fabric required to upholster a wing chair, you need to first calculate the surface area of all the pieces that need to be covered. This includes the chair seat, the backrest, the armrests, and the wings. Once you have the total surface area, you need to consider the fabric’s width, pattern repeat, and directionality.According to experts, the standard width of upholstery fabric is 54 inches. But many fabrics come in wider or narrower widths. You need to ensure that the fabric’s width is enough to cover the largest piece of the chair without joining multiple pieces, which could cause visible seams. If you have a patterned fabric, you need to account for the pattern repeat length and ensure that you have enough fabric to match the pattern. You also need to double-check the fabric’s directionality if there are obvious lines or stripes.

Calculating The Surface Area Of Wing Chair

A wing chair’s surface area is not an easy feat to calculate as it has various curves and angles. One way to get an approximate value is to use the following formula: Surface area = (height × width × depth) + 24(where 24 is a constant factor representing the fabric’s extra length for tucking and stapling)For example, let’s say your wing chair’s height is 35 inches, the width is 30 inches, and the depth is 28 inches. Using the formula, we get:Surface area = (35 × 30 × 28) + 24Surface area = 29,424 square inches

Determining The Fabric Yardage

Once you have the surface area of your chair, you need to convert it into yards. To do so, divide the surface area by the fabric’s square inches and multiply by 0.0007. This gives you the amount of fabric required in yards.For example, if your wing chair’s surface area is 29,424 square inches and your fabric’s square inches are 24, you can calculate the required yardage as follows:Yards = (29,424 / 24) × 0.0007Yards= 9.09 yards

Purchasing Extra Fabric

It’s always advisable to purchase slightly more fabric than the calculated yardage to ensure that you have enough in case of errors or mistakes. Experts recommend adding at least 10% more to the calculated value. If you have patterned fabric, you should get extra to match the pattern correctly. Moreover, if you want to add piping or trimming, you’ll need more fabric. It’s always better to have more fabric than to have less and run out halfway through the project.


Upholstering a wing chair can be an enriching experience, but it requires some amount of calculation and preparation. Knowing how much fabric to purchase is the first and foremost step in the process. By using the above formula and tips, you can accurately estimate the fabric yardage required for your wing chair. Remember to add a bit extra to the calculated value, purchase the correct width and pattern directionality, and always have some fabric left over for any additional requirements.


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