how much material do i need to upholster a chair

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When it comes to upholstering a chair, one of the most important considerations is the amount of material required for the job. This can vary greatly depending on the size and style of the chair, as well as the type of fabric used. In this article, we will explore the factors that determine how much material is needed to upholster a chair.

Measuring the Chair

Before you can determine how much material you will need, you need to carefully measure the chair. Start by measuring the length and width of the seat and back cushions, as well as the length and width of the armrests. Add up these measurements to get the total surface area of the chair that needs to be covered. Next, you need to take into account any patterning or directional fabric you plan to use. If your fabric has a repeating pattern, you may need to purchase extra fabric to ensure that you have enough to match up the pattern. If you are using a directional fabric, you may need to purchase additional material to ensure that the pattern runs in the correct direction on each piece of the chair.

Choosing the Fabric

The type of fabric you choose will also impact how much material you need. Thicker fabrics, such as velvet, may require more material to achieve a smooth and even appearance than lighter fabrics such as cotton. Additionally, woven fabrics may require more material than knit fabrics due to their tendency to unravel and fray. It is also important to choose a high-quality, durable fabric that can withstand daily use. Choosing cheap fabric may save money in the short term, but it will need to be replaced sooner and end up costing more in the long term.

Upholstery Supplies

In addition to the fabric, there are other supplies and materials you will need to upholster a chair. This includes batting, foam, and any trim or accents you plan to use. The amount of batting and foam you need will depend on the shape and size of the chair, as well as the firmness and thickness you desire. Also, it is important to have the right tools on hand, such as upholstery needles, thread, and a staple gun. These materials will help make the upholstering process easier and ensure a professional-looking finish.


Upholstering a chair is a great way to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. However, determining how much material you need can be a challenge. By measuring the chair, choosing the right fabric, and having the necessary supplies on hand, you can ensure that your upholstering project is a success. Remember to take your time and follow the proper techniques to create a beautifully upholstered chair that will last for years to come.


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