How Much Fabric To Reupholster A Chair: 5 Efficient Tips

After deciding to upgrade that old chair you have been preserving, the next challenge you might face is knowing how much fabric to reupholster a chair. It’s important to avoid estimating without proper measurement because it will be either two things — too much or too short.

You might argue that it’s better to have more than enough rather than the opposite. However, having just enough fabric for your project can be cost-effective. You can use the money instead for other things because, to be honest, reupholstery can sometimes be costly.

Keep on reading as we discuss some tips to know how much fabric you will need, what materials to use, and safety suggestions while reupholstering!


how much fabric to reupholster a chair

What Fabrics To Use When Reupholstering?



Polyester is the most common choice of fabric when it comes to revamping furniture. This type of fabric is known for its durability and low-cost maintenance. It’s easy to clean and can also resist moderate abrasions.



The next most frequently used in reupholstery is cotton. One thing that makes cotton a good reupholstery fabric is its soft texture that makes you want to stay on that chair forever. It’s also the cheapest!



If you want something fancier, try using leather! It can last a very long time, depending on the quality of leather you’ll be using. Unlike other fabrics, it resists stains, spills, and animal fur.


Tips To Know How Much Fabric For Reupholstery Project


1. Assess your chair

Once you’re done making a plan for your reupholstery project, the first thing you’ll want to do is assess your chair. The design, pattern, and personal work style will significantly affect how much fabric you will need. If it involves ruffles or some extra foldings, you should buy more yards of fabric.


2. Check your budget

After inspecting the chair and jotting down notes on how you want it to look, please check whether buying several yards of that fabric is within your budget. Reupholstery is a costly process, and you’ll want to save a bit of money as much as possible. However, make sure that it will not affect the quality of your project!


3. It depends on what kind of chair

The dimensions of fabric you will need will also depend on the type of chair you’re working on. For example, a basic club chair may require about 7 yards of fabric. However, the material will also rely on some specific details you may want to put in your chair.

Another example is with dining chairs which are the kind of chair that gets reupholstered a lot. For this type of chair, you will need to look at the pattern because most dining chairs have intricate designs that may call for more fabric.


4. Don’t throw the old fabric just yet

The best way to know how much fabric your reupholstery will require is to look at the old material used. Before tossing it out, it would be best to measure it first so you’ll have an estimation of how much you will need when you buy a new one. However, don’t stop there just yet.

It’s important to note here that it may also help if you add a couple of inches as an allowance. Sometimes old fabric may shrink. Add enough space to be sure and save you time from going to the store again.


5. Measure it yourself

If it’s too late and you’ve already thrown out the old fabric, don’t worry! Just get your measuring tape, pencil, and a notepad. Then, carefully measure each part of your chair that will require a fabric.

You should also note that additional design may require a couple more yards for fabric. You must also be careful not to put too much allowance to prevent wasting money and the material itself.


How To Be Safe While Doing A Reupholstery?

Although reupholstery may seem like a reasonably safe project, it’s still important to keep a few safety tips in mind before doing it. First of all, please wear protective equipment like gloves and a face mask, especially if you’ll be using some products like strong adhesives. You will not want to have those extra strong glues on your hands.

You may also want to practice extreme caution when handling some upholstery tools like staple guns, pliers, or table saw. Make sure to put on some eye protection when you have to cut wood since it releases wood dust that can be a health hazard. According to CCOHS, wood dust or wood shavings can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose, leading to respiratory problems.



Although it can be challenging to know how much fabric to reupholster a chair, it’s not impossible. If you would just arm yourself with the right information and follow our tips above, it can surely help you figure it out! Just remember that the amount of fabric will depend on which type of chair you’ll be working on.

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