The Ultimate Guide on How to Reupholster a Swivel Office Chair

If you are reading this article, it means that you are interested in how to reupholster a swivel office chair. That’s great! Swivel chairs can be a pain to upholster because of the seat and back pieces, but I’m going to break it down for you step-by-step. It is time well spent, as your new chair will look better than ever before!


Steps on Reupholstering a Swivel Office Chair

Step one: Keep the back of the chair together. You will need to measure how much fabric you will need for both pieces, and then cut it out of your upholstery fabric (I like using a cotton-linen blend). I recommend that you use about an inch border around each piece to make sure there is enough fabric to fold over the edge.

Step two: Attach each piece of fabric using a staple gun. You will need about three staples per inch, and make sure that your rows are running horizontally (not vertically).

This ensures that you can remove the back from the base if needed to change out batteries or plug-in electronics.

Step three: Next, attach the fabric to each side of the chair. This is a two-person job and you will need about six staples per inch (about twelve total).

Your rows must be running vertically, so if it makes sense to do them around tight corners or curves then go ahead! The key thing to remember is that you want to cover the top, bottom and both sides of the chair.

Step four: You will need about three staples per inch, and make sure that your rows are running horizontally (not vertically). This ensures that you can remove the back from the base if needed to change out batteries or plug-in electronics.

Next, trim any excess fabric that you have. Follow the curves of the chair and make sure to not leave any bunches or wrinkled up patches of fabric on it!


How much does it cost to reupholster a swivel chair?

The cost of reupholstering a swivel chair will vary based on how much material you need, how labour intensive the task is to complete and how much work needs to be done.

Typically it’s about $40-$60 per hour for furniture upholstery services across North America. In addition, there are hidden fees such as fabric, sewing materials and shipping.


Can you Reupholster a chair Without Removing old Fabric?

Yes, it is possible to reupholster a chair without removing the old fabric.

We have many customers that come in with chairs where the arms of their chairs are worn out or they need new foam but want to reuse their existing coverings. In this case, we would upholster just what needs replacing such as adding on arm pads for the chair.


Can I Reupholster a Chair Myself?

Yes, you can reupholster a chair yourself. We would recommend that if you don’t know how to sew or your sewing skills are not very good then it might be easier for you to find someone who does upholstery professionally and just let them do the work.

If your sewing skills are better than average then you might want to purchase a how-to reupholstery guide that will show you how to do the upholstery work and give you tips on how to get it done.

If your sewing skills are quite good, then this article is for you!


How to Measure Fabric for Upholstery

If you’re replacing the cushions on a couch or chair, then just use the old ones as a template and cut out new pieces of material that are about an inch larger than what’s there. You can also take measurements from your furniture and make sure that each cushion is an even size.

The two most basic measurements you’ll need are the width and length of your chair back, as well as how much fabric it will take to cover that amount of space. You can also decide how wide or long you want the front piece on each leg concerning how deep it goes into the seat cushion – this is up to personal preference.

Between how wide the chair is and how deep it goes, you’ll want to decide how many pieces of fabric you need to cover each side. You may also have a sloped back on your furniture that will significantly shorten the length of material needed for the top section – or in other words, make sure that when measuring from one seat cushion to the other, you measure how deep your chair goes.


What is the Best Fabric to Reupholster a Chair?

Every fabric has a different hand, weight and feel. It’s up to you how your finished chair will look when it is done because of the available fabrics. The best way to find out which one suits your needs is by asking yourself these questions:

  • Does this fabric have a pattern on it? 
  • Will the fabric show how well I sew?
  • Does this material have to be functional as well as beautiful?
  • Is cost a factor in my decision because of budget restraints?
  • Will it need to withstand heavy wear and tear or is there minimal use on the chair itself (for example, is stored in an office or bedroom)?


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