How Much Fabric To Reupholster A Swivel Chair A Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
12 min read

If you’re looking to reupholster some furniture, you should know that fabric is one of the most expensive and hard to come by components. We hope to alleviate the stress of guessing how much fabric you’ll need for a chair’s upholstery before you measure it.

You can find the exact amount of fabric needed to re-upholster a regular swivel chair in the following article.

In this article, we’ll go over how much fabric you’ll need to reupholster a swivel chair, as well as some suggestions for the best kinds of fabrics to use.

Why Reupholster a Chair?

Recovering a chair, whether it’s one you’ve had for years or one you just bought, can add years to the piece’s useful life. If the chair seats in your home are looking a little worn, reupholstering them is an easy way to update the look of your furniture and room.

Recovering a chair allows you to reuse an existing piece of furniture, which can save you money and keep it out of a landfill, among other benefits. There’s a good chance you could find the perfect chair for your next upholstery project among the mid-century wingbacks or dining room chairs that you’d find at your local thrift store.

You can always give the chair away or sell it if you decide to give your home a new look. Your ability to reupholster chairs and the age, brand, and quality of the wood frame they were made from will determine how much of a profit you can make.

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Benefits of Reupholstering Chairs, Couches and Other Furniture

Freshen Up Your Space

Altering the look of a room often necessitates replacing the upholstery on a few key pieces of furniture. You can update the space without breaking the bank by reupholstering those old or broken pieces of furniture.


In order to reuse items instead of throwing them away, reupholstering is a viable option. You could also use this time to give a cheap chair you picked up at a garage sale a new lease on life.

Save a Favourite or Heirloom

You shouldn’t toss out that comfortable sofa or chair that was handed down to you from grandma and grandpa just because it’s a little worn or out of style. You can give your furniture a whole new look by having it reupholstered. Maple Drapery can help you find a fabric that is nearly identical to the one you already have thanks to its extensive collection of upholstery and general-use fabrics.

Make the Most of Your Quality Furniture

In today’s market, high-quality furnishings can be challenging to find. As reupholstered traditional furniture often outlasts its modern counterparts, this is a great option to consider. If you have a sofa with a solid wood frame that is still in good condition, reupholstering it could end up saving you money in the long run.


It’s not always easy to find the exact fabric, color, or pattern you’re looking for in a retail store. You can choose whatever look you like with reupholstering. This is helpful if you need a sofa or ottoman of a specific size or shape to fit a particular room. Sometimes the ideal chair can be spoiled by a seat fabric that clashes with the rest of the room’s design.

Things to Bear in Mind When Reupholstering a Swivel Chair

In most cases, any fabric will do when reupholstering a chair. Chairs can be easily repurposed into something else if you have the right equipment and supplies on hand. Here in this post, we’ll go over the specifics of re-upholstering a typical swivel chair, including how much fabric is required.

A lot of people have false impressions about the difficulty and expense of reupholstering furniture. No prior experience or specialized education is required (though both could be useful).

Actually, it’s not that hard; before going shopping, just figure out how much of each material you’ll need for each piece of furniture.

Weaved and knit fabrics predominate. Contrastingly, knit fabrics are created by looping yarn back on themselves, while woven fabrics are woven over and under each other. It’s important to know what you’re going for when picking out your fabric, whether you’re going for a woven finish (which is more durable) or a knit (which has more texture).

It’s important to avoid fraying when cutting woven fabrics by cutting along the length of the fabric, from selvedge to selvedge. Due to the lack of fraying when cut, knit fabrics allow either side to be the front.

One last thing: when reupholstering chairs, we suggest using two different colors so that everything doesn’t look too boring.

When calculating the amount of fabric required for a sewing or quilting project, it is best to use the fabric’s flat length as a guide.

Because most fabrics are folded over to create additional yardage, you may find that your piece has a bit more on one side or the other than is strictly necessary when measuring the width of the fabric from selvedge edge to selvedge edge.

How Much Fabric to Reupholster A Swivel Chair? A Guide - Krostrade

What is the Best Fabric to Reupholster a Chair?

How much time and money you are willing to invest in reupholstering a chair will determine the best fabric to use. Cotton or a polyester-cotton blend would be a good choice if you need to reupholster a cheap swivel chair but only want the most basic style.

These items are reasonably priced and durable enough for regular use without breaking the bank the moment they arrive. Leather is a great alternative to linen or silk if you want something that will last longer and is more stain-resistant, but it will likely cost more.

What Other Materials Are Used When Reupholingstering Chairs?

The upholsterer can use a variety of materials to give your chair a whole new look, not just fabrics. Leather or vinyl, for instance, may be the best option if you’re going for a contemporary, minimalist look.

If you’re looking for something with a bit more edge, velvet is a great option. What about the timeless sophistication of silk?

Yet, durability is a key factor to think about when deciding on the best material to use.

Fabrics (especially natural fibers) wear out over time and need to be replaced, but synthetic fabrics usually last much longer before they need to be replaced, which means less future hassle and frustration when it comes time to reupholster.

How Much Does it Cost to Reupholster a Swivel Chair?

How much fabric you need to cover the frame, the number of cushions attached to the backrest and armrest(s), and the complexity of your design are all factors that affect the final price of reupholstering a swivel chair.

How extensive the upholstery work on the seat must be (in terms of padding thickness, for instance) will also play a role.

It’s possible to pay anywhere from $40 to $170 per yard for a regular foam pad, while polyester batting costs only $35 to $70 per yard (not including shipping).

A foam pad alone costs about $50 for 20 square feet, which is enough to cover the seat depth (the distance from the front edge of the frame to the back) and the height of the backrest.

Ordering 20 yards or meters of fabric at $500 per yard would cost $2000–$4000 if you wanted a cushioned look by inserting polyester batting between the layers.

The time it takes an upholstery professional to complete your project (typically an hour or two at most, depending on how complicated your design is) will determine how much it costs, so keep that in mind when estimating how much fabric you’ll need for a high-quality upholstery job.

Required Tools and Materials for Reupholstery

These tools can be helpful throughout the chair upholstery process, regardless of the complexity or amount of labor required to complete the project.

  • Use pliers or a staple remover to get rid of the staples holding the outdated upholstery together.
  • Scissors: A sharp pair of scissors is essential for cutting new upholstery seat fabric and trimming off excess.
  • To get to the screws holding your seat cushion to the frame, you’ll need a screwdriver. It’s a good idea to equip yourself with a selection of screwdrivers, including Phillips and flathead options.
  • Although it is possible to upholster by hand sewing the fabric, a sewing machine can make the process go more quickly and easily.
  • A staple gun is the best tool for fastening batting or padding to a chair’s frame.
  • A tack strip is a tool used to keep the worker’s tacking pattern straight and consistent.
  • Fabric for upholstering It’s recommended that first-time upholsterers have some extra fabric on hand in case they need to do test runs.
  • Traditional chairs, especially, benefit from having their seats reinforced with webbing made of burlap woven in a crisscross pattern.

How to Reupholster a Chair

You may be intimidated by the work involved in reupholstering a chair, but with the right materials and approach, you can make a beautiful chair for very little money. If you want to make your next upholstery project easier, try following these steps:

  1. It would be best if you took out the cushion from the chair. The first thing you need to do is take the chair’s seat off of the frame. In order to get to the screws on the underside of the chair, you’ll need to flip the frame over.
  2. The old upholstery must be taken off the seats. Carefully snip away at the stained fabric to reveal the original cut lines beneath. Labeling the fabric pieces can help with cutting the replacement fabric to the same dimensions and assembly. Labeling the different sides of the old fabric with terms like “front,” “back,” “right,” “left,” and so on can be helpful.
  3. When the cushion wears out, replace it. The cushion may be worn out from years of use. Simply trace the existing cushion’s outline and cut a new piece of foam to fit. You can secure the new cushion to the seat frame with staples.
  4. Reupholster the seat by affixing new fabric. When you have the new fabric cut to size, place the cushion in the middle of the reverse side (the side without the pattern). To finish, staple the fabric down while pulling it taut. In order to prevent creases and unsightly tucks, it is recommended that you fold the fabric as needed, particularly in the corners.
  5. Reattach the seat to the rails. Reinstall the screws that were removed when you removed the cushion and reposition it on the chair frame.

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Final Words

To reupholster a chair, how much fabric do I need? – You should now have a pretty good idea of how to respond to this inquiry. If ease of movement and wear is a priority, organic materials should be your first choice. Once again, it’s recommended that you use the charts as a guide and ensure you have enough fabric by purchasing an additional amount.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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