How To Calculate Yards Of Fabric For Upholstery [FAQs]

How To Calculate Yards Of Fabric For Upholstery

When you’re planning to upholster your furniture, one of the essential things is to know how much fabric you’ll need. Calculating the yards of fabric for upholstery can be a little tricky, but with the right steps, you can do it accurately. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to calculate yards of fabric for upholstery.

Step by Step Guide for Calculating Yards of Fabric for Upholstery

Before you start calculating the yards of fabric, you need to know the dimensions of your furniture. Measure your furniture’s width, length, and height with a measuring tape. Note down the measurements in inches, as you need to convert them into yards later on.

Step 1: Calculate the Surface Area of the Furniture

Measure the width and length of each section of the furniture that you want to upholster, such as the seat, backrest, and armrests. Multiply the width and length of each section to get the surface area in square inches. Add up the surface areas of all the sections to get the total surface area of the furniture.

Step 2: Convert Square Inches to Square Yards

Once you have the total surface area in square inches, divide it by 1,296 to convert it into square yards. 1,296 is the number of square inches in a square yard.

Step 3: Add Extra Fabric for Pattern Matching and Seam Allowances

It’s always best to add a little extra fabric to your measurements to ensure that you have enough for pattern matching and seam allowances. Add 10-15% to your total surface area to get the final fabric measurement in yards.

Step 4: Round Up the Final Measurement

After calculating the final fabric measurement, round it up to the nearest half-yard or yard. It’s better to have a little extra fabric than not enough.

Step 5: Consider the Fabric Width

The width of the fabric you choose also affects the number of yards you need. Standard upholstery fabric width is 54 inches. If you choose a wider fabric, you’ll need fewer yards. If you choose a narrower fabric, you’ll need more yards.


What is the best fabric for upholstery?

The best fabric for upholstery depends on the furniture’s use, style, and durability. Natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, and linen are breathable and durable, but they can be expensive. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and rayon are affordable and easy to clean, but they may not last as long as natural fabrics.

Can I use a fabric calculator to calculate the yards of fabric?

Yes, you can use a fabric calculator available online to calculate the yards of fabric for upholstery, but it’s always better to do it manually to have control over the final measurement.

What if I don’t have enough fabric for upholstery?

If you don’t have enough fabric, you can either order more fabric from the same dye lot or choose a different fabric that complements the original fabric.

Should I prewash my fabric before upholstery?

Yes, it’s always best to prewash your fabric before upholstery to avoid any shrinkage or color bleeding after the furniture is upholstered.

Can I use leftover fabric for upholstery?

Yes, you can use leftover fabric for smaller upholstery projects, such as throw pillows or ottomans.

How often should I reupholster my furniture?

The frequency of reupholstering your furniture depends on the furniture’s use, quality, and fabric. On average, a well-made upholstered piece of furniture can last for 10-15 years before needing reupholstering.

Can I reupholster my furniture myself?

Yes, you can reupholster your furniture yourself if you have the right tools, skills, and patience. It’s always best to start with a smaller project before tackling a larger one.

How much does it cost to upholster furniture?

The cost of upholstering furniture depends on the furniture’s size, fabric, and design. On average, reupholstering a sofa can cost between $700-$1,500.

Pros of Upholstering Furniture

Upholstering your furniture can give it a fresh new look and extend its life. You can choose from a variety of fabric options to match your style and décor. It’s also an eco-friendly option as it reduces waste and landfill usage.

Tips for Upholstering Furniture

1. Choose a durable fabric that can withstand wear and tear.

2. Make sure you have enough fabric to avoid running out in the middle of the project.

3. Invest in quality tools, such as a staple gun, to make the job easier.

4. Watch online tutorials or take a class to learn the proper techniques.


Calculating the yards of fabric for upholstery can be a little challenging, but by following the steps mentioned above, you can do it accurately. Always add extra fabric for pattern matching and seam allowances, and consider the fabric width while calculating the final measurement. Upholstering your furniture is an excellent way to give it a new look and increase its lifespan.

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