How to Recover a Wingback Chair

Updated April 17, 2017

If you own an old wingback chair and love everything about it except the fabric, you can recover it and make it look simply marvellous! Recovering a wingback chair may sound difficult, but with these step-by-step instructions, you'll be enjoying your chair again in no time!

The first step is to remove the existing fabric from the chair. Turn the chair over, and you should see a series of staples that hold the fabric to the chair. Take a flat head screwdriver and pull the staples out, releasing the fabric from the bottom of the chair. Now slowly remove the fabric by pulling it straight up. Slip it over the sides, then the arms and off the chair's wings and back. Try not to tear or rip the fabric pieces as these will be used to create your new pattern for the chair.

After having decided on and purchasing your new fabric choice, stretch the fabric out on a flat surface. Now pin the old pieces to the new fabric with right sides together. Once all of the pieces have been pinned to the new fabric, cut them out, tracing along the pieces with your scissors. Be sure to cut them exactly the same size as the pinned-on pieces.

Next sew the front of the wing to the front side of the chair back with right sides together. Do the same with the back sides of the chair and wings. Now sew the front and back sides of the chair and wings together, creating a slip cover for the back of the chair. Slip it on the chair, first over one wing, then the back and the other wing. Straighten the corners and seams. Then turn the chair over and pulling the fabric taut all around the back, staple it down to the underneath back side of the chair. Turn the chair back upright.

Now with right sides together, sew both the inside and outside of each chair arm together then slip them into place on each of the chair's arms. Again straighten the corners and seams, turn the chair over and staple the fabric to the underneath sides of the chair.

Attach a fabric piece to the front bottom of the chair by stapling it to both the inside of the seat and underneath the front part of the chair. Now with right sides together, sew the front and back of the seat cushion together, leaving the back open. Turn the fabric right side out and insert your cushion. If your cushion is sagging from years of wear, you can choose to wrap the cushion with batting first to help firm up the seat. Now insert the cushion into the seat cover and hand sew it closed in the back. Place the cushion on the chair, and you have just recovered your favourite wingback chair!


Using a fabric with stretch such as a microfiber will work best for fitting the fabric over the wings and back of the chair.

Things You'll Need

  • Upholstery fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Staple gun
  • Batting (optional)
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About the Author

As a freelance writer and online marketing consultant, living and working in South Florida, Tiffany Holley provides copy writing services and online marketing strategies for businesses and website owners of all types. Holley specializes in SEO content writing, product reviews, search engine marketing, and social media marketing for businesses.