How to calculate how much fabric Is needed to reupholster

Updated April 17, 2017

Furniture tends to get more expensive every year. Many times, our current furniture or pieces we find at a second-hand shop can be just as good as a new piece with just a new cover. Store-bought covers can look out of place or sloppy, but reupholstering a piece can make it look brand new. To get started with any reupholstering project, you will need to pick out the fabric and figure out how much is needed.

Draw out a diagram of the piece you are going to reupholster. Each piece can be divided into sections, such as the back, seat and arms.

Take the measuring tape and measure each section. Measure the height, length and width. Take the measurement in centimetres or inches and round up to the higher centimetre or inch.

Multiply each measurement together to get the total area if the piece, such as 10 times 13 times 4. If the total is in centimetres, divide it by 100 to get the number in metres. If the total is in inches, divide it by 36 to get the number in yards.

Round the number up to allow for mistakes and cuts for the total amount needed for that section.

Repeat this for each section of the furniture piece. Add all section pieces together to get the total number of metres or yards needed for the whole project.

Consult the guide professionals use to calculate area for reference to make sure you are near the right number of metres or yards needed.


Always check measurements twice.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper and pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator
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About the Author

Sarah Haynes is a bachelor's degree graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been writing articles online since 2006, specializing in a variety of categories from decorating and building furniture to using programs on cell phones. While focusing on how-to articles, she has written a few pieces that expand on subjects telling about their origins and uses.