How to calculate fabric for slipcovers

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to calculate fabric for slipcovers
Cover an old sofa with a slipcover to renew the look. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Extend the life of a worn chair or sofa by covering it with an attractive slipcover. Simpler than fitted reupholstery, slipcovers can cover the unsightly old fabric with fresh new fibres. Because a slipcover fits over a chair or sofa more loosely, you will require more fabric when making it. Calculate fabric for slipcovers carefully to ensure you have enough material to tuck in around the cushions, anchoring the slipcover securely.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the back of the furniture from the top-point down to the floor and from the left edge to the right edge. Add 2 inches to each measurement, and write them down.

  2. 2

    Place the tape measure at the top-front of the furniture, and measure straight down to the top of the seat cushion. Add 3 inches for tucking, and write this measurement down. Measure from the left-inside edge to the right-inside edge of the inside-back of the piece of furniture, add 2 inches, and write this measurement down.

  3. 3

    Measure the seat cushions from back to front, and add 3 inches for tucking. Measure the seat cushions from left-inside edge to right-inside edge, and add 3 inches for tucking. If you are slipcovering a couch with multiple cushions, measure all cushions together.

  4. 4

    Place the tape measure at the back of the arm, and measure straight over to the front of the arm. Add 2 inches to this measurement, and write it down. Measure from the inside of the arm at the top of the seat cushion, up and around the arm and down to the floor. Add 2 inches to this measurement, and write it down. Multiply these measurements by two for both arms.

  5. 5

    Determine the type of skirt you want for your slipcover. Measure around the entire piece of furniture with the tape measure and from the floor to the point where you want the skirt to begin. Add 2 inches to each measurement, and write them down.

  6. 6

    Add each measurement together and divide by 36 to figure the yardage you require to slipcover your furniture piece. If the fabric you select has a pattern, add 1 yard to slipcover a chair and 2 yards to slipcover a sofa to match the pattern.

Tips and warnings

  • A standard three-cushion couch will require about 14 yards of fabric. A standard two-cushion love seat will require about 12 yards of fabric. A standard upholstered chair will require 7 to 8 yards of fabric.

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