How To Measure Furniture for Upholstery: Basic Fabric Measurements

When it comes to choosing fabrics for your upholstery, it’s important to get your furniture’s measurement right, or else you’ll end up buying more or less than you need.

While it is recommended to purchase at more than the fabric needed to cover your chair or your sofa, buying too much cloth yards can cost you a lot, especially when there’s nothing to do with the spare fabric. Having a good estimation of what you’re going to use for your upholstery is crucial, and today we’re talking about upholstery measurement basics and how you can get the numbers right.

Measuring By Yards

Fabrics are commonly measured by yards (which is equal to 3 feet) in length, and by inches in width. A huge variety of fabrics are sold in the market like tweed and chenille. Most of them have diverse width measurements, starting from 36″ to 118″. While measuring widths can be tricky, taking note of the yards is easy. You can estimate a yard by holding the end of the fabric down your chin while extending the other end with your one arm fully extended. Take note that estimation results may vary as we have different arm lengths.

How Do You Measure The Fabric You Need?

Your furniture is a three-dimensional object and needs more than the fabric measured in a flat space. It is safer to buy an extra amount of fabric to cover the furniture, but you don’t want to buy too much as it may only go to waste. We’ve uncovered one helpful chart that will help you see the general idea of how much cloth you’ll need to cover a particular style of furniture.

Fabric Measurement Chart
Fabric Measurement Chart

Understanding Repeats

If you’re picking a solid-colored fabric or superiorly textured leather for your chairs and couches, there’s no need to worry about repeats. However, if you have chosen bright and colorful prints to reflect the vibrant character of your home, knowing what repeats are will help you create finely reupholstered furniture. Repeats are the measure of the prints on the fabric, which can either differ vertically or horizontally. When choosing fabrics with prints, you will need an extra attention towards the detail, as well as an extra ward of yards to present the pattern’s best appearance.

In cutting the main parts of the furniture, you need to determine repeats to showcase the print on the furniture. Calculate the pattern from top to bottom, and side by side. By taking the measurements of your furniture, create a line on the cloth to highlight.

Repeats are important because your furniture’s workmanship shines on the patterns used on its upholstery. You want the floral paisley print to blend seamlessly on your favorite couch even through the bends. The damask pattern should harmonize even through border breaks. If you reupholster your furniture using prints without calculating repeats, it will look shabby and amateurish.

You can choose any print you like, but remember: the larger the pattern, the more fabric is required to cover the furniture.

Final tip: while doing re-upholstery project can be fun, you can always ask a trained professional to help you refurbish your old furniture to look brand new!

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