What Are the Best Fabrics and Textiles for Reupholstering Chairs?

Reupholstering vintage kitchen chairs can be a daunting project. It starts with choosing the right fabric and textile that looks appealing and feels comfortable. With the variety of styles, colors, and patterns, what is the best fabric for reupholstering chairs? 

In this article, you will find the popular types of upholstery fabrics and chair textiles. You’ll also get clued on the factors to consider when choosing the fabric type and the step-by-step reupholstering of your dining room chair

How to Choose the Best Upholstery Fabric

The first thing that might come to your mind when reupholstering chairs is the color. But other factors also matter, including the material, your lifestyle, and the people in your house.

For instance, will a faux leather fabric last long if you have kids or pets? Woven patterns are more durable than printed patterns. Choose a fabric with tighter weaves and a higher thread count. 

The textile should also fit the interior design of your kitchen or living room. Using contemporary fabrics and patterns makes sense if your house is modern-styled. Some fabrics will also look more formal than others, so keep the mood of your home consistent. 

Other considerations include resistance to fade, allergies, and the price of the fabric.    

Cotton and Cotton Blend

Cotton is a natural material that lasts long without fading or staining. This absorbent and breathable fabric is ideal for those who live with kids since spilling drinks may be an everyday situation. 

On the other hand, a cotton blend is a mix of natural and synthetic fibers like nylon to increase its durability. The wrinkle-free fabric is easy to clean. Making it a great fabric to reupholster chairs


·         Comes in various colors and styles

·         Increased longevity

·         Endures wear and tear

·         Breathable

·         Affordable


·         Highly absorbent in case you spill your drink, leading to dampness


Choose a genuine leather fabric if you want your dining area to look extravagant. The most luxurious and high-quality option is the top-grain leather. But you can also consider full-grain weather or corrected-grain leather. 

The full-grain leather may have wrinkles and follicles, while corrected-grain leather features a plain texture. 


·         Looks elegant

·         Easy to clean

·         Suitable for all interior designs


·         Expensive

·         Feels stuck when hot 


Velvet is one of the most popular upholstery materials for kitchen and dining room chairs because it looks sophisticated despite its reasonable price. The durable fabric is available in an array of colors. Choose one that can resist stains and has a unique texture. It’s also easy to clean since you only need to brush the material.


·         Strong fabric

·         Ultra-plush

·         Comfortable feeling

·         Available in polyester, cotton, and mohair fibers 


·         Not pet-friendly because fur sticks to it

·         Prone to damage caused by sunlight 


Vinyl is a smart choice if you’re reupholstering chairs to use for outdoor dining. The inexpensive textile resists sun damage and fading and can easily be polished using a damp cloth. Vinyl comes in a variety of leather-like styles. Textured woven selections and embossed designs are also available. 


·         Leather-like appearance and texture

·         Available in many colors and textures

·         Easy to clean and remove stains 


·         Susceptible to rips and tears 

Faux Suede

Faux suede is a well-known synthetic fiber, also known as microsuede. The polyester multi-weave material has a fuzzy texture that feels like real suede. The strong yet lightweight and abrasion-resistant fabric is easy to clean, especially if you have kids. Choose a suede material with a darker color so that the dirt and debris will not be visible. 

Microsuede can also mimic leather, although it’s better because the plastic-based material is more durable and free from animal cruelty. 


·         Luxurious appearance and texture

·         Best option if you have kids and pets

·         Easy to clean 


·         Light-colored microsuede makes dirt and marks visible 


The classic and elegant tweed is made of woolen fibers that produce raw beauty and natural texture for that farmhouse-themed kitchen. Because it’s woven tightly, it hides stans pretty well. Opt for a tweed material with a higher double rub rating to avoid fabric pulls and pilling. 

Tweed is relatively hard to clean because it requires regular vacuuming. Use a mild soap to treat stains. 


·         Not prone to soiling and unpleasant smell

·         Looks sophisticated for farmhouse-style homes

·         Highly textured because of the woolen fabric

·         comfortable 


·         Dirt can reach within the fibers of the woven material 

How to Reupholster a Kitchen Chair Seat


Reupholstering a kitchen chair seat is not as hard as you think. You will need the following: 

·         Dining chair

·         Upholstery fabric

·         Foam

·         Batting

·         Upholstery staple remover

·         Staple gun

·         hammer

·         scissors

·         knife. 

1.  Remove the Fabric and Padding

Get rid of the old fabric by using a staple remover. You might also need a screwdriver for nails. Don’t tear the old fabric off because you can use it as a pattern piece later. Then, remove the padding. You can also remove the fabric and padding on the armrests and back if there are any. 

2.  Cut the Foam and Fabric

Trace the foam using the seat template and cut it with a knife. Place it on top of the fabric and cut accordingly, making sure you leave three extra inches. 

3.  Attach the Batting

Attach the batting to the seat and foam with a staple gun and cut off the excess. Then, attach the fabric while pulling to avoid folds and tucks. 

4.  Attach to the Chair Frame

Once the seat cushion is done, reattach it to the chair with a hammer and the original screws. 

Final Words

The upholstery fabric you’ll use for your dining chair has to complement the style of your home, the members of your house, and your budget. Remember that the higher the thread count, the tighter the fabric is, and the more durable the chair will be. 

Was this article helpful for you? What kind of fabric are you now getting for your chairs? Leave your comments and questions below! 

Upgrade your vintage dining room chairs with modern materials like velvet, vinyl, and faux suede. Or stick to the classics such as leather, tweed, and cotton.

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