What Are the Best Fabrics for Upholstering Dining Chairs?

Are you looking to give your dining room chair seat a makeover? Whether you’re considering buying upholstered chairs or adding new fabric to the ones you already have, you should know what the different options offer. 

The best upholstery fabric for reupholstering dining room chairs is one that’s easy to clean, durable, and matches your budget and decor. The best fabric for seat cushions includes leather, cotton fabric blends, polyester fabrics, but also faux suede, and velvet. 

Are you recovering dining chair seats? Here are our best dining room chair fabric ideas.

What to Know about Dining Chairs


Dining chairs made of wood are an excellent choice for a home with a classic appearance and atmosphere, particularly if there are other wooden pieces of furniture in the room. Depending on the level of formality you choose, you can order these with or without wooden arms, as well as with or without upholstered backrests, chair backing material, and seats.

Those made of metal exude a sense of modernity and may therefore be used to update any setting. In addition to this, they are often lightweight, making it simple to pick them up and transport them to a different room or even outside if necessary. Furthermore, it is simple to maintain their cleanliness because any spills can be wiped off the metal surface with a dry cloth.

No matter what type of chairs you choose, you should always know how to measure fabric and chairs. Because they have extra padding on the back, seating area, or both, upholstered dining chairs give your visitors hours of comfort even after they have left the table. You may make your upholstered furniture more luxurious by adding a few more touches, such as button tufting and cushioned armrests.

Alternatively, you might go for a more laid-back appearance by selecting fitted upholstery that doesn’t have a complicated design. 

Fabric Durability

The upholstery abrasion resistance, also known as the Martindale value, is an important factor that should be considered during the buying process. This is accomplished by performing a test on the fabric in which a specialized machine vigorously rubs the cloth until it demonstrates evidence of wear and tear. 

Make it a point to check that the dining room chairs’ upholstery has a Martindale value that falls somewhere in the range of 15,000 to 20,000.

Stain Resistance

It should go without saying that the chairs in the dining room are subjected to a wide variety of spills and stains. When chair recovering, you can’t detach the fabric every time it gets stained, so you should look for one that does an excellent job of repelling stains and doesn’t absorb liquids. 

You want the fabric to collect more of the stain than it absorbs, which is especially important for liquid stains. In this manner, it will be simple to clean up after use.

Ease of Cleaning

Since you can’t take the upholstery apart every time it needs to be cleaned, you’ll want to go with a material that can be cleaned without much effort. The ideal fabrics are those that can be wiped clean, or spot cleaned. 


The capacity of a material to keep its color and not fade over time is referred to as its “colorfastness.” For instance, using particular detergents or other cleaning products on certain types of cloth might cause the fabric to change color. 

When exposed to sunshine, fabrics can also lose their color. Select a material to cover kitchen chairs resistant to fading if your dining area gets tons of natural light or if you keep your chairs next to a window.

Additionally, some hues are more resistant to fading than others. For instance, the colors yellow, orange, and red have a tendency to lose their vibrancy more rapidly. The colors purple and blue have a greater tendency to resist fading. Cotton and certain synthetic fabrics are examples of absorbent fabrics that also tend to retain their color better than other fabrics

Best Fabrics for Upholstering Dining Chairs

Cotton Blend

Although cotton is a long-lasting fabric, if it is properly cared for, it can be enhanced by incorporating synthetic fibers. Cotton has the drawback of being excessively absorbent on its own. This may not be the best option for reupholstered dining chairs because of possible food and drink spillage.

As a result, polyester is an excellent fabric to utilize in a cotton blend. Polyester boosts the stain and water resistance of the cloth while also making it more durable. Adding additional polyester to cotton makes the fabric more resistant to wear and tear. Cotton and polyester blends of 50/50 or 60/40 are the finest for dining room chairs.

Even though cotton and polyester blends are more stain-resistant, you must act swiftly when spills occur. Because of the high percentage of cotton, the fabric is nonetheless extremely absorbent. 


  • Multiple styles and design options
  • It is more skin-friendly
  • Can be quite affordable
  • Can use old fabric as a recyclable option


  • It will quickly absorb stains
  • Not suitable for humid dining rooms


Known for being durable plastic, vinyl is widely used in dining room furniture like chairs and bar stools because it is easy to clean. An informal dining area or one with plenty of kids and pets is a fantastic place for this type of table.

Leather-like vinyl is available in various styles so that you may get the look of leather without all the upkeep and costs. Just know that when exposed to lengthy periods of direct sunshine and high temperatures, vinyl can begin to crack and tear. 


  • Very easy to clean
  • Excels in durability
  • It is an affordable leather lookalike


  • Cracks under heat exposure
  • It can fade under direct sunlight


One other fantastic material option for the chairs in the dining room is all polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fabric and one of the most long-lasting and cost-effective materials you can purchase. In addition to that, it is offered in a diverse selection of hues and fashions.

The most significant advantage of employing polyester as the material for upholstery is that it can be cleaned quickly and is quite resistant to stains. Dust and dander from pets can be easily removed from them by either vacuuming or wiping with a damp cloth, and this is true even if nothing is spilled on it. 

Because polyester fabric is more fade-resistant than other materials, the color of the fabric will stay truer for a longer period even if it is placed in a dining room with a lot of windows.

But it’s vital to remember that most upholstery fabrics aren’t made entirely of polyester. Polyester is commonly used in upholstery fabrics to boost stain and water resistance, which is why they are heavier and thicker than other types of materials. 

If you want 100 percent polyester, you’ll probably have to use ordinary cloth, which is thinner and more susceptible to ripping than polyester.


  • Affordable
  • Most of the time is easy to clean 
  • It can be stain and moisture-resistant


  • It’s difficult to find 100 percent polyester
  • Synthetic upholstery is not very breathable


If you’re looking for luxurious natural fabrics, consider leather, which is available in a wide range of looks and textures. Leather is a long-lasting material that doesn’t deteriorate with use. 

When it comes to cleaning, the type of leather upholstery you purchase has an impact. While certain leathers may be cleaned with a damp cloth, others will reveal dirt and spills. The leather may require conditioning from time to time to keep it soft. Leather is also the most expensive of the dining room chair fabric trends.


  • It is very easy to clean
  • Has a luxurious feel to it
  • It’s a durable fabric


  • It is more expensive
  • May feel uncomfortable with bare summer skin


Due to its softness and opulence, velvet fabric has long been a go-to material for fabric-covered dining room chairs.

Velvet’s ease of cleaning and stain resistance, especially when exposed to dampness, are two additional benefits of its luxurious texture. It is also a long-lasting fabric if you take care of it properly. However, the fabric can be damaged by sunshine, and it is more prone to collecting dust and pet hair than other materials.


  • Has a very unique feel to it
  • Looks very elegant
  • It is generally easy to clean


  • Velvet upholstery fabric can fade if the chair is exposed to sunlight
  • The texture is a dust magnet

Faux Suede

Artificial leather, such as microsuede or faux suede, is manufactured from a particular polyester fiber. Unlike leather, it doesn’t cost as much to maintain. Also, if you clean it right away, it’ll be impervious to dirt and stains for a long time to come

Waiting to clean stains will make them more visible, especially in lighter colors, so remove them as soon as you discover them. On the other hand, Faux suede is an excellent fabric choice if you’re on a budget but still want a luxurious look and feel.


  • It has a luxurious feel without being expensive
  • Is soft to the touch 
  • Can be easy to clean


  • Dirt and stains are quickly visible
  • Not everyone likes the texture


What kind of fabric should I use to reupholster dining chairs?

Many people choose synthetic fabric to reupholster dining chairs because they are durable and less expensive than other options. Polyester and rayon are often among the preferred ones. 

What is the most durable upholstery fabric?

The synthetic microfiber used to make furniture fabric is often the most durable fabric available on the market. The ultrafine fibers that make up microfiber contribute to the material’s exceptional longevity. These threads are braided together very closely to produce a robust layer of defense.

What are the grades of upholstery fabric?

A grading system is typically utilized by cloth manufacturers to show the product price range. Beginning with grade A and continuing all the way through grade F, each grade is denoted by a different letter of the alphabet. Grade A fabrics are more budget-friendly, while F-grade fabrics are expensive. 

Bottom Line

Your dining room’s decor can be updated easily by knowing how to reupholster a dining chair. However, because the chair seats will see a lot of action and may be subject to food and drink spills, you should take extra care when selecting the fabric for covering chairs. Examine your options, pick from our quality selection of fabrics, and either DIY your project or let us help you find a chair upholsterer! 

22 thoughts on “What Are the Best Fabrics for Upholstering Dining Chairs?”

Leave a Comment