Home  Services Gallery Get Started Contact Your Upholsterer Client List For Sale Blog

What does Your Piece Look Like?

How much fabric do you need?

Fabric With A Pattern

Shopping Locally

How Much Fabric Do You Need

Below is an example of where you would take measurements on a chair.

1. Make a list of the different sections of your piece of furniture where your fabric is going to be applied. Always measure both the length and width of each section.

2. Measure the widest parts of each section and write down each measurement. Add a few inches on each measurement for seam allowances.

Add all of your measurements together and then divide by 36 to get the estimated yardage needed for your piece.

4. Skirting? Allow for two to three extra yards of fabric.

5. Wefting or piping (if you are not going to use a gimp trim)? Add an extra yard or two.

6. Always over estimate. And always give yourself a few extra yards in case of mis-measurements and mistakes. You can always use the extra material for pillows and other accessories. Remember, dye lots vary and if you purchase a too small amount there is no guarantee that you will be able to get the same fabric from the same dye lot or even the fabric period if the store you have purchased it from has sold out or has been discontinued.

So you have chosen a fabric with a pattern, GREAT!

Fabric with large patterns will need to be lined up, hence requiring more fabric than small patterns or fabric with no pattern at all. Read about the repeat of a pattern for more information below.

It is important to know how different patterns affect the amount of fabric you will need for a particular piece. Plain fabric and fabric with small patterns are easily determined whereas fabric with large patterns (the repeat) are more difficult. It is normal practice to center a pattern on a piece therefore you will always need more fabric as much of the excess fabric will then be rendered useless due to pattern matching.

So how do you measure for the repeat? It is simple. Lay out your fabric to indicate the center of the pattern, then measure out horizontally until that pattern repeats itself. This is your pattern width (leave about a half inch to one inch on either side of your pattern for alllowances. Now measure vertically until you run across the same pattern, again leaving room for allowances. This is now your pattern length. Add both measurements and now you have your total pattern repeat number. Take a look at the below chart for our fabric repeat calculator as this will help you in your fabric calculations.

Fabric Width Plain Fabric 3" - 14" Repeat 15" - 19" Repeat 20" - 27" Repeat 28" - 36" Repeat 37" - 43" Repeat 44 - 51" Repeat
54" 0% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35%
52" 10% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%
50" 10% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%%
48" 15% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%
45" 20% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55%
36" 50% 60% 65% 70% 75% 80% 85%

Where to shop locally

I am an authorized dealer for Greenhouse Fabrics. View more than 10,000 beautiful fabrics and if you see anything you like just send me the corresponding item numbers and I will send you the samples at no cost.

Short Sheet (formally The Fabric Market)

Mill Agent

Affordable Fabric and Interiors

Tandy Leather


Hobby Lobby

Knox Upholstery     3401 Raines Lane     Knoxville, Tennessee     37920     865.566.7977     Knox@KnoxUpholstery.com