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How Much Fabric Do I Need To Reupholster A Recliner? How Much Fabric Do I Need To Reupholster A Recliner?

Living Room Furniture

How Much Fabric Do I Need To Reupholster A Recliner?

Written by: Daniel Carter

Find out how much fabric you need to reupholster a recliner and give your living room furniture a fresh new look. Get expert tips and advice on furniture and design.

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Recliners are cherished pieces of furniture that offer comfort and relaxation in any living room. Over time, the upholstery of a recliner may wear out, leading to the need for reupholstering. This process involves replacing the fabric covering of the recliner to restore its appearance and functionality. However, a common question that arises when considering reupholstering a recliner is, "How much fabric do I need?"

Understanding the amount of fabric required for reupholstering a recliner is essential for a successful and cost-effective project. Whether you are embarking on a DIY reupholstering endeavor or seeking assistance from a professional, having a clear idea of the fabric yardage needed is crucial. Factors such as the recliner's size, design, and the fabric's pattern repeat must be taken into account to ensure a seamless and visually appealing result.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of determining the fabric yardage required for reupholstering a recliner. From measuring the recliner accurately to calculating the fabric yardage with precision, we will equip you with the knowledge and insights necessary to undertake this endeavor confidently. Additionally, we will explore additional considerations that can influence the fabric yardage estimation, providing a holistic understanding of the reupholstering process.

Whether you are a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a homeowner seeking to revitalize a beloved recliner, this guide will serve as a valuable resource, empowering you to make informed decisions and embark on the reupholstering journey with confidence. Let's embark on this insightful exploration of fabric yardage estimation for recliner reupholstering, ensuring that you are well-prepared to breathe new life into your cherished piece of furniture.

Key Takeaways:

  • Measure your recliner accurately to ensure you have enough fabric for reupholstering. Consider dimensions, pattern repeat, and take photos for reference.
  • Calculate fabric yardage carefully, considering fabric width, direction, and pattern repeat. Seek professional advice for a seamless reupholstering process.

Measuring the Recliner

Accurate measurements form the foundation of a successful recliner reupholstering project. Before embarking on the fabric yardage estimation process, it is crucial to measure the recliner meticulously to ensure precision and avoid fabric shortages or wastage. Here's a detailed breakdown of the essential steps involved in measuring the recliner:

  1. Overall Dimensions: Begin by measuring the overall dimensions of the recliner. This includes the height, width, and depth of the chair in its fully extended position. Use a tape measure to record these dimensions, ensuring that the measurements are taken from the widest and tallest points of the recliner.

  2. Seat Cushion: Measure the dimensions of the seat cushion, including the length, width, and thickness. If the recliner features a separate ottoman or footrest, its dimensions should also be measured accurately.

  3. Arms and Backrest: Measure the width and height of the arms and backrest. Pay attention to any curves or intricate details that may affect the fabric placement and cutting process.

  4. Additional Features: If the recliner includes additional features such as tufting, piping, or decorative elements, take note of their dimensions and placement. These details are crucial for estimating the fabric yardage accurately, especially when pattern matching is required.

  5. Pattern Repeat: If the chosen fabric features a distinct pattern or motif, it is essential to account for the pattern repeat. Measure the vertical and horizontal repeat of the pattern to determine how it aligns with the recliner's dimensions.

  6. Photographic Documentation: Consider taking photographs of the recliner from various angles, focusing on specific details that may impact the reupholstering process. These visual references can be invaluable when consulting with fabric suppliers or upholstery professionals.

By meticulously measuring the recliner and documenting its dimensions, you lay the groundwork for a precise fabric yardage estimation process. These measurements serve as the basis for calculating the amount of fabric required to reupholster the recliner effectively, ensuring a seamless and visually appealing outcome.

Calculating Fabric Yardage

Once the recliner has been meticulously measured, the next crucial step in the reupholstering process is calculating the fabric yardage required to cover the chair effectively. This calculation involves a thoughtful consideration of the recliner's dimensions, the chosen fabric's width, pattern repeat, and any additional factors that may influence the yardage estimation. Here's a detailed breakdown of the process:

  1. Fabric Width: Begin by determining the width of the selected upholstery fabric. Standard upholstery fabrics are often available in widths of 54 inches or 60 inches. However, it is essential to verify the specific width of the chosen fabric, as this measurement forms the basis for calculating the required yardage.

  2. Fabric Direction: Consider the direction of the fabric's pattern or nap, if applicable. Some fabrics have a distinct directionality, requiring additional yardage to ensure that the pattern aligns correctly when upholstering the recliner. If the fabric has a nap, meaning it has a directional pile, it is crucial to account for this when estimating the yardage.

  3. Yardage Calculation: To calculate the fabric yardage needed for the reupholstering project, the measurements of the recliner are used as a reference. The following formula can be employed to estimate the required yardage:

    • For Solid Fabrics: For solid or non-directional fabrics, the total surface area of the recliner is calculated by adding the surface area of each component (seat cushion, arms, backrest, etc.). This total surface area is then divided by the fabric width to determine the yardage required. It is advisable to add a fabric allowance for seam allowances, pattern matching, and any unforeseen adjustments.

    • For Patterned Fabrics: When working with patterned fabrics, the yardage calculation becomes more intricate. The pattern repeat, both vertically and horizontally, must be taken into account. This involves aligning the pattern across different sections of the recliner to ensure a cohesive and visually appealing result. The fabric yardage is calculated based on the pattern repeat and the specific placement of the pattern on each component of the recliner.

  4. Professional Consultation: If navigating the fabric yardage calculation seems daunting, seeking guidance from upholstery professionals or fabric suppliers can provide valuable insights. These experts can offer recommendations on the optimal yardage required based on the recliner's measurements and the chosen fabric, ensuring a seamless reupholstering process.

By employing these meticulous calculations and considerations, you can confidently determine the fabric yardage needed to reupholster the recliner, setting the stage for a successful and visually stunning transformation of this beloved piece of furniture.

Additional Considerations

In addition to precise measurements and meticulous fabric yardage calculations, several additional considerations play a pivotal role in the reupholstering process. These factors can significantly impact the outcome of the project, influencing the fabric selection, pattern alignment, and overall aesthetic appeal of the reupholstered recliner. By taking these considerations into account, you can elevate the reupholstering endeavor to achieve a seamless and visually captivating result.

Fabric Pattern and Alignment

When working with patterned fabrics, especially those featuring intricate motifs or bold designs, pattern alignment becomes a critical consideration. Ensuring that the fabric pattern aligns harmoniously across the various components of the recliner is essential for a cohesive and visually appealing outcome. Careful attention must be paid to how the pattern flows across the seat cushion, arms, backrest, and other elements of the recliner. This meticulous approach to pattern alignment contributes to the overall aesthetic coherence of the reupholstered piece, elevating its visual impact within the living room space.

Fabric Durability and Maintenance

Selecting a fabric that aligns with the lifestyle and usage patterns of the recliner is paramount. Consider the durability and maintenance requirements of the chosen upholstery fabric, especially if the recliner is frequently used or subjected to high levels of activity. Fabrics with high durability ratings, such as those designed for heavy-duty upholstery applications, offer enhanced resistance to wear and tear, ensuring longevity and sustained visual appeal. Additionally, assessing the fabric's maintenance needs, such as cleaning and care instructions, contributes to the long-term satisfaction and upkeep of the reupholstered recliner.

Upholstery Details and Embellishments

Incorporating upholstery details and embellishments, such as piping, tufting, or decorative trims, can elevate the aesthetic allure of the reupholstered recliner. These details add depth, texture, and visual interest to the furniture piece, infusing it with a touch of sophistication and elegance. When estimating fabric yardage for a recliner adorned with such embellishments, it is essential to account for the additional fabric required to accommodate these intricate details. This ensures that the reupholstering process encompasses the nuances of the recliner's design, resulting in a refined and luxurious final presentation.

Professional Expertise and Consultation

Seeking guidance from upholstery professionals or design experts can provide invaluable insights and recommendations throughout the reupholstering journey. These professionals offer expertise in fabric selection, pattern matching, and upholstery techniques, guiding you towards informed decisions that align with your vision for the reupholstered recliner. Their wealth of knowledge and experience serves as a valuable resource, enriching the reupholstering process and contributing to the realization of a truly exceptional outcome.

By considering these additional factors, you can approach the recliner reupholstering process holistically, ensuring that every aspect, from fabric selection to pattern alignment and professional consultation, contributes to a transformative and visually captivating result.


In conclusion, the process of reupholstering a recliner involves a meticulous approach to fabric yardage estimation, precise measurements, and thoughtful considerations that collectively contribute to a visually stunning and enduring transformation. By embarking on this reupholstering journey armed with a comprehensive understanding of fabric yardage calculation and additional influencing factors, you are poised to breathe new life into your cherished recliner with confidence and creativity.

The art of measuring the recliner meticulously sets the stage for a successful reupholstering endeavor. By capturing the overall dimensions, seat cushion specifics, arms, backrest, and any additional features, you lay the groundwork for accurate fabric yardage estimation. These measurements serve as the cornerstone of the reupholstering process, guiding the subsequent fabric selection and yardage calculation with precision and foresight.

Calculating the fabric yardage required for reupholstering a recliner involves a thoughtful consideration of the fabric's width, directionality, and pattern repeat. Whether working with solid fabrics or intricate patterns, the yardage calculation process demands attention to detail and a keen eye for pattern alignment. By employing the recommended formulas and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can confidently determine the optimal fabric yardage, ensuring a seamless and visually captivating reupholstering outcome.

Furthermore, the additional considerations surrounding fabric pattern alignment, durability, upholstery details, and professional consultation enrich the reupholstering process, elevating it from a functional endeavor to a transformative artistic pursuit. By embracing these considerations, you infuse the reupholstering project with a sense of artistry and sophistication, ensuring that every aspect, from fabric selection to pattern alignment, contributes to a visually cohesive and enduring result.

As you embark on the reupholstering journey, remember that each step, from measuring the recliner to selecting the perfect fabric and incorporating intricate details, is an opportunity to infuse your personal touch and creativity into this revitalizing process. With a holistic understanding of fabric yardage estimation and a keen appreciation for the nuances of upholstery, you are well-equipped to embark on this transformative endeavor, breathing new life into your recliner and enhancing the ambiance of your living room with a visually captivating and enduring furniture piece.

Frequently Asked Questions about How Much Fabric Do I Need To Reupholster A Recliner?

What are the different types of fabric that can be used to reupholster a recliner?

There are various types of fabric that can be used to reupholster a recliner, including cotton, linen, leather, and polyester. Each type of fabric has its own unique characteristics and benefits, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
How can I measure the amount of fabric needed to reupholster a recliner?

To measure the amount of fabric needed to reupholster a recliner, you can start by measuring the length, width, and height of the recliner. You will also need to account for any extra fabric needed for pattern matching, seam allowances, and tufting. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional to ensure you have the correct measurements.
What tools and materials do I need to reupholster a recliner?

Reupholstering a recliner requires a few essential tools and materials, such as fabric, foam padding, batting, upholstery needles, thread, scissors, a staple gun, and a staple remover. Additionally, you may need a sewing machine, welt cord, and any other decorative elements you want to add to the recliner.
Can I reupholster a recliner myself, or should I hire a professional?

Reupholstering a recliner can be a challenging and time-consuming task, so it’s important to consider your own skills and experience before deciding whether to do it yourself or hire a professional. If you have experience with upholstery and feel confident in your abilities, you may be able to tackle the project on your own. However, if you’re unsure or want a high-quality result, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
What are some tips for choosing the right fabric for reupholstering a recliner?

When choosing fabric for reupholstering a recliner, it’s important to consider factors such as durability, color, pattern, and texture. You’ll want to select a fabric that is both aesthetically pleasing and able to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. It’s also a good idea to take into account the style and design of the room where the recliner will be placed, to ensure the fabric complements the overall decor.

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