Calculating Yardage for Dining Room Chairs – Updated!

So back in 2008, we posted a short blog entitled “Calculating yardage for dining room chairs.” It’s time to revisit this popular topic!

First off, we have a video walking you through the process of figuring out what yardage you’ll need – whether you have a plain fabric or a patterned one.

The basics haven’t changed: Many people have dining room chairs that have seats that “slip” out or “drop in” (unscrew from the chair frame). These chair seats can be easily recovered with new fabric. As a general rule, using 54″ wide fabric, 3/4 yard will work for 2 chairs. Three-quarters yards will give you two pieces that are 27″ x 27″. If you have four chairs, you will need 1.5 yards, six chairs takes 2.25 yards, eight chair seats take 3 yards, and so on.

If your chair seats have cording at the bottom, allow 1 yard for two chairs – this will give enough extra fabric to make matching (straight grain) cording.  Looking for a contrast cord? Totally on trend – you’ll need 1/4 yard of your contrast fabric. IF you have a rounded drop in seat, you may want to use bias cut strips to make your cording. Cutting strips on the bias will create a lot of waste (instead of 1/4 yard for 2 chairs, you’ll need at least 1/2 yard) but will definitely hug curves more easily. Either way, if you’re doing cording, do yourself a favor and get a 60″ aluminum ruler aka “cording stick”. So. Much. Easier. Trust me.

Drop In Seat with Contrast Cording

If the original upholstery didn’t include cording but you want to add this detail to make your chairs look even more fabulous, check out our how-to videos on making single welt cording and adding cording to a dining room chair seat.

A boxed drop in chair seat isn’t as common as the “flat” kind, but they are definitely out there. For 2 boxed drop in seats, you’ll need at least 1.25 yards of a 54″ wide fabric; with cording, allow 1 3/8 yards.

Next time, we’ll be talking about choosing the best fabric for your dining room (or other) chairs. Until then!

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