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How much upholstery fabric do I need for a couch?

How much upholstery fabric do I need for a couch?

How many yards of upholstery fabric does it take to re-cover a sofa or couch?

Quick answer: 12 to 24 yards

  There are several factors to consider when trying to calculate yardage for this project.  The first thing to do is measure your sofa.
  1. Measure across the back of your sofa.  Typically, this will fall between 60 and 90 inches.
  2. Count your cushions, including lower and back cushions.  Your sofa may have anywhere from a total of four to a total of eight cushions depending on design.
  3. Make sure you observe whether your sofa has skirting or button tufting.
  4. When considering your fabric design, decide whether you will be using a specific pattern (often found with Jacquard designs) or a base cloth (generally a plain weave woven on Dobby looms).
Now that you’ve established the size, number of cushions, inclusion of skirting / button tufting, and desired replacement fabric design, you can begin to calculate the yardage needed for recovering your sofa. 

sofa with a skirt

You will need to allow 12 yards of for a 72 inch long sofa with two cushions.  You will need to increase this to 14 yards for a sofa measuring 84 inches long.  You will need to include an additional 1.5 yards of fabric for each cushion for sofas with more than two cushions. 


sofa without skirtting

Using the above guidelines, a 6 foot sofa with two cushions would require 12 yards whereas a 7 foot sofa with four cushions would require 17 yards (14 yards for the sofa + 3 extra yards for 2 cushions).

Now, if your sofa has skirting or button tufting, you must add 2 yards to the totals above. If you are using fabric with a large floral, geometric, or other specific pattern, you must add another 2 yards for pattern matching. 

As you can see, the yardage required will range anywhere from 12 to 24 yards, depending on the factors outlined above.  As a rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to over-estimate when purchasing your fabric.  Buying an extra few yards of fabric isn’t a bad idea, and some consider doing this in case a cushion needs to be recovered in the future. Revolution Performance Fabrics offer a durable product that is soft to the touch and is bleach cleanable.  This could lessen the chances of cushions being ruined by stains.  Whether you are considering recovering your living room sofa or your outdoor furniture, Revolution Performance Fabrics

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Regina A Duncan - July 15, 2023

Yes this was a life and financial plus…THANK YOU

Margaret L. - January 7, 2023

Thank you for all the work you put into making this such a useful tool in knowing how much fabric to purchase! The precise recommendations for the size, cushions, skirting, even pattern matching are great! (And it helped that one of your reviewers who is an upholsterer himself thought you were right on target.) In addition, the chart of the drawings is especially helpful in matching chair structures and upholstery to those we have; you included a great variety. So, I hope you feel proud of your contribution to we novices and the world of upholstery; you deserve to.

Gwen jackson - November 30, 2021

Hi! I would like to reupholstery my living room sofa couch. Two unit two standard cushions. One lounger cushion with long pillow. Three pillows I would like to order my on fabric. I will measure the back of couch tommorow to get some measurements I would appreciate it if you could help with measurements if I could send you a picture of couch unit. If possible you can give me the cost and warranty on your work
Thank you

Margaret Carter - August 20, 2021

Very helpful

Peggi McGlynn - November 5, 2020

Very helpful in the measurement department.

Ted Scott - July 6, 2020

Your website is extremely helpful and insightful and unbelievably useful.

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