How to Measure Upholstery Material

What You'll Need
Pencil and paper
Measuring tape

Measuring upholstery material must be done before removing the old fabric because you will come up short if you attempt to use just the frame as your point of reference.

Step 1 – Sketch It Out

Grab a pencil and paper and sketch the piece of furniture you wish to reupholster and make a note of all the measurements you will need, such as inside back, outside back, outside arm, inside arm, seat, front gusset, arm front, etc.

Step 2 – Measure It

Now use your sketch as a guide and use a measuring tape to measure each surface you’ve written down.  Use the widest point of each surface for your measurement.  For instance, a chair’s arms may taper, so use the widest point of the arm as your width measurement. For the length of the back of a chair, measure from the top of the chair to where the back meets the seat (not the top of the seat cushion, but the actual seat.)

Step 3 – Calculate It

Multiply the height by the length of each section of the furniture (for example the length of the arm front by the width of the arm front) and divide that number by 36 to find your square yardage.

Step 4 – Purchase It

Round up all your measurements to the nearest half-yard and then buy that much fabric.  Purchase an extra yard or two if you are using patterned fabric to ensure that you can match up the designs.