Estimating Fabric Yardage: How Much Do I Need?

Views 913 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful

Restoration Fabrics & Trims

Fabric Yardage Guide

Some of the finest fabrics are available on ebay at huge discounts.  Your choices range from showroom  samples and remnants to full or partial  bolts .  Categories and item descriptions will often tell you whether a fabric is suitable for  curtains or draperies, upholsteryor both  but how do you know how much to buy or if the fabric you like is enough for a fabulous duvet cover or to recover the antique chair you recently inherited?  We have put together this chart as a guide to help you make those decisions.  From window treatments to bedding and upholstery, the information below provides general fabric requirements.  Your needs may vary if your fabric has a very large repeat and requires matching. Where a range of yardage is given, the smaller number is for more tailored styles with solid or small pattern repeats. The upper range would be for more elaborate styles, fabric with nap, or medium size repeats.  If the fabric has a large repeat, you may need an extra yard or two for matching. Fabric for ruffles is estimated at 1.5 to 2 times the length needed. For fuller ruffles, be sure to add more.  Use the photos and measurements as guidelines and consider, for example, how your chair or sofa compares.  My apologies if a picture of your exact item is not shown, but ebay only allows 10 pictures per guide.  These estimates are based on fabrics that are approximately 54" wide. 

Many of the finest fabrics and best deals on ebay are for a limited amount of yardage. But don't despair! If you have your heart set on a fabric to re-upholster your favorite chair, but there are, for example, only 4 yards available and you need 7, you might want to follow one of the latest interior design trends and combine coordinated fabrics by using one for the back and sides of the chair, another for the seat and another for the trim and skirt.  See our Guide to Mixing Fabrics for suggestions and inspiration. Combining patterns for bedding and window treatments is another option to get the most impact out of a favorite fabric when there is not enough available or just as a creative way to stretch your budget. 

When purchasing fabric, remember that many drapery or dual-purpose fabrics are also suitable for upholstery, although we do not recommend their use for heavy-duty applications.

 For Throw Pillows:

The general rule of thumb is half a yard for 14 to 18 inch pillows and 1 yard for 19 to 24 inch pillows. If you want to add a ruffle, you will need at least another half yard.

For Upholstery:

CHAIR SEATS: 3/4 yard of 54" wide fabric is enough to re-cover 2 standard chair seats. So 3 yards will be enough for 8 chair seats. Each 3/4 yard gives you two 27" by 27" pieces of fabric to work with. If the repeat is large or a pattern has to be centered, you may need more.
SOFA                                       WING  CHAIR                 TRADITIONAL                  CLUB CHAIR
3 cushion with arms                   5 to 7 yards                     CHAIR                             5 to 6 yards
6 ft sofa   10 yards                                                            Upholstered Back
7 ft sofa   11 yards                                                            and Seat
8 ft sofa   13 yards                                                            3 yards
add an extra 2-3 yards
if you want a ruffled skirt
or if the back is taller than usual

LOVESEAT                 CHAISE                           OTTOMAN
6-7 yards                      7-9 yards                          2-3 yards

     Bedding Yardage Chart:

                Duvet Cover    Dust Ruffle*    Bedspread*    Plain Pillow Sham        Ruffled Pillow Sham   

Twin           5 yards            5-6 yards          9 yards               (std.) 4 yards                    (std.) 6 yards

Full             6 yards            6-7 yards         10 yards               (std.) 4 yards                    (std.) 6 yards

Queen         8 yards            8-9 yards       11-12 yards          (queen) 4 yards                (queen) 6 yards

King          10 yards          10-11 yards       15 yards              (king) 5 yards                  (king) 7 yards

* Add more if you want extra fullness in the skirt

 For Curtains and Draperies:

For curtain width, measure window or door plus any additional coverage outside of casing. For fullness the window/door width should be, at minimum, doubled. For extra fullness and a custom look, multiply the width by 2.5 or 3. Add another 2 to 3 feet for hem and to match pattern repeat. (The larger the repeat, the more you need to add.) Divide your final width measurement in half to get the finished width for each panel. If the width per panel is wider than the fabric (usually about 54 in.) you may have to sew two lengths of fabric together to get enough width.  For example, if you are making draperies for an 82 in. wide window area, you would need 2 pieces of fabric for each panel, and 4 pieces for the pair.

For length, measure from the top of your rod to the point where you want the panel to end. Add approx. 30 in, to this measurement for the rod pocket, heading, and hemming. To measure for the rod pocket or casing, take the diameter of the rod and add 1 inch. To add for the heading, or the part of the panel that sits above the rod pocket, take the height you want it to be, double that and add an extra half inch for seaming. So if, for example, you want a 1 inch header, you need to add 2.5 inches. For a 4 inch header, you would add 8.5 inches.

For Round Tablecloths with 10" drop:                         For Round Tablecloths with 29-30" drop:
30" diameter  Fabric = 1.5 yards     Trim = 4.5 yards       30" diameter   Fabric = 5 yards      Trim = 8 yards
36" diameter  Fabric = 3.25 yards   Trim = 5 yards          36" diameter   Fabric = 5.5 yards   Trim = 8.5 yards
48" diameter  Fabric = 4 yards        Trim = 6 yards          48" diameter   Fabric = 6 yards      Trim = 9.5 yards

  • Not sure whether to use a fabric made from natural or synthetic fibers?  
  • Don't know what all those different types of fabrics are? 
  • Not sure what some of the terms used in fabric listings mean?
    For answers to these and similar questions

 Click Here to See All of Our Fabric Guides

and please vote "yes" if you've found our guides helpful.
If you have suggestions for other information you'd like to see included
or a way to make a guide more useful, please let us know.
(eBay does limit the number of words and photos, so we've had to make some difficult choices about what to include and what to leave out.  Your input would be valued and helpful. Thank you.)

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides