How Much Fabric Needed To Reupholster A Car?

How Much Fabric Needed To Reupholster A Car?

Changing up your car’s interior is an excellent way to give an older vehicle a new, modern look.

One of the most common ways people do this is by reupholstering some or all of the car’s interior. 

How Much Fabric Needed To Reupholster A Car?

You can change a lot of fabric in your car, to the seat covers, to the mats, floors, and roof. But how much fabric will this all take? And is it difficult to do?

In this article, we will show you how to estimate the right amount of fabric for your project and a simple step-by-step guide on how to reupholster your car seats. 

How To Estimate The Fabric Size

Estimating the amount of fabric necessary to upholster the inside of a car is similar to estimating the amount of fabric necessary to upholster a piece of furniture.

The only difference is the width of the upholstery cloth. 

The typical width of automotive upholstery fabric is 62 inches, whereas furniture upholstery fabric is 54 inches.

Therefore, one linear or running yard of 62-inch-wide upholstery fabric is equivalent to 15.5 square feet or 1.72 square yards.

Here is a simple way to estimate the fabric needed to reupholster a car seat. 

  1. Determine the length, breadth, and depth of each cushion first. Convert the measurement units to inches. Each response for every cushion should be entered on a new line.
  2. Add the depth of the region to the length measurement, then add +4 inches to this number. This will then be the real length measurement. 
  3. Double the depth of the space. Add the answer to the width of the area. Add four inches to the result to establish the breadth of the entire object. 
  4. To determine the surface area in square inches, multiply the total length measurement by the full-width measurement in inches.
  5. Add the square inch measurements of each surface area. To approximate the total square yards, divide the figure by 1296 inches.
  6. Divide the total square yards by 1.72, which is the typical running square yard total for vehicle upholstery fabric with a 62-inch width, to get the number of yards of automobile upholstery fabric to purchase.

How To Reupholster A Car Seat

How To Reupholster A Car Seat

Although quite a bit of maths is involved in working out the correct amount of fabric needed, the process of reupholstering a car seat is pretty easy.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide for you to follow. 

You Will Need

  • Fabric or Vinyl. About four yards will suffice. 
  • 1/2 yard of sturdy cotton or canvas fabric, cut into 2-inch strips for the border. 
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • Eyelets (metal eyelets can be bought at most craft stores)
  • Scissors
  • Fabric tape measure 
  • Yardstick or ruler
  • Zip ties 
  • Hammer

1. Take Out Seat 

Remove the seat from the car. In most cars, the bottom half of the seat should be easy to remove and will simply pull out. 

The top half can be somewhat more difficult since it often has a release point at the seat’s back that may need unscrewing. 

2. Measure Your Material 

Use the fabric measuring tape to determine the seat’s proportions; the top and bottom pieces may not be identical.

This is the most critical step in getting a clean and professional-looking seat. 

3. Cut The Material

Cutting exact straightness is unnecessary for this project. When you sew your edges together, you will produce the required crease.

After arranging your supplies, you may begin creating your masterpiece instantly.

It is advisable to trim slightly more than required. Eventually, extra material can be removed.

4. Sew Pleates

The pleats are what give a custom interior a professional appearance. Since you will just be stitching straight lines, creating pleats is rather straightforward.

Choose the desired amount of pleats and evenly space them.

You may guarantee that your pleats are perfectly straight by drawing lines on the back of the fabric with a ruler and pen. 

We suggest beginning with the pleats on the upper and lower portions to guarantee their perfect alignment.

The usage of pleats will provide dimension and enhance the professionalism of the seats.

5. Sew It All Together

The sides will be stitched to the primary pleated sections. Ensure that the cloth is facing the right direction before stitching. The corners may be difficult as you must turn the cloth as you work.

6. Secure Corners

This is an essential step to ensure that the cloth will not tear when stretched over the seat. Canvas is usually the preferred fabric since it is durable and can withstand higher pressure.

Cut strips with a width of about 3.5 inches, and then fold the fabric to create double-folded edges.

This border should be stitched onto the undersides of your major elements.

Stretch the fabric tightly around the edges before securing it for a cleaner appearance.

7. Add Eyelets

This prevents your chairs from tearing. Metal eyelets are fairly simple to install. You will cut x’s into the fabric and place eyelets around the edge of the canvas.

You should space the eyelets approximately three inches apart. These eyelets are reasonably priced and include a hammering tool.

Once your eyelets are in, you’re almost done!

8. Fabric Stretching

Stretching the cloth out. You may either stretch the material over the seat or remove the existing fabric and replace it with your own. 

For this step, you may require help from an assistant. Beginning in the center and proceeding outward, you should pull from opposite sides.

As you tighten the material, begin putting the zip ties into the eyelets and connecting them to the seat frame. 

Close the zippers and dispose of any excess garbage. To prevent wrinkles, ensure that the cloth is well-fitting.


The amount of fabric needed to reupholster your car will depend on how much of the interior you are changing, and what materials you are using.

Typically, working out how much fabric you need is not that hard, though it does require some simple maths skills. 

Remember, it is always best to cut too much than too little, so give yourself some extra fabric if you are unsure about your measurements.

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Edward Cole
Edward Cole

Hi, my name is Edward Cole and I have been in the car customization industry for a decade now. I also specialize in repairs, so I have plenty of experience with looking after my vehicle and showing it off.

When your car is in pristine condition, with a fresh wrap around it, people notice. I cannot tell you how many compliments I have received through my car and its condition. People appreciate a customized car and it will give you a great deal of satisfaction to be driving the most envied vehicle on the road.

One thing that I have found to be incredibly popular in the car customizing industry - by both owner and admirer - is color seatbelt customization. Having anything other than the plain black seat belts like every other car will get you being the talk of the town in no time.

I have created my website in the hopes of inspiring some of you to customize your own vehicle and improve your self esteem. Taking care of your car is an extension of taking care of yourself. So, take a look around and see if you find anything you fancy - you could be steps away from a fresh new look.

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