What Type Of Fabric Is Best For Dining Room Chairs?

Dining room chairs should be visually appealing to create an inviting atmosphere and a memorable experience for guests. Did you ever wonder what type of fabric is best for a dining room chair? No matter if your dining chairs are metal or wood material, modern or vintage design, we researched suitable types of upholstery fabrics for any dining chair.  

To select fabric for dining chairs, you want to look for durable, easily cleaned, or stain-resistant, materials that offer diverse colors or textures to coordinate with your home's decor. The following fabrics are best suited for dining chairs:

  • Cotton blend
  • Faux suede
  • Leather
  • Tweed
  • Velvet 
  • Vinyl

Choosing the perfect upholstery fabric is only the first step to creating a desirable dining chair. Keep reading to learn about unique fabric characteristics and how to upholster a dining chair. We'll also highlight which fabrics are best for homeowners with children and pets.

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Ideal Fabrics for Dining Chairs

Dining chairs can make a bold statement, to bring personal style into the dining room of your home. If you want to wow dinner guests with the decor, and not just the meal, check out the following fabrics for your dining chairs. Each option can add comfort, style, functionality, and maybe even a bit of flair to your dining chairs.

Cotton Blend

Albeit, natural cotton is a strong fiber on its own, but adding synthetic fibers like nylon or polyester to cotton increases this fabric's enduring qualities. Use cotton-blend upholstery to attain durability, stain-resistance, wrinkle-resistance, and longevity for the seat of your dining chairs. Easily maintain and keep cotton-blend upholstery looking brand new by treating it with a stain-resistant agent like Scotchguard.


  • Breathable fibers feel cooler
  • Increased longevity and ability to withstand wear-and-tear
  • A budget-friendly option available in many colors, patterns, and styles


  • Absorbs moisture quickly, which can lead to dampness or set-in stains if untreated

Faux Suede

Microsuede or faux suede is a desirable synthetic fabric because it looks and feels like genuine leather but without the cost. Faux suede is lightweight, easy to clean, and wears well over the years. Be aware that lighter-colored faux fabrics may show debris, dirt, and superficial marks. Unlike genuine leather, this plastic-based alternative is animal-cruelty free and resists stains and tears better than authentic suede.


  • Luxurious look and feels soft to the touch
  • Easy to clean dirt and remove stains
  • Kid-friendly and pet-friendly option


  • Dirt and marks are visible on light-colored faux suede


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Enjoy luxury seating with genuine leather fabric, with three available textures. Top-grain leather is the most expensive, desirable, and high-quality option. Full-grain leather typically displays natural imperfections like skin wrinkles and hair follicles. Corrected-grain leather is buffed, so it looks even and smooth. Use real leather to upholster chairs because it is durable, flexible, and lasts for ages.


  • Hypoallergenic
  • Looks classy and coordinates with modern, industrial, and classic decor
  • Easy to clean and durable


  • Expensive
  • Feels hot and sticky when temperatures are high


There are many advantages to using tweed upholstery fabric. Tweed is made of durable woolen fibers that have natural beauty and texture. Cleaning tweed requires routine vacuuming unless you need to spot clean with a mild detergent to remove stains. Choose tweed for a sophisticated, classic dining room or farmhouse-style home.


  • A hardier and coarser form of woolen fabric with lots of texture
  • Resists soiling, water, and foul odors
  • Looks sophisticated and feels comfortable


  • Take care when selecting cleaning products and methods, to remove dirt rather than embed dirt within the fibers


nicely decorated served dining lunch room

Upholstering a chair with velvet is popular because it is inexpensive, comes in a range of colors and styles, and has longevity. Choose a velvet fabric for its unique texture, stain-resistance, or weave. Blot stains and carefully brush the material to keep it clean.


  • Strong and durable fabric 
  • Ultra-plush and comfortable to the touch
  • Available in cotton, mohair, or polyester fibers


  • Fibers may attract pet hair
  • Excessive exposure to direct sunlight is damaging


If you desire a fabric that resists fading and sun damage, yet wipes clean effortlessly with a damp cloth, choose vinyl. You can find vinyl available in ornate embossed designs, styles that mimic leather, and textured woven options in solid colors. Vinyl is affordable, stands up to wear-and-tear, and still looks polished.


  • Wipe clean most stains
  • Inexpensive and durable leather-like option
  • Available in a variety of colors and grain textures 


  • Susceptible to cracking, rips, and tears if material dries out

How Do You Measure Fabric For Dining Room Chairs?

An average dining chair measures 16 x 18 inches so that you can make two upholstered cushions from one yard of 54 inches wide fabric. Use a flexible measuring tape to measure the seat cushion from edge to edge and write down the length and width. Make sure to add three to ten inches to each measurement to have enough fabric for folding and stapling it to the bottom of the chair during the upholstering process. Use either chalk or a washable marker to indicate your seat measurements on the reverse side of the fabric.

Check out these quality tailoring chalks on Amazon.

Unless you are an expert at sewing, it is easier to use a pre-existing pattern for your chair's cushion. You will want to carefully remove the section you want to upholster, including any staples or seams, and completely unfurl the material. As you disassemble the fabric from the cushion, note how many times the fabric is folded. Add an extra inch or more of fabric on all sides if there are any uneven or torn edges.

Check out this set of measuring tapes on Amazon.

Do Dining Chairs Need To Match Table?

Making sure that dining chairs always match the table they are paired with is not a hard, fast design rule. Explore a more eclectic or bohemian look for a dining room by mixing up the colors, textures, and upholstery fabrics of your chairs. Follow your design bliss and keep chairs and the table within a similar color family, texture, or design theme for visual interest.

How To Reupholster A Dining Chair?

Take control of your home's appearance and enjoy customizing your dining chairs with your choice of upholstery fabric. Believe it or not, most dining chairs are easy to reupholster with a few tools and some yards of quality fabric. 

Gathering the following items before you begin can make the process take less time and make the transition smoother:

  • Staple gun, and extra staples
  • Fabric pre-cut to fit the seat cushion 
  • Screwdriver or power drill
  • Scissors

Before you begin, examine the chair to determine what tools you will need to remove the cushion from the chair. If you prefer, you can attach new fabric over the existing cushion without removing any old fabric or staples. Now, you are ready to reupholster the chair. 

  1. Remove the cushion and place it on top of your pre-cut fabric with the underside facing you, staple-side up.
  2. Get a friend, if needed, to help you fold over the fabric on one side and staple it to the cushion. Staple the opposite side and leave the corners for later. Leave an inch of space or less between the staples, depending on how taut or loose the fabric.
  3. Pull the corners up after stapling the sides, and tuck the sides in to lie so that the fabric has a smooth look. Staple the corners in place and trim excess fabric with scissors.
  4. Inspect your work and replace the cushion onto the chair with either a screwdriver or power drill.

It always helps to have a sewing kit handy when working with fabric. The kit featured below includes a seam ripper to help remove old cushion covers, measuring tape, and pins to keep your newly placed fabric positioned for stapling. 
If you are a savvy sewer, you might want to use a sewing machine to make custom cushion covers for your dining chairs. 

How Do You Put A Cushion On A Dining Chair?

luxurious dining room table chairs set

If you want to put a cushion on a dining chair, you have several options. Depending on the style of the chair, you can either buy a storebought cushion with ties or make a cushion yourself.

Alternatively, remove the existing seat of the chair to cover it with foam from an old foam mattress or use high-density foam. This is a simple DIY project, as you can see by the steps and video below:

  1. Remove the seat of your chair and take accurate measurements with a measuring tape.
  2. Place the seat on top of the foam and draw around the edges using a sharpie marker. 
  3. Use a utility knife to cut out the piece of foam carefully.
  4. Place the foam on top of your fabric and then place the seat on top.
  5. Take a staple gun and attach the fabric to all sides of the seat, leaving the corners for last.
  6. Examine your handiwork and cut off any excess fabric before lining up your new cushion to the chair
  7. Re-attach the cushioned seat to the chair using screws and parts as needed.


A roll of firm memory foam is useful to add cushion when reupholstering chairs. 

Check out this firm memory foam cushion on Amazon.

Keep a utility knife handy for DIY upholstering projects. This tool can be helpful to cut foam, cut fabric, or even remove a staple in a pinch.

Check out this durable utility knife on Amazon.


modern dining room interior mockup 3d

Upholstering dining chairs is an excellent way to improve your home decor and impress houseguests. You can DIY to customize the look of your furniture by using basic tools, quality fabric, and a little bit of time. Breathe new life into vintage dining room chairs, rescued seating, or update existing dining furniture with new upholstery fabric.

Check out our other, inspiring dining room decor ideas:

Do Dining Chairs Have To Match?

How To Decorate A Round Dining Room Table

21 Wall Decor Ideas For Your Dining Room

Should Living Room Furniture Match Dining Room Furniture?

Dining room chairs and table in neoclassical style, What Type Of Fabric Is Best For Dining Room Chairs?

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