Determining Fabric Yardage
Article from homestore.com
BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR PURCHASES, take time to check and recheck
the total yardage figures required for each material. These figures
include a margin of safety that will ensure you'll have enough material
to complete the project. It's always possible that the same pattern
or dye lot won't be available later if you need more material.
Use a long steel tape measure to make your measurements. Mark the
dimensions on paper -- you'll need to use the figures to make the
yardage calculations and to determine cutting lines. As you measure,
keep in mind that each wall is to be covered with a separate fabric
- Separately measure the width (in inches) of each wall you're
planning to cover, unless you'll be working around an outside
corner; in that case you'll use one fabric cover, starting it
at one wall edge, wrapping it around the corner, and continuing
to the far edge of the wall.
- To find the number of fabric panels required for one wall, divide
the width of the wall by the usable width of the fabric, taking
into account the amount of fabric taken up in seams (plan 1/2-inch
seam allowances). If you are using sheets, use the width of the
sheet. If your calculations result in a fraction, add a whole
panel. This extra fabric width will give you some leeway to match
the pattern at corners.
- Measure the height (in inches) of the same wall from the ceiling
line (or lower edge of the ceiling molding) to the top of the
baseboard. Take this measurement in several places to check for
variations; use the largest figure. Before choosing sheets, be
sure your wall is no higher than the length of the sheet.
- Add 6 inches to the height measurement as insurance against
errors. If the fabric has a pattern repeat, add the repeat length
to the height measurement to allow for matching the pattern at
the seams. Your final figure is the working height of the wall.
Total Fabric Yardage
- Multiply the working height figure by the number of fabric panels
needed for the wall; divide this figure by 36 to convert to the
number of yards of fabric required for the wall you've measured.
- Repeat the calculations for each wall you're covering. Add together
the yardage for all the walls to determine total required. Add
extra yardage if you plan to finish the walls with double welt
(instructions for measuring for trim follow).
Determining Batting Yardage
To pad the walls, use 3/4-inch bonded polyester batting. Available
48, 54, or 96 inches wide, batting can be purchased by the yard
in large fabric stores or those specializing in home decorating
fabrics, or by mail from sewing notions catalogs.
- To compute the amount of batting you'll need, measure (in inches)
the exact height and width of the area to be covered; do not add
- Total the width measurements of the walls and divide by the
width of the batting to determine how many strips of batting you
need; round up to the next whole number. Multiply this figure
by the height of the wall, and divide by 36 to convert to the
number of yards of batting required.
- Dimensions of large openings, such as sliding doors and picture
windows, can be subtracted from your yardage figure, since batting
can be pieced around openings.
Measuring for Trim
A double welt made of the same fabric as that on the wall or of
a complementary fabric is the traditional finish. Or you can use
heavy grosgrain ribbon (glue will show through lightweight ribbon),
braid, or gimp in the same or contrasting color. Molding that's
stained, painted, or wrapped with fabric also makes an attractive
- Plan to use a continuous strip of trim (unless you're using
molding) for the perimeter of the area to be covered. To determine
how much trim you'll need, track in your mind a course that starts
at an inconspicuous lower corner, travels completely around the
upholstered area at floor level, goes up the wall at the starting
corner, and travels around the top edge.
- Measure this distance and round up to the next half-yard to
provide a margin of safety. Also measure around the edges of all
unconnected openings, such as windows, that must be trimmed. Add
all measurements together to determine the total yardage of finished
welting or trim. If you do not know how to calculate the amount
of fabric needed to make the determined amount of welting, ask
your fabric vendor to assist you.