Calculating Fabric Yardage for Your Project

These instructions will show you how to calculate how many yards you need for several different scenarios whether your dimensions are larger or smaller than the width of your desired fabric.

These calculations work for many projects, including pillows, cushions, fabric wallpaper, tablecloths, bedding, and headboards.

For curtains, we suggest using our drapery yardage calculator.

For more complex upholstery projects, see our upholstery charts for yardage estimates.

See Measuring Yardage for a Tablecloth for additional information specific to tablecloths.

Total Dimensions

1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches

For the rest of the world on the metric system, convert to inches before starting. The easiest way to do this is to google “cm to inches” and enter the centimeters into the conversion calculator.

First, you need to know what the total dimensions are in inches. This includes any extra you need to sew, apply, or finish the fabric.

For example:

  • If you’re making something that needs a seam allowance, like pillows, you need to add the seam allowance times 2 to the width and length.
  • If you’re making canvas wall art, you need to know the size of the canvas plus how much extra is needed to wrap around the back and staple.
  • If you’re making something that needs to be hemmed, you need to know how much extra you need for the hems.

The other thing you need to know is how wide your desired fabric is.

Move onto the next steps according to if your total dimensions will fit into the width of the fabric or not.

Dimensions that fit into the width of the fabric

One piece

If you just need one piece of fabric and it fits into the width of your fabric, you probably don’t even need to be reading this, but we’ll explain just in case!

Take the total length you need and divide by 36 to calculate how many yards you need. Most of our fabric is sold in full yard increments, so round up to the nearest yard.

Multiple pieces

If you need multiple pieces that are the same size, like for pillows, napkins, dining room chair upholstery, etc., start with your fabric width and divide by the width of one of the pieces you need.

Round down to the nearest whole number. This is how many pieces fit into the width.

Next take the total number of pieces and divide by this number to figure out how many rows you will need.

Finally take the length of a single piece and multiply that by the number of rows. Divide by 36 and round up to the nearest whole number.

If your fabric is solid or not directional, you can try flipping the width and length to see that needs fewer yards. In the example, once rounded up, it is also 3 yards.

If you need multiple sizes, it helps to draw it out.

Dimensions that are wider than the width of the fabric

When the width of the piece is wider than the width of the fabric, you’ll need to sew or join pieces together.

These calculations work for many projects, including fabric wallpaper and other wall coverings, tablecloths, bedding, ground and floor coverings, awnings, banners, backdrops, headboards, and panels.

One piece

Start with your desired total width and divide by the width of the fabric. Round up to the next whole number. This is how many widths of fabric you need.

Then take the total desired length and multiply by the number of widths you just calculated.

Divide by 36 and round up to the next whole number. This is the total yardage you need.

Multiple pieces

If you need multiple pieces that are the same size, before dividing by 36, multiply by the number you need, then divide by 36 and round up.

Or if they’re different sizes, add them up before dividing by 36.

Patterned Fabrics

If you have a patterned fabric and want to match up the design, before dividing by 36, add one vertical repeat per every extra width of fabric.

For example, if you need 3 widths of fabric to get the correct total width, add 2 times the vertical repeat to the total length before dividing by 36.

If the length is less than the vertical repeat, just use the vertical repeat as the length and you don’t have to add extra before converting to yards.

You can find the repeats in the details section on the product page for our fabrics. Most of the time you don’t have to worry about the horizontal repeat because the pattern will divide evenly into the width of the fabric. This means the pattern will match up at the selvages with a slight overlap so no fabric is wasted.

Placing seams

Some projects, like duvets, tablecloth, and headboards, look best if you have the full width piece in the middle and the remainder on the sides. This looks more professional than having a seam right down the middle.

To find out how to sew patterned fabric together, look at How To Make a Duvet Cover.


These instructions are good for rectangular pieces and can be used with other shapes if you measure the dimensions at the largest width and length. Some projects can be too complicated and you may have to estimate. It’s better to end up with too much than to come up short!

Please Note: We’re unable to answer your questions about specific projects in a timely manner here so please contact our customer service if you need additional help. You need to know the width of the fabric you want in order for us to give you accurate information!

Find the fabric for your project here!


Questions & Comments

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Browse 34 questions Browse 34 questions and 21 answers
How many yards of fabric would I need to cover a foam mattress that measures 24” wide x 72” long x 5” high?
A shopper on May 5, 2019
BEST ANSWER: It depends on how wide the fabric is and how you construct it. Is it a mattress cover with no bottom where the sides are the same piece as the top or are you fully covering it including the bottom with separate side pieces?

If it's the former, you need about 2.5 yards. If it's the latter and your fabric is 54" or wider you can fit the top and bottom pieces next to each other. If you piece together side pieces from the rest of the fabric you need a minimum of 3 yards. If you want the 72" sides to be continuous pieces, you would need 4.5 yards.
How fabric in yards to make a 8x10 fur rug?
A shopper on Feb 27, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Approximately 12 I believe.
I have chairs that are 21”x24”, 22”x24”, and 24”x24”, 54” solid fabric. How many yards for each?
A shopper on Jan 29, 2019
BEST ANSWER: The largest dimension of your chair is 24 inches. You can get two chair covers from 24 inches of 54 inch fabric (54 divided by 24 gives you 2.25). Depending on the number of chairs with 24 inches as the widest width will tell you how much into that 54 inch fabric you will need. If you just have the three chairs you list in sizes, you should be able to get all three chairs covers for about 1 and 1/3 yards with no room for mistakes. Also, you must remember to allow for if the fabric has patterns or designs.
How many yards of material is needed to cover a wall 24’ x 8’?
A shopper on May 9, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I believe you would need about 24 yards but you would need to add more if you are working with a patterned fabric.
How many yards in a peace of materiel 108 inches by 36 inches ?
A shopper on Jun 12, 2019
BEST ANSWER: 108 inches is 3 yards (108/36=3)
How many yards of 54" wide fabric for a pillow sized 12" x 18" with a horizontal repeat of 26"?
A shopper on Jul 17, 2018
BEST ANSWER: For one pillow, you need one yard.
How many yards of 58 inch wide fabric to make a queen size blanket?
A shopper on May 15, 2018
BEST ANSWER: You would need 5.5 to 6 yards per side.
I need to know how much fabric i will need to put in between squares of a quilt . The squares are 14 by 14 they are 5 squares across and 6 squares down?
A shopper on Oct 13, 2017
BEST ANSWER: You need to multiply the width of 5 squares across the width of squares down to get the overall size of quilt and then purchase that amount of batting. For example 14 inches times 5 equals 70 inches. Are you going to have sashing or borders you will need to add this to your total width as well as total length to get an accurate overall size of quilt top. For example, say you want to add a 2 inch sashing between blocks and a four inch border around the outside of your top. You would add 6 + 8 inches to the calculated with your blocks for an accurate width of whole quilt top. Do the same for the overall length of quilt top then make sure to buy batting larger than your calculations.
how many yards of fabric to make a slipcover for a slipper chair?
A shopper on Jan 18, 2019
BEST ANSWER: This chart will give you an idea of how much you need: www.onlinefabricstore.net/upholstery-yardage-chart.aspx
How mans yard do I need for 47”x55”?
A shopper on Sep 2, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Probably two... But it would depend of the width of the fabric.
I want to make a shortened king coverlet with dimension of 98" width, 36" length. Fabric 54" wide, 27" repeat. How many yards?
A shopper on Jun 9, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I think you would probably need 4 yards.
How many yards for a tree skirt to be 62 inches in diameter?
A shopper on Nov 15, 2018
BEST ANSWER: You need a lot more information than that to figure that out. Refer to the article to see what measurements you will need and then follow the math equations provided.
How many yards of fabric will it take to cover a reclaimer ?
A shopper on Oct 6, 2018
BEST ANSWER: This chart will help you get an idea of how much is needed: https://www.onlinefabricstore.net/upholstery-yardage-chart.aspx
I need a sheet of fabric 55" width by 160" length. Using you calculation method, 55" width + 160" length = 215" divided by 36 comes out to about 6 yards. Is that right? I want to make sure before I order from you site, so if you could, please get back to me asap. Thanks very much! Joe!
A shopper on Sep 12, 2019
BEST ANSWER: If the fabric width is 55" or more, you just need to do the length 160/36= 4.4, which rounds up to 5 yards.
I need a sheet of fabric 55" width by 160" length. Using you calculation method, 55" width + 160" length = 215" divided by 36 comes out to about 6 yards. Is that right? I want to make sure before I order from you site, so if you could, please get back to me asap. Thanks very much! Joe!
A shopper on Sep 12, 2019
BEST ANSWER: If the fabric is more than 55" wide then you need only 5 yards. You need to know the width of the fabric though.
2/5 yard of fabric to make one t shirt how many t shirts can be made with 40 yards of fabric?
A shopper on Sep 4, 2019
BEST ANSWER: 100..? I think. I am not 100% sure but my math says 100 t-shirts.
How many yards of fabric do you need To make a full circle skirt size 16?
A shopper on Aug 26, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Check out our how to make a circle skirt tutorial for details! https://www.onlinefabricstore.net/makersmill/how-to-make-a-circle-skirt/
20 feet by 54 inches wide is how many yards?
A shopper on Jul 27, 2019
BEST ANSWER: 20 ft / 3 = 6.7 yards
Fabric is measured in linear yards instead of square yards so the fabric width doesn't factor in.
How many yards for a 60”x80” mattress cover 2” thick?
A shopper on Jun 23, 2019
BEST ANSWER: What is the width of the fabric?
I want a certain number of yards for length. Is that how many yards I order? Which is to say, am I ordering linear yards or square yards?
A shopper on Jun 12, 2019
BEST ANSWER: That's right, we sell fabric by the linear yard.
I have four identical barstools just the bottom cushion to be reupholstered the measurements are 5.5Lx6.5Wx1 inch deep. Can you please help me understand how many yards of fabric I need?
A shopper on Apr 19, 2019
BEST ANSWER: One yard is enough!
If I have 46 w window how many yards I need?
A shopper on Sep 18, 2019
How many yards for 15" by 5 ft. Scarf?
A shopper on Aug 15, 2019
how many yards fabric for set panels 40x80 finished 54 in fabric?
A shopper on Aug 4, 2019
I have three window seats. One 106"x18"x3, and two 82"x18"x3. The fabric that I will be using is 54". How many yards do I need? There will be no piping.
A shopper on Jul 25, 2019
how many yards of fabric to make 5 pices cushion of 16x16?
A shopper on Jul 20, 2019
How many yards of leather I require for 17” round seat for kitchen chairs?
A shopper on Jun 28, 2019
Making a bed swing cushion. 581/2 by 43 inches how many yards will I need?
A shopper on Jun 19, 2019
How many yards of cloth do I need for these measures,1yd+3/4yd+1yd+5/8yd+5/8+5/8yd+5/8yd+7/8yd+7/8yd+1yd+3/4yd=?
A shopper on May 6, 2019
How many yards of fabric for an 8x10 canopy including roof?
A shopper on May 5, 2019