What Type of Fabric Is Best for Dining Room Chairs?

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Family meals, rush-hour breakfasts, and school homework occur at the dining table. Due to the potential for food and drink spills, selecting a fabric that can withstand everything would be best. So, what type of fabric is best for dining room chairs?

The best fabric types include cotton and cotton blends, polyester, leather, and vinyl. Each one varies in its absorption properties, duration, and cleaning method. You can also consider your personal preference when choosing a fabric.

This article considers whether dining room chairs can be reupholstered and the best fabric types for dining room chairs. I also discuss the average cost to reupholster a dining room chair.

Can Dining Room Chairs Be Reupholstered?


In giving makeovers to furniture pieces, dining room chairs receive the most attention. Whether you have a bench seat or chair, you can reupholster it if it’s been through hell and back. Reupholstering your dining room chairs is an easy way to switch up the room’s design and décor.

You don’t have to buy a new set of chairs if your current chairs are worn out. Jane Henry of Jane Henry Studios, New York City, says you can reupholster anything that has been upholstered.

Of note, it is easier to reupholster some dining room chairs than others. You can handle a drop-in seat by yourself, but you may need a professional for a fixed seat.

These are some characteristics to keep in mind when selecting a fabric for reupholstering, and they include:

  • Durability: It is advisable to pay attention to this, primarily if you use your dining room often. Durability includes your fabric’s resistance to staining, pilling, fading, wrinkling, and puncturing. Also, look out for the rub rating of your material.

The rub rating is the tested number of times you can scoot on the fabric (rub it back and forth) before it rubs through or pills. Water resistance and UV ratings are also significant.

  • Maintenance: A fabric that you can scrub with water or dry clean is easier to handle. If you are busy, you don’t want something that requires a steam cleaner or complete dismantling.

  • Preventative care and stain resistance: Some fabrics have been treated or can be treated with stain-resistant sprays. You’ll need to moisturize leather once a year to prevent cracking. It helps to get materials that pool up liquids more than it absorbs.

  • The fabric design: The choice of a solid color or patterned fabric is up to you, and it should flow with the design elements of the dining area. Textures and patterns will hide stains better than plain fabrics and darker colors than lighter ones.

  • Colorfastness: This describes a fabric’s ability to resist fading and maintain its color. For example, some fabrics fade on exposure to sunlight, while others become discolored when you use specific cleaning agents on them.

Blue and purple resist fading more than red, yellow, and orange. More absorbent materials like cotton are also more colorfast than less absorbent ones.

If you couldn’t get your ideal dining chair design when you bought your current chairs, this is your chance. Reupholstering allows you to select precisely what you want and gives you the full reins of control.

What Type of Fabric Is Best for Dining Room Chairs?

Dining room chairs are furniture pieces that bring your dining room together. The fabric you use for the chairs determines how much style and function they give the area. Whether you are buying new pieces or revamping old ones, here are the best fabrics to use:

Cotton and cotton blends

Thankfully, cotton fabrics are breathable and absorbent. You may appreciate its breathability as sitting on such a dining chair in summer will be refreshing. Nevertheless, it isn’t suitable for spills.

A polyester and cotton blend helps with absorption, and cotton’s water and stain-resistant properties improve when paired with polyester. You can choose a 50/50 mix or a 60% cotton and 40% polyester fabric.

It’s advisable to select cotton fabrics with a higher thread count – tightly woven – as they offer better stain protection. Remember to treat the material with a stain-resistant spray and clean off stains as soon as possible.


This fabric is synthetic, affordable, and comes in various styles and colors. While finding 100% polyester upholstery fabric may be rare, a cotton blend is just as good. Polyester is easy to clean, stain-resistant, and resistant to color fading, abrasion, and wrinkles.

100% polyester is thin and prone to ripping. Another downside to this fabric is that its synthetic nature might make it uncomfortable for your skin.


It is a natural luxury fabric that comes in many textures and styles. Even though it’s quite costly, it ages well, and you can easily wipe off spills. However, some leather fabrics may show stains, so check the features before buying.

Leather on your dining chairs will give your room a sleek, modern look. Avoid suede leather as it is prone to staining, and many refer to it as a dirt magnet.


This is a budget-friendly synthetic fabric commonly known as leatherette. It is non-porous, doesn’t fade in UV light, and is excellent for an informal dining room. You can also use vinyl if you have pets and many kids—messes are more likely to occur.

A dining room with lots of windows is not a good fit for vinyl chairs. Prolonged exposure to warm temperatures and sunlight can make the fabric crack.


The texture and elegance of velvet make it a classic choice for dining room chairs. If you have a formal dining room, velvet is perfect for the room. Amazingly, using it in informal dining rooms is a simple way to add dimension to your interior design.

Velvet is a durable fabric that is pretty stain-resistant (especially to moisture) and easy to clean. However, watch out for sunlight damage and its dust-collecting properties.

Other fabrics that are perfect for your dining room chairs include faux suede, tweed, and wool. Ultimately, the best material is stain-resistant, durable, colorfast, and easy to clean. Then again, your choice should coordinate with your dining room’s décor.

What Is the Average Cost to Reupholster a Dining Room Chair?

Your dining room sees a lot of action, so the space needs to reflect your comfort and style preferences. Reupholstering is a comparatively cheaper way to maintain your style and comfort continuously.

The average cost to reupholster a dining room chair depends on:

  • Chair size
  • The type and style of chair
  • The ease of upholstering
  • The amount of fabric you need

An oversized chair requires more material and is more expensive. Intricate details also need more fabric and time to reupholster. Unless you take on the task yourself, all of these factor into how much you pay the professional.

Reupholstering one dining chair costs between $60 to $700 on average. A traditional dining room table has six chairs, and refurbishing them can set you back from $800 to $3,700.

Dining room chairs with only cushioned seats cost $35 to $60 to reupholster. In contrast, chairs with cushioned backs and seats can cost $150. If you have a stapler and a simple dining room chair, you can tackle this task yourself.

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