How to Replace Fabric on a Patio Sling Chair

Item # X-HT-300109

Sling chairs are a popular choice for outdoor seating. They’re great for dining or lounging and are comfortable, weather resistant and low maintenance. If your sling chairs are looking faded, saggy or ripped, replacing the fabric is an easy DIY project that will give your chairs new life. We’ll show you how to replace that old fabric step-by-step in our how-to video.

DIY replacement fabric on a patio sling chair

Before you get to work on your chairs, you’ll need to decide on a new sling fabric to use. We stock two different brands of sling fabric here at Sailrite®: Phifertex® and Sunbrella® Sling. Both fabrics have been designed with sling chair applications in mind, are sturdy, and come in a variety of colors and styles. You can read our helpful guide “Selecting Patio Sling Chair Replacement Fabric” (#300062XHT) for a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of each brand.

Once you have your fabric picked out, use the Sailrite Fabric Calculator to determine how much yardage you need. The Fabric Calculator is an incredibly useful tool that we offer to our customers to help you estimate how much fabric you need for a project. We also show you a rendering with measurements so you know how to lay out and cut your fabric panels. We have a Fabric Calculator for pillows and cushions, awnings, canopies, shade sails, window treatments, sling chairs and more. At the bottom of any webpage in the blue bar, select "Fabric Calculator" under the "Resources" section.

There are a few different styles of sling chairs, so you’ll want to take a close look at how your chair is put together. In this video, we demonstrate how to replace the fabric on a sling chair where the sling material feeds into a channel in the chair’s frame. This is the most common configuration. On our chair the channels for the fabric run along either side of the chair but, as Eric shows in the video, on some chairs the channels run across the top and bottom of the chair. The steps for replacing the fabric on these chairs are the same; just make sure to orient your fabric appropriately for your chair’s setup.

If your chair doesn’t have channels for the fabric and most of the chair’s hardware is inside the fabric, you likely have an envelope style chair. To learn how to re-cover an envelope style chair, watch our “Sling Chair Cover Replacement (Pocket Envelope Style)” video (#200519XHT).

In this video, you’ll learn how to carefully measure your chair, pattern your fabric, sew hems and sleeves, and reassemble your patio sling chair.

Video Chapters:

  • Taking Measurements – 0:33 min.
  • Calculating Fabric Requirements – 2:53 min.
  • Determining Sleeve Size – 6:54 min.
  • Disassembly of Chair – 8:17 min.
  • Cutting New Fabric to Size – 10:39 min.
  • Sewing Hems – 13:30 min.
  • Sewing Sleeves – 15:57 min.
  • Inserting Sling Fabric in Rails – 21:02 min.
  • Reinserting Spreader Bars – 25:45 min.
  • Reassembly of Chair – 30:36 min.
  • Materials List – 32:02 min.

Materials List:

  • Sling Fabric (We used Phifertex Vinyl Sling Sisal Aloe #3035588)
  • V-69 or V-92 Polyester Thread or PTFE Lifetime Thread
  • Awning & Sling Chair Spline Cording #103839

Tools List

  • Deluxe 5-1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide #103597
  • McLube Sailkote 16oz #845
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 PLUS Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300602
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler #107040
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Handed #19104
  • Tape Measure #102986
  • Razor Blade
  • Sockets or Adjustable Wrench
  • Vise Grip
  • L-Square
  • Pen
  • Yardstick
  • Bar Clamp/Spreader 24”
  • Rubber Mallet