How to Sew Upholstery Corners

Upholstering a rectangular, cube, or square shape is quite a basic process. But when it comes to securing corners, it won’t be that easy. Yes, it can be frustrating, especially if you’re a complete newbie.

But once you get accustomed to the basic to intricate details, you’ll always get those fabulous, professional finishes. You can tailor table cloths, slipcovers, sheets, sofa covers, and a lot more! It is a versatile project you can use in productive ways. So, you can either replicate the design you like, create a beautiful bench seat, or liven up an existing couch.

Learning how to sew upholstery corners should be fun and relaxing in particular. Don’t worry; I created a short guide to take the work out of you.

How to Sew Upholstery Corners?

Usually, you have to keep on sewing and stop every time you reach the seam allowance. Raise the foot and leave a relief cut. It’s merely a cycle process. You don’t necessarily need to be award-winning for speed or create perfect corners. Taking your time is the essential tip in this type of sewing project.

Step by Step Guide to Sew Upholstery Corners

Here, you will only need the fabric and sewing machine. Nothing is too fancy, even the entire sewing process. But before you start, it’s essential to measure your specific item as accurately as possible. Also, estimate how much fabric you need as well as the dimensions to trim down the material.

Now, it’s time to sew up those corners!

Step 1: Make sure the sides and top are aligned correctly.

Step 2: Sew the two edges of your cut-out shapes until you get through the seam allowance. Assuming you have 1/2 inch allowance. Also, you should stop stitching once you reach this fabric distance until the corner.

Step 3: Lift the foot, then put a relief cut straight from side to the needle. You may find it more convenient to leave 8 inches or so than cutting all through the needle.

Step 4: Bring the fabric about ninety degrees, so you have a 7-similar shape. The sewn corners must be pointing to the left side.

Step 5: Return the foot down and go on sewing the corners of your material. Again, you don’t need to rush this project. Otherwise, too much pressure will compromise your work.

Step 6: When the two pieces are sewn, cut the excess fabric within each corner. It is optional but can reduce the amount of weight at the corners. It is usually a preferred method of most sewers.

Step 7: You now have a beautifully stitched upholstery corner. Fold it open to have a close look at your finished output. You can use a pen, small ruler, or any pointed tool to shove the corners out.

Just a small tip: allow the needle to dip entirely down and stop in its upward position. Do this as you turn your work. The idea is to avoid skipped stitches in the corner.

Upholstery Corners Techniques

After successfully sewing the corners of your upholstery fabric, you can finish up what you have started. The good news is you can tackle upholstery corners in many comfortable ways. However, the method you choose depends on how thick the material is. For instance, vinyl and leather are thick upholstery materials that require artistic folding and clipping techniques.

Here are two popular types of upholstery corners worth trying.

1. Gift Wrap Corners

Its name says it all. If you can seamlessly wrap a present, I am sure you can also do it exceptionally well. Sewists indeed have their version of wrapping corners. But the primary method here is to slip under the corner flaps at around forty-five degrees angle. Do it leisurely.

It will give the whole flap of your fabric a proportioned look with two angled corners. Fold-down the flap and then staple a couple of times. Replicate the same procedure on the other side. Besides, make sure to staple in the same form.

There are various ways to staple down upholstery – with waterfall, straight edge, and contoured as the most popular. Straight edge pulls the material under – with enough tension to eliminate wrinkles.

The waterfall is achieved by dragging on the fabric moderately, enough to avoid compression. It is then fastened underneath. While contoured, it is done by pulling the fabric down firmly.

2. Angled Ear Corner

This approach is for thicker materials that make stapling a not-so-ideal option if they’re folded. Angled ear is a unique method that provides neat and clean corner edges. Try to smoothen the material first at the bottom of the corners’ side.

Condense extra fabric to create a flap or ear shape. Then, staple along every side at a forty-five degrees angle. Cut down the sticking fabric to make it look entirely spotless.

Tips & Tricks for Sewing Upholstery

Any beginner or experienced sewer aims for the perfect upholstery finish. Perhaps you are longing to revive the old life of your deluxe, bold fabric. Otherwise, you merely want to explore your expertise in upholstery projects.

That’s why I am providing straightforward tips and tricks you should cling to!

  • The thicker the fabric, the more stitches you may need across the corner. You can experiment with the fabric scraps to help you determine what will significantly work for your material.
  • Sewing across the corner also allows you to make a sharp corner.
  • Trim, clip, and notch to control the seam allowance. That’s because it produces finely resting smooth seams. Notching gets rid of bits of a seam allowance to avoid unwanted bulk doubling it up. And when you combine notching with clipping, you can remove the allowance edge gruffness in the fabric.
  • When pushing corners out, you should use any pointed tools. Scissors may be handy but are not typically useful as it may leave frayed corners.
  • For cutting thick upholstery fabric, use a sharp scissor, mat, and a rotary cutter. Rotary cutters are specifically ideal when making straight cuts. But then again, it’s best to have a protective cutting mat and razor-sharp blade.
  • Since most upholstery sewing trials require thick materials, you should only use a heavy-duty machine. It can strengthen the fabric correctly.
  • Use the appropriate thread and needle size. It is an essential aspect that some beginners fail to follow. Make sure their sizes are closely coordinated and parallel to the type of material you’re using. A 90/14 denim needle size and durable thread are ideal if you want to sew canvas or denim. On the other hand, use weight thread with a needle size of 18/100 or the less sharp 16/100. Great for thick fabrics.
  • Achieving impeccably ranged sides and the top of the fabric may freak you out, especially during initial attempts. The trick is to use heavy pins. It will mostly work if you are handling vinyl materials. Pin in the seam allowance so that the permanent holes won’t emerge on the right side.

Most importantly, practice before trying to sew upholstery corners. You can do so on a scrap piece of fabric to gradually get comfortable with its feel.

Should I Wash the Upholstery Fabric Before Sewing?

You should care for your fabric according to what the manufacturer stipulates. So, yes, washing it before sewing is mostly advisable. It is a crucial step as it removes chemical residue, prevents shrinkage issues, and ensures colorfastness. However, you need to acquaint yourself with the proper washing method for specific fibers. There are exceptions, though, like the 100% polyester fabric.

What Is the Most Durable Fabric for Upholstery?

Upholstery fabric is composed of two types: natural and synthetic. Some of the durable natural fabrics are cotton canvas weaves, such as leather, wool, and duck. They are famous as a versatile upholstery fabric that’s easy to keep clean and maintain. While for durable synthetic fabrics, microfiber and polyester are your best picks. Just be sure they are 100% polyester to encourage longer-lasting use.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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