My grandpa built a dining set sometime in the 50s. The chairs had never been recovered in all that time. This became our winter project. I bought home decor fabric remnants at Joanns well over a year ago. I found a place on-line that custom cut the dense foam for a reasonable price.
Fortunately, we didn't finish all the chairs before I remembered to take pictures. Here's the before, during and after.
I had the foam cut at two inches thick. What was on there before wasn't much, either that or it disintegrated over the years.
The old fabric was perfect for dining chairs. It didn't fade or wear that much at all.
I'm sure the new fabric won't last as long, which makes me feel a bit ashamed at our modern thinking. However, I do like the way it looks with the wood.