Working With Leather


Pricing, ordering, and working with leather jobs is a little more involved than working with fabric. Here is how the process goes and what we need to know from you:


1. Because of the extra work with working with odd shaped & hard-to-work-with leather, the labor on working with leather is a little more that working with fabric. As you might get from looking at the cost involved, reupholstering in leather will cost at least several times as much as working with fabrics. To proceed, here are some questions and info:


2. Do you want them all in the same leather, or do you want a different leather on each chair? Just as a note, most leathers have to be purchased in whole hides (aprox 50 square feet X ($11.25-$15+ per sq ft) = $560-$750 per hide). Some leathers can also be purchase in half hides (aprox 25 square feet X ($11.25-$15+ per sq ft) = $280-$375 per half hide). If you want each chair in a different leather, you will have a lot more leftover leather.


3. To chose leather colors go to Leather Suppliers. There are several leather distributors. Both companies have many color samples online. Look through their various samples. for each leather you like:

  1. Copy the pattern name and the color name:

  2. Copy the URL (page link)

  3. The cutting sizes of the leather would need to be measured, which are measured at the widest point both ways. Measure the exact size, I'll add cutting allowance to those measurements.

  4. After receiving the above information from you (fabric sizes and leather choices) I can then work up an estimate.

  5. After you receive my estimate, for close inspection, we can order samples of any leather that you are interested in.

  6. To place your order, we would write up a Work Order, you would pay a 1/2 deposit and we'd put you on our work schedule (we are often booked out roughly about 2 or 3 months. We would then order the leather and put it on our shelf until we were ready to do the job.

Leather Hide

This drawing* shows how the different parts of a leather hide are used in upholstery. The A Section of


Section A

  • Seat Tops
  • Inside backs
  • Cushion bands
  • Other sections that get more use or stress

Section B

  • Outside arms
  • Outside backs
  • Hidden bands
  • Other parts the receive little or no flexing

The Flank

  • Outside backs
  • Non-wearing surfaces

Flank fibers generally run in one direction (side to side). When stretching the flank, first stretch in in the direction of across the hide. If you stretch if the other way first, you may crack the surface.



  (*info and drawing taken from the Hoch & Selby Upholstery Catalog, page 44.)

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Leather Comparison & Conversion Chart

This chart both converts yardage amounts into square footage needed for leather, and it also gives a comparison between the cost of fabric and leather*. To determine how much leather is needed for a job, use column A to find the yardage, and then look at column E to find how many square feet of leather would be needed. To give a cost comparison between the cost of fabric and leather for a job, Columns C & D give the fabric cost for yardage at $25 and $45 per yard. Columns G & H give the cost of leather at $12 & $15 per yard for yardage amounts shown in Column A.

*Most leather is sold in full hides. Some leather is also sold in half hides. The cost shown for the total cost of leather is only an aproximation for estimating purposes. The actual price of leather would vary according to how many full and/or half hides are ordered. A full leather hide averages about 50 square feet per hide.

yds of   per yard per yard sq ft leather   Total cost of leather at:
54” fabric   $25 yd $45 yd     $12 sq ft $15 sq ft
1 yds $25 $45 18 sq. ft. $216 $270
2 yds $50 $90 36 sq. ft. $432 $540
3 yds $75 $135 54 sq. ft. $648 $810
4 yds $100 $180 72 sq. ft. $864 $1,080
5 yds $125 $225 90 sq. ft. $1,080 $1,350
6 yds $150 $270 108 sq. ft. $1,296 $1,620
7 yds $175 $315 126 sq. ft. $1,512 $1,890
8 yds $200 $360 144 sq. ft. $1,728 $2,160
9 yds $225 $405 162 sq. ft. $1,944 $2,430
10 yds $250 $450 180 sq. ft. $2,160 $2,700
11 yds $275 $495 198 sq. ft. $2,376 $2,970
12 yds $300 $540 216 sq. ft. $2,592 $3,240
13 yds $325 $585 234 sq. ft. $2,808 $3,510
14 yds $350 $630 252 sq. ft. $3,024 $3,780
15 yds $375 $675 270 sq. ft. $3,240 $4,050
16 yds $400 $720 288 sq. ft. $3,456 $4,320
17 yds $425 $765 306 sq. ft. $3,672 $4,590
18 yds $450 $810 324 sq. ft. $3,888 $4,860
19 yds $475 $855 342 sq. ft. $4,104 $5,130
20 yds $500 $900 360 sq. ft. $4,320 $5,400