Friday, October 24, 2008

Hair-on leather chairs. YOU can do it!

I love the look of hair-on leather, but this type of furniture does have its drawbacks. Here's how to avoid expensive mistakes when buying or upholstering with hair-on cowhide.

My two chairs started life covered with floral material. I carefully removed the fabric upholstery so I could use the pieces as a pattern.

The next thing I did was to decide where my hair-on material should go. Take a close look where I placed mine. Notice I DID NOT put hair-on leather in a place where it would be sat on, leaned on, or slept on. That's a big no-no. The little hairs get twisted and messy when placed in those places. They also get rubbed off, and you end up with a bare spot. If you remember nothing else, remember that point when you're redoing furniture or buying a new, finished piece.

The second thing to remember is NEVER attempt to sew hair-on leather. Unless you're a professional, you just won't have a machine capable of handling it. That is probably true about regular leather also. The black, faux-cracked leather on my chairs is really a high-quality vinyl. You have to have a pretty stout machine to handle four layers of that, too, but it's doable. I'm talking cording around the cushion here.

That doesn't mean you won't be able to use hair-on leather. It just means that these pieces will be stapled or nailed into place.

The cushion is usually a separate piece on a chair, and I always start my project by redoing it first. For me, the cushion is the hardest part. I want a zipper in it because I think zippered cushion covers give a nicer, cleaner appearance. If the cushion is not separate, the plan is a little different.

Continued tomorrow after I get back from Waco.


  1. I've never seen hair-on fact, I've never even heard of it. Life is discovery. I love it!

  2. Again, a woman of many talents.
    (I didn't sell you that chair did I???)
    Where ever you bought it, its transformation
    is remarkable. I hope the person who got my
    chairs did something as creative with them.

  3. You know-I have hair on chairs too-problem is, it's mine, the dog's and Cat Daddy's! Great reupholster job.

  4. Yeah, I got labrador hair from Coco-Chanel and The Black Devil...ugh
    btw...Did you know that if you don't inclue 'The" in your blog address you get, I believe, the world's largest mega site for The Bible. OMG. I have to fix this b/c that's what people find when they click on your address on our link list....blonde at work--stay back!
    oxox lulu


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