Insider's Guide to Furniture & the Home Furnishings Industry

Jeff Frank is a 40 year veteran of the furniture industry who is happy to answer your questions about furniture! Ask your question today!

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How can I make my own leather sofa?

If you have to ask how to make a leather sofa, I suspect that this is not a project you are ready to attempt.


Making leather furniture is not a project to be undertaken without substantial training and skills.

Finding a leather supplier is not difficult. Be prepared to pay $1000 (or much more) just for the leather needed to make a sofa.

Cutting and sewing leather requires completely different tools and techniques than are needed for fabrics.

Hides have an irregular shape and will have imperfections which must be cut around. These imperfections could include holes, brands, insect bites, barbed wire scratches, etc.

A skilled leather cutter may waste 20% of the hide. An inexperienced cutter can easily waste more than 50%.

From a cost stand point this means that if a skilled leather cutter needs $1000 worth of leather you may need $2000 or more for the same piece.

Sewing leather requires completely different techniques and machinery than fabrics.


Both sewing and upholstering leather require far more time and skill than when working with fabrics. They also require very different types of skills.

Even if you are a highly skilled upholsterer for fabric furniture you will not be able to translate those skills to leather furniture without extensive additional training.

Leather is far more difficult to work with. Mistakes are far more difficult & expensive to fix.

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