A Mothers Field Guide
November 25, 2020
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Leather Furniture: Quality, Style, and Class - Something Everybody Wants

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Leather furniture exudes quality and style. There is just something about it that makes you feel like a million bucks. Maybe it's the longevity and durability you get with leather. Maybe it's the appeal to the touch and smell. Maybe it's that it came from something once alive. I don't know. I just know that a studded brown leather living room set is on my dream list. The desire to have leather furniture in my house was only fueled by a project I completed awhile back.

A few years ago I bought an old dining room table and chairs at an antique store. The table itself is black walnut, has enough leafs to extend it out to a full 12 feet, and is really heavy and unique. For the first year my family and friends endured the worn and tattered nasty gold fabric that barely hung to the seats and backs. I had it in my head to someday recover them with leather, but wasn't sure how to go about it. After a fair amount of research online and at the library, I decided I was ready to tackle my project.

I learned that leather furniture comes in all sorts of colors and types of leather. For my project, I opted for a nice rich brown smooth leather. Because it is so expensive I couldn't see myself getting it locally so I requested samples from an online seller. They sent me swatches and I was able to actually see what I was going to use.

When the box of leather came to my door I was excited, but a little nervous. I got going rebuilding the seats out of 3/4 plywood. Then I covered them with quilt batting and foam. I then had to lay out and cut the leather. This was a little nerve wracking because I wanted to use each square inch of leather without any extra waste. This went smoother than I thought it would. When I started tightening the leather across the seats they really started to come alive. Leather furniture is tough and the experience of working with the leather in covering the dining room chairs was really satisfying and fun. I ended up getting some hammered tacks to finish off the tops of the chairs for a really classic western look.

Since finishing my project I went on to recover some bar stools with the same leather. They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I'd do it all over again, but am now looking forward to saving up for some brand new furniture for the living room.

Speaking of which, I was at an Uncle's house recently and noticed that his living room furniture was leather. One particular couch caught my eye. It was a green one that has about 20 year of use on it. It had probably about 200 puncture cuts in the arms. Really ugly. Turns out, my Uncle's grand kids had taken a knife to it and basically ruined it by stabbing it over and over. Ouch! It was too bad, because despite its age, it still had a lot of life left in it.

So, leather furniture may not be able to withstand all levels of abuse, but it can sure put up with a lot, and under normal conditions, will last for years and years. I can almost feel and smell my future set. I just hope no knife-wielding kids come calling.

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