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pricing difference

Started by 1unique, August 06, 2014, 10:52:59 pm

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Hi everyone! I'm doing my "first" job with Leather. It's Bar stools for a golf resort. I'm familiar with sewing leather I'd like to know do I charge more verses what I would charge for vinyl. And...do I use stainless staples or not?


Same labor charge and SS is not necessary unless they are outside.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Doesn't leather require more labor because of the unpredictability of the shape and thicknesses? For example, if you can get say, 3 cushions from the first yard of vinyl, you know you can stack blanks of 54" vinyl and cut several at once. Not with leather, since the placement will vary from hide to hide. You'll pretty much have to cut one at a time.
Everything's getting so expensive these days, doesn't anything ever stay at the same price? Well the price for reupholstery hasn't changed much in years!


August 07, 2014, 02:38:17 am #3 Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 03:01:49 am by MinUph
He's cutting bar stools. Pretty simple.
Maybe I should make this clearer. Cutting leather is no more time consuming as say cutting a matched pattern. Maybe a little harder than a plain fabric but I don't charge more unless there is tufting or channeling or something else involved.
Minichillo's Upholstery


I guess for those who do leather jobs on a regular basis, there might be no difference in labor pricing.

I do a lot of leather estimates, but seldom get the job. So for me, leather jobs are somewhat rare. So I find them to be more tedious.
After all, since leather is so expensive, cutting must be done carefully.

I can't put an exact number on it, but I'd say on average I charge about 25% more labor when doing leather as opposed to cloth or vinyl.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


no extra charge for leather. I work with fabrics that are a hell of a lot more expensive then leather. So you have to choose where you are going to cut it, well if you are pattern matching with a fabric same thing... do you charge more for that??? don't look at leather as a foreign object, it's just another fabric, no big deal... Hey if you can charge more go for it but is is not necessary. Good luck!!



I do not charge any extra for leather.  I have never had good luck cutting multiple pieces of material, it seams like they always slip around and come out a little different, so I usually make one good pattern and use it for cutting out the rest one at a time.  I do charge extra for pattern matching, the extra time, not to mention the added stress easily increases the cost of a wing chair by a couple hundred.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power" - Abraham Lincoln


What Mike802 said.  Although I don't usually charge for matching patterns. 


Quote from: chrisberry12 on August 07, 2014, 07:02:45 am
no extra charge for leather. I work with fabrics that are a hell of a lot more expensive then leather.
Not around here. Even the designers and decorators run to places like Jo Ann's for their fabric.

The fabrics that I sell from my sample books are usually in the $35-$45 range. I seldom sell anything in the $50+ stratosphere. And nearly all the COM that I get in my shop is cheap.

This is by far the largest leather job that I've done in the last 5 years:

It was nerve racking trying to get the job out of 2 hides that were chocked full of flaws (holes). I actually had to plan it so that a button fell right on two of the holes.

When I say that I charge extra labor for leather, it's mainly COM leather that I'm talking about. Most customers are very stingy when it comes to furnishing enough. If a job calls for 5 hides, they get 4. Or they get some small 40 sq. ft. hides.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


I can't think where I read about the guy who makes that log furniture - I'm thinking Taos or Santa Fe - can't remember but maybe I read about it in Fine Woodworking Magazine -  memory gone and most else broken

Darren Henry

Good thing I was running late this morning, I almost blurted out the wrong answer. My clientele is even cheaper than 'Doc's. I haven't done anything in leather since I moved out here and was just going to say that having gone from cobbler to shoemaker to upholsterer; leather doesn't intimidate me (well except for exotics like snake skin,ostrich,etc...), but Dennis refreshed my memory---range marks,stretch,part of the hide for where,irregular shape,...I never had a surcharge for leather; I just looked at the job and okay 'bout this long to lay it out and cut it, sew,.....I do the same if the tarp I have to make is in what Y'all call herculite or if it's in what we call Barracuda (Ennis used to sell it as all weather), is it only 10X10, or am I fighting a huge puddle of material through the machine,etc...

Short version: I wouldn't sweat it this project, but if you get into one the size of the one Dennis posted leave yourself extra time. Explain to the customer that leather is a natural product---there are imperfections. Until the hides are delivered you cannot say for sure; other than between $A and $B.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!


thank you for your replys. well appreciated. Have A great day!


Quote from: SteveA on August 07, 2014, 11:24:41 pm
I can't think where I read about the guy who makes that log furniture - I'm thinking Taos or Santa Fe
This one was done by a customer here in town. He did a great job. I remember it weighed a ton. It took 4 men to carry it.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban