GuitarLeatherDopeFiend

Other uses for recycled upholstry leather - Ideas Please!

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Hi I have a ton of this burgundy/plum colored upholstry leather, and I'm wondering what I can use it for. My family got a new couch and were gonna throw the old one away because the seats were really trashed, but the rest of the leather was in good shape, so being the wierdo I am, I disassembled the couch and salvaged most of the leather. It's all pretty thin, about 2.5 to 3 oz, some as thin as 1.5 to 2 oz. I'm not sure what animal the leather is from either. Even though it's quite thin, it has quite a lot of strength to it. 

I'm hoping someone can shed some light on some good uses for this leather. So far I've used it for a bifold wallet interior, which worked pretty good, I'm hoping to hear it might work well for a purse or women's clutch wallet or something? I'm not crazy about the finish that's on it either, it's just very shiny and doesn't have the best feel, I'm wondering if I can strip the finish and use something more satin, with a better feel? 

Thanks in advance for any input on how to use this leather!

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wallets, purses, gloves

 

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99% of upholstery leather is chrome tanned cowhide. Quite a bit is refinished split. The idea is to get as large and uniform panels as possible for the lowest price. The quality only needs to last as long as the warranty + 1 day. What I've used varies hugely -- some is wonderfully supple stuff that feels great in little bags and pouches. Most of it though feels stiff and looks crap to me, fit only for practice and initial prototyping. Guess which I encounter more often?

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Matt S. your reply was extremely informative, I researched refinished split and found a lot of fascinating info on the subject that I didn't know before, thanks for your reply! With my newfound knowledge in mind I scratched and scraped the leather with my fingernail in the same less than 1" square spot for about ten minutes, barely getting the color to fade or wear through. Then I cut the leather diagonally (like skiving an edge) and did the same thing, and couldn't get any separation of layers, so I think it is actual top grain leather. The new couch is admittedly much finer leather with a much better feel,  but I feel like this stuff is useable. No offense taken if so, but does this leather look crap to you? 

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9 hours ago, GuitarLeatherDopeFiend said:

I scratched and scraped the leather with my fingernail in the same less than 1" square spot for about ten minutes, barely getting the color to fade or wear through. Then I cut the leather diagonally (like skiving an edge) and did the same thing, and couldn't get any separation of layers, so I think it is actual top grain leather. The new couch is admittedly much finer leather with a much better feel,  but I feel like this stuff is useable. No offense taken if so, but does this leather look crap to you? 

If a fingernail would take off the top finish a couch wouldn't stand up to many backsides! :lol: If you really want to take off the finish you'll need some sort of solvent -- like modern edge paints they aren't so much something put on the surface as penetrating into the leather some depth.

It's difficult to see from photos but that leather looks okay. Not something I'd go out and buy probably but can't really complain about the price ;) You have some decent size pieces. You can make pouches, key fobs, wallets, small bags -- lotsa things. Depends mostly on your tastes, skills and how the leather behaves.

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Sounds like too much of a hassle to remove the finish, I think I'll take your advice and use a good deal of it for prototyping bags and other projects I have yet to tackle due to fear of wasting leather/money. It's free and there's lots of it to learn with!

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