Since leather is a natural material and each hide is unique, these dimensions represent average hide sizes and shapes. If specific cut sizes are required, please call your sales rep or contact customer service at 800-356-1177.

Whether you're hoping to newly upholster 30 custom club chairs for a restaurant or reupholster four chair seats for a client's dining set, calculating the amount of leather needed doesn't need to be confusing. Cortina's sales specialists and customer service team can help.

The industry-wide formula for converting fabric yardage to leather square footage is one linear yard of 54" wide fabric equals 18 sq.ft. of leather, based on hides averaging 50 to 55 sq.ft. Due to the irregular shape of the hides, there will always be a certain amount of waste; this formula takes waste into account--there is no need to add additional square footage.

When using hides that average under 50 sq.ft., the furniture manufacturer or upholsterer should be consulted to determine whether more leather is required due to decreased yield from smaller hides and/or whether seams will be necessary to upholster the piece.

Hide Size Diagram

Average Size: 25-30 sq.ft.


Average Size: 50-55 sq.ft.


Average Size: 15-18 sq.ft.


Cavallo (whole hide available in select colors),
Cortina Emboss, Flamingo, Zigrino
Average Size: 25 sq.ft.

Cortina's Bellina leather

By industry standards, one linear yard of fabric = 18 sq.ft. of leather. To make the conversion, multiply the fabric requirement (in square feet) by 1.3333 to get the number of square feet of leather to purchase.

Although there are 13.5 sq.ft. in a running yard of fabric that is 54" wide, the additional 4.5 sq.ft. in the formula accounts for the waste factor, since hides are irregularly shaped. The term "usable square feet" already takes into account the waste factor, so that it is unnecessary to add to the amount required.

The above calculation applies to hides that average 50-55 sq.ft. Each hide is unique and there are additional factors to consider if choosing other hide sizes, please consult with your sales rep or customer service.


The following diagram demonstrates why six (6) 24" x 24" seat cushions require 54 sq.ft. of leather rather than 24 sq.ft. (6 cushions x 4 sq.ft.).

In FABRIC the six panels will require 2 linear yards. or 27 sq.ft. total material minimum, depending on pattern repeat, as shown in (Figure A)

In LEATHER the six panels will typically require the cutting plan illustrated in Figure B, and will use a full 50 sq.ft. hide to achieve the 24 net sq.ft. for 6 chair covers. In practice, efficient leather-cutting operations maximize yield by cutting various smaller panels, i.e. piping, arms, cushion sides, etc., from the blank spaces shown in Figure B.

6 seat fabric diagram for fabric Figure A

Figure A

6 panels cut from 2 yards of 54” wide fabric

Cortina Leathers Cowhide Panel

Figure B

6 panels cut from a 50 sq.ft. hide