How to recover a leather sofa cushion

A leather sofa is an expensive investment. These sofas are designed to be long wearing and relatively resistant to damage. But accidents happen. Maybe your dog chewed on the end of your couch cushion or a child jabbed it with scissors. Suddenly you need to recover that cushion to bring your sofa back to good repair. You can do this yourself with a little know-how and the right equipment.

Rip the seams on your damaged leather cushion apart carefully, using a seam ripper. Save as much of the existing undamaged leather as possible. If your sofa cushion has a zipper, save and reuse that as well.

Position each cushion piece face down on Kraft paper, and draw an exact pattern. This pattern will form the basis for reconstructing your cushion. Measure to figure out the amount of leather you'll need to repair the cushion.

Take a sample of the damaged cushion to a leather shop to have the sample matched in both colour, type and weight. This may require custom dye if you have an unusual sofa colour. Order enough replacement leather for all damaged sides.

Purchase upholstery fabric if your cushion is not fully wrapped in leather. Take a sample to an upholsterer for the best match.

Pin your pattern to the new leather, and cut out the new pieces for your couch cushion.

Sew the cushion coverings together to match the way they were originally connected.


Often sewing leather requires a heavy-duty sewing machine and extra-strong needles. Also use the correct thread type for your grade of leather.

Things You'll Need

  • Seam ripper
  • Kraft paper
  • Matching leather
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine


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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.