Leather Hides - Frequently Asked Questions | Leather Hide Store
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of leather do you sell?
We only sell upholstery leather for use in all types of furniture, handbags, autos and other types of leathercraft. See What Type of Leather Do I Need for further assistance.
Why buy from Leather Hide Store?
We are a family owned company that sells premium upholstery leather (cowhide) at wholesale prices direct to the public & trades. For the last 15 years we have been the largest online seller of premium upholstery with both exceptional selection and service. Please visit our Customer Gallery to see countless projects in our leathers and read customer reviews. Remember, we will also offer samples of the leather before you buy!
Are your hides 100% genuine cowhide leather?
With our prices it’s hard to believe but YES, they are 100% top grain cowhide leather.
Do you use exotic animals?
No, all of our croc, snake, lizard, and other patterned hides are embossed cowhides.
How is upholstery leather sold?
Upholstery leather is sold by the hide and prices range depending on hide quality and size. Hides are measured in square feet (sq ft). We also sell half hides and smaller pieces called leather remnants.
How do I request samples?
To order a sample click the "Order a Sample" button beside a product and it will be added to your cart. Samples are 89 cents each & sample orders are filled within 1-2 business days. Your samples should arrive within 5-7 days. For more information on samples see Store Policies.
How can I find an existing match for my leather?
Send a small 1-2 inch piece to us along with an estimate of how much leather is needed (or description of your project) to Leather Hide Store, 105 W Corbin St., Ste. 202, Hillsborough, NC 27278. We will send back your piece along with samples that best match. Please include your contact information (phone number, email & mailing address) in case we have questions.
Why do you have limited quantities of some hides?
Leather Hide Store is able to offer such exceptional prices because many of our hides are premium closeouts from our tannery partners. This means that in most cases when they are gone they are gone for good. Our Collection of leather hides are regular inventory items and available on demand.
Can I use your leather in my car?
Yes. We recommend only pigmented leather for automotive use as it typically has both a durable finish and strong UV resistance. Our auto upholstery leathers meet these requirements! However, for custom cars that will not be exposed to daily sun or heavy wear, any upholstery leather sold here is acceptable. Note, even pigmented leather should be regularly conditioned at least twice a year with a quality leather care product.
Can I use your leather on my motorcycle?
We would recommend pigmented leather from our auto upholstery collection for greatest durability. Remember, our leather is only water resistant - water proofing (including the stitching) is recommended as an additional step.
Where does your cowhide leather come from?
Our leather upholstery hides come from tanneries across the globe with most of our cowhides coming from the United States, Europe and South America.
Our office & showroom are located at 105 West Corbin St. Suite 202 in Hillsborough, NC. Many of Our Collection leather hides, as well as samples of our Closeout leathers, can be viewed here. NOTE: Hides ship from our warehouse in Hickory, NC - we do not sell or supply hides out of the Hillsborough office. Call or email if you wish to visit.
Natural Markings, Leather yields, and Leather Working
Are natural markings a good or bad thing?
Typically a very good thing. Our hides are top grain (versus inferior secondary cuts from the hide) so some natural markings including healed scratches and insect bites, hump holes (narrow slits along top edge of spine common to some breeds) and brands may or may not be present. Typically, these markings are very subtle and are considered by most as the "signature" of fine, authentic leather - examples of natural markings. Natural markings will be less common on pigmented leathers.
Does your leather have holes?
In some cases a small hole(s) can result from the tanning process - typically located near the edge or along the spine of the hide. These areas are typically not used when cutting leather for upholstery and thus have no impact on yield. However, occasionally a hole(s) may be located in the interior of the hide. For more information see How much leather can I get from a hide?.
I work with leather - how do I get samples of all your products?
We do offer for sale a sample ring of Our Collection stock leathers to folks that have applied & been accepted to our Leathercrafter Trade Program. A sample pack of an individual line of leathers in Our Collection is available here on the site. Finally, samples from our large catalog of closeout leathers can be ordered individually online or please call and we will be glad to assist. See For the Trades to apply to our trade program.
How much usable leather can I get from a hide?
That all depends but typically your yield or amount of usable leather will be 75% of the total. So, if your hide is 50 sq ft. you can expect to yield 37.5 sq ft (50 x .75) of usable leather. The yield can be higher or lower depending on the pattern cut from the hide. See Leather Sizes and Shapes.
How do I determine how much leather I need for my project?
See our awesome Reupholstery guide for help on determining your leather needs. However, we always recommend consulting an upholsterer before buying as we can only estimate for you – every project is different!
I am new to leather working - can you advise me on my project?
We get this request often and have set up a How to Sew Leather page to assist our customers. This page list dozens of the best sites we have found providing specific “how to” advice on a wide range of leather projects. We are experts on leather…these folks are experts on how to use it.
How can I get wrinkles or creases out of my leather?
This can only be done before the leather has been sewn. Once you have cut your pattern from the hide, lightly mist with water. Then, on regular heat, iron the suede side of the leather. Do not let the iron rest on the leather. You will have to go slow and put as much pressure on the leather as possible. This will not fix every crease but it will help.
Shipping and Returns
Where do you ship to?
We ship exclusively to the United States and Canada.
What is the shipping cost?
Please see our Shipping Tables. Please note that leather is very heavy and we pride ourselves on keeping shipping cost as low as possible. We use United Parcel Service (UPS) in the continental US and United States Postal Service (USPS) for shipping to Canada, Hawaii and Alaska. See our Store Policies for more information on shipping.
What is your return policy?
We work tirelessly to ensure that your leather is correct so only genuinely faulty goods will be replaced or money refunded. Please note that colors are represented differently on all computer monitors so we encourage requesting samples before purchasing. See Store Policies for more information.