Tips on upholstery for a Morris chair?

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Forum topic by tallpaul posted 1740 days ago 13662 views 3 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 2387 days

1740 days ago

I’m interested in building a couple of Morris chairs, probably using a version of plans available through Rockler for a Spindle Arm Morris chair. I’d like the cushions to be real, good quality leather, but my local upholstery guy talked about $1000.00 cost per chair…and I balked. I know good work costs money, but I was hoping for half that.

Does anyone know of a good source that makes these in quantity, rather than custom? Economy of scale, and all that.

I don’t sew myself, not interested in learning for this project.



-- tallpaul

11 replies so far

View rhett's profile


697 posts in 2298 days

#1 posted 1740 days ago

I would see about getting the leather and foam yourself and see what the price would be. $1000 sounds very high to me. Is that the only upholstery shop in town? Locally, for my Mochairs I can get two cushions in a micrifiber with a 4” seat cushion and 2” back cushion with piping for $260. I would also suggest elastic webbing for the seats. Will add lots more comfort than a wood bottom.


View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 2383 days

#2 posted 1740 days ago

How about something like this, I picked up a leather coat from the second hand shop for about 5 bucks, stripped it apart and did this chair.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View CaptainSkully's profile


1190 posts in 2190 days

#3 posted 1740 days ago

A pair of Morris chairs are on my short list, so I’m very interested in this topic. I’ll probably sew them myself though. Part frugality, part learning how to upholster. If you search LJ’s for “morris chair”, you’ll get a lot of people to ask directly via private message. I’d post any results of the private messages here too, just for completeness.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View akstudio's profile


26 posts in 1837 days

#4 posted 1740 days ago

I’ve been searching for premade and replacement Morris chair cushions and have come up with nothing. I’m rather surprised no one does standard leather cushions for custom chairs and restorations. You might try American Bungalow.

-- Inspiring Your Passionate Pursuit of the Craft

View Fireguy's profile


132 posts in 1867 days

#5 posted 1722 days ago

I am in the same situation. I did find this site that dose cushions to order, that is about all I know about them. I am thinking of building a simplified design of a morris chair and try them out.

-- Alex

View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

113 posts in 1735 days

#6 posted 1720 days ago

I made a Morris chair last winter and made the cushions in a upholstery class I was taking. Not that hard if you have the right sewing machine. Got my plans including plans for the cushions from the web site. My suggestion would be to do a search for upholstery classes near you and either take a couple classes to do the cushions or talk to the instructor maybe he could have a student do them for you.


View CaptainSkully's profile


1190 posts in 2190 days

#7 posted 1717 days ago

Thanks for the encouragement Paul. Do your cushions have piping?

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

113 posts in 1735 days

#8 posted 1716 days ago

The seat cushion has piping but the back does not.


View hornhunter's profile


20 posts in 1684 days

#9 posted 1571 days ago

if you’re still watching this post, this is where I got the leather for my morris project. check frequently as inventory changes.

-- Dean, Kinderhook, New York

View Domer's profile


245 posts in 1997 days

#10 posted 1570 days ago

I also made a Morris chair a year or so ago and had cushions made locally and they were only a few hundred dollars.

Check on Craig’s List or see if there is a sewing club or call the local high school or community college. I’ll bet there is someone who would love to make the cushions for you.


View pintodeluxe's profile


3334 posts in 1444 days

#11 posted 153 days ago

I second Paul’s idea of taking a class. It is a great way to learn some new skills, and gain access to a walking foot machine. Here is my Morris chair leather upholstery blog…

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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