Tips on upholstery for a Morris chair?

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Forum topic by tallpaul posted 11-20-2009 07:36 PM 23307 views 4 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 3992 days

11-20-2009 07:36 PM

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


742 posts in 3903 days

#1 posted 11-20-2009 09:23 PM

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.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 3987 days

#2 posted 11-20-2009 10:09 PM

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


1605 posts in 3794 days

#3 posted 11-20-2009 10:35 PM

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 3442 days

#4 posted 11-21-2009 02:45 AM

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 3471 days

#5 posted 12-08-2009 06:10 PM

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

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Paul Lajoie

136 posts in 3340 days

#6 posted 12-11-2009 02:03 AM

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


1605 posts in 3794 days

#7 posted 12-14-2009 05:39 PM

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

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

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Paul Lajoie

136 posts in 3340 days

#8 posted 12-15-2009 01:17 AM

The seat cushion has piping but the back does not.


View hornhunter's profile


21 posts in 3289 days

#9 posted 05-08-2010 10:54 PM

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


252 posts in 3602 days

#10 posted 05-09-2010 06:43 PM

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


5816 posts in 3049 days

#11 posted 03-27-2014 05:42 PM

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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