Sometimes we need a tool, like this fabric to leather calculator, so we build the tool. And since we built the tool, we might as well share it. So if you’re trying to use leather in place of fabric, here’s how to make the conversion. The amount of fabric you need is likely referenced in terms of linear yards, while leather is traditionally sold and discussed in terms of square feet. To understand how much leather you will need to replace linear feet, we explain below. The quick answer: linear fabric feet needed * 6.43 = leather in sq. ft. that you need.
Leather isn’t a standardized size, like fabric, and so making this conversion can be difficult. Mostly because, leather has a lot of imperfections like nicks or scratches that we might want to cut around. You can always assume 30% of a hide is wasted when compared to linear fabric yards.
Example, Linear Fabric Yards to Leather Sq Ft
If our instructions call for 1 linear yard of fabric, that is 36” x 54” (54” is the standard fabric roll). If we convert this to square footage:1 fabric yard: 36” x 54” = 1944 sq. inches.
Convert in to ft: 1944 * .00694444 = 13.5 sq. ft.
What About Waste?
But remember, we will need 30% more in leather, due to imperfections.
Assuming only 70% of the leather is “usable”, 13.5 sq. ft. will only yield 9.45 sq. ft. of usable material. To get a full 13.5 sq. ft. of usable material, we need 13.5/(100% – 30%) = 19.29 sq. ft. So more than 19 sq. ft.
Rule of Thumb
The old rule of thumb, which is not very accurate:
Take the amount of linear feet in fabric and multiply it by 6
Or, take the linear fabric yards and multiple by 18
A more accurate calculation (fabric feet * 6.43):
Take your fabric, in feet, and multiply by 6.43.
1 foot of fabric = you need 6.43 sq. ft. of leather
2 feet of fabric = you need 12.86 sq. ft. of leather
3 feet of fabric = you need 19.29 sq. ft.f of leather
You can use either one of these, depending on your use of yards or feet.
Fabric feet * 6.43
Fabric yards * 19.29
How much of a Hide?
So how many hides do we now need? In the examples above, we know we need 19.29 sq. ft. of leather, how much of a hide are we talking here?
The average cowhide is 55 sq. ft.
So 19.29/55 = 35.06%
Therefore, we’d be using more than a 1/3rd of a hide, a conservative but realistic number.
Fabric to Leather Calculator
But if you think you can source leather with fewer perfections, this calculation might be off. Hence the fabric to leather conversion calculator below. Enter in the number of linear yards in fabric you’re trying to sub out with leather. And enter in how much leather you think will be lost to waste (as a percent). Our calculator will estimate how many hides you need for your project.
Input Fabric / Data
Enter in the number of linear feet in fabric that you want to replace with leather. The fields below assume you will be using cowhides (usually about 55 sq. ft.) with a standard 30% waste. But feel free to change these numbers if this is not the case.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. And good luck with your project!