How To: Repair a leather seat


The leather seat. (Reader photo )
January 15, 2014

Question: I have a chair with a seat made of a single piece of leather that wraps around two side supports. One side seam has ripped, so only an eighth of an inch of leather is still affixed to the seat. The leather is reinforced with a heavy fabric, but it’s torn, too. I can remove the seat by taking out a couple of bolts on the chair frame. I’ve contacted several places dealing with furniture repair, but they don’t make such repairs and can’t suggest anyone who could. Do you know of anyone who does?

— Washington

Answer: Try Metro Leather Furniture Restoration in Sterling (703-450-6850) or Ram Furniture Services in Manassas (703-818-2300 or 800-333-2302; www.ramlfs.com). Representatives of both companies took a look at the pictures you sent and said they can help you. But both also cautioned that the existing leather seat is probably beyond repair. So you’re probably looking at a replacement.

Although a repair might cost as little as $75, a replacement could run $300 to $350, Metro Leather’s manager, William E. LaRock, said.

Paul Kanter at Ram gave a similar estimate for a new leather seat. But he added that the pictures indicate the seat might be vinyl, which would cost $175-$225 to replicate. The way to tell the difference: The back of leather looks like suede; with vinyl, it’s fuzzy cotton or a woven fabric.

Question: I have a set of cut-crystal water glasses that I cannot use because half of them have little chips in the rims. I hate the idea of throwing them out. Is there somewhere local that will smooth off the rims, and what would it cost?

— Washington

Answer: Nonomura Studios (202-363-4025; www.nonomurastudios.com), which specializes in Asian art and antiques, repairs a wide variety of decorative items, including cut-crystal glasses with chipped rims. Regrinding a rim to make a glass safe to use costs $20 to $50, depending mostly on the depth of the chips, owner David Sim said. If you bring your glasses to his shop, he can evaluate them and give you a more precise estimate. The shop is close to the Cleveland Park Metro station.

Another option is Giovanni Nason Glass and Crystal Restoration Center in Potomac (301-340-2624; gnason@comcast.net). Owner Giovanni Nason said he usually charges $25 to $35 per glass.

Have a problem in your home? Send questions to localliving@washpost.com. Put “How To” in the subject line, tell us where you live and try to include a photo.

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