Buying Leather by the Square Foot

Buying leather by the square foot is not all that common. Why? Well, it’s a bit of a hassle for the vendor. They have to measure and cut leather before handing it over to you. Additionally, selling leather by the square foot has the potential to be less profitable than selling leather by the piece. 

However, as a customer, buying leather by the square foot is pretty advantageous in most cases. The best reason to buy by the square foot is, of course, buying only what you need. That can also be the tough part, but that’s what you’ve got us for!


Let’s start with measuring! It is essential to this entire operation. Leather is measured by the square foot. Why? Well, it’s a somewhat rectangular piece of material with no standard dimensions, unlike fabric. So, we sell the leather based on what’s there. The simplest way to do that is to measure it by the square foot. Because leather is not uniform, the way a square foot or ten can be taken from a piece is up to the person cutting it. That’s why it’s important to know how to measure your leather. It’ll give you a good idea of what you’ll be getting and it will help you determine whether or not you’ve received the proper amount. 

Calculating Square Feet

Allow us to give out a quick and complimentary math lesson. Multiply the length of your leather by the width of your leather and, you’ve got your square footage. So, if your leather is 3 feet long and 4 feet wide, you’ve got 12 square feet of leather. You’ll often see sites with pre-cuts that are 12in x 12in – that’s one square foot! Compare that price to the leather you’re considering and you might save yourself some dough. 

So, how much do you need?

You know how to measure, but now you’ve got to buy the leather. A pattern or set of instructions will give you an amount of leather to buy, but we always recommend buying a bit extra. Why? Because even master craftsfolks make mistakes and you don’t want to run the risk of a vendor running out of the leather you need before your project is done. We recommend buying 20 – 25% more leather than you think you’ll need. So, if you have a project that calls for 12 square feet of leather, we recommend getting 15 square feet. That gives you wiggle room for blunders, cutting around imperfections and testing out tooling, dyes and paints. 

The Shape of your Leather 

The final thing to note is that at SLC “quantity” is measured by the square foot, so if you enter “1” in the quantity box, you’ll get one square foot. Of course, this doesn’t apply to pre-cuts or other products that are not priced by the square foot. Whatever quantity you choose will likely not yield a perfectly square piece of leather. We’d have a lot of waste then. Your leather will be in whatever usable shape we can get the right amount out of. If you’re looking for squares or rectangles or even circles, you’ll most definitely want to buy a pre-cut. Below is a chart of different ways your leather could be cut. Pieces are most likely to come out like the 2 sq ft piece on the far left. 

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