Roorkhee Chair in ‘Crazy Horse’ Leather

We’re starting to stitch and ship out the latest run of Roorkhee chairs to customers. This one – bound for Virginia – is in “Crazy Horse” leather with stitched seams and copper rivets at the ends of the seams.

For the record, no horses were injured in the making of this chair. Cows – not so much.

In addition to stitching this chair and using copper rivets, we made another alteration – we doubled up the leather on the arm straps. I’ve seen it both ways on historical chairs – one-ply and two-ply. I like the doubled-up stuff. So if you are making one for yourself, you might make a sample arm strap to see which you prefer.

The Crazy Horse leather is from Brettuns Village in Maine. It is excellent stuff. Tough. And it comes already dyed and finished. The biggest bonus is it is grippier than the smooth vegetable-tanned leather we use. So if you happen to pass out in the chair (with or without alcohol) you are less likely to slide to the floor in a pool of awkward drool.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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17 Responses to Roorkhee Chair in ‘Crazy Horse’ Leather

  1. Joe McMahon says:

    No cup holders? A Chap might just spill his gin without proper cup holders, what?


  2. Shannon says:

    This leather looks to be about twice as heavy (6 oz) as what your first batch of chairs used. Did the 3-4 oz leather stretch too much?


    • lostartpress says:

      I have zero complaints about the vegetable-tanned stock. We are building some of this run using that. It doesn’t stretch too much – we’re just trying to offer some options.


      • Shannon says:

        Thanks. I really like the look of this leather. And your leather work definitely looks more refined with the stitching. I don’t know if I like it better, but it is a really nice option.

        Have you considered taking the leather all the way around the back? Of course it would take more leather, but it would give a nice finished look to the back of the chair. Was this even done with historical examples?


        • lostartpress says:

          Cows aren’t big enough to make this happen.

          Historical examples looked like this example. Or they had straps added to allow you to snug it up.

          The other option is to use bison (big enough) or brontosaurus.


  3. Aaron says:

    Is that stitching machine done? What did you use to go through 2 layers of leather?


  4. robert says:

    Glad to see you are doing your part to save the naugas.


  5. stanberryk says:

    Adds to the classy look. Great work!


  6. fitzpatm says:

    And it’s phenomenally comfy. I sat in the one pictured above yesterday and did not want to get up (which I’ll admit might have had something to do with the kitten sleeping in my lap in addition to the chair’s comfort).


  7. rwyoung says:

    “…pool of awkward drool.” implies to me there is a pool of non-awkward drool.


  8. Damien Nankervis says:

    I’m about to embark on the leather-work component for a Roorkhee using a chrome tanned split-hide – a suede finish. Grippy, non-stretchy and feels nice on the back of the thigh. I’ll let you know how it goes. From OZ.


  9. Chris says:

    Is it possible to use canvas for the seats?


  10. Michael Brady says:

    My chair build was going swimmingly until I entrusted my riveted seat panels to the local shoemaker, who has the machine required to stitch leather. When I returned to pick up my leather components, the sloppy stitching had rendered both the back and the seat panels useless, at least esthetically.. I ended up having to buy another side of leather to re-make the pieces., and had to pay the man for his work; to add insult to injury. This is going to be one expensive chair; which I am giving away as a gift, by the way.


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