Cutting chair/seat covering (vinyl?)

From what I’ve read, I know the issue of vinyl cutting has been beaten to death on this forum, and clearly it’s a no no. But you know those kitchen chair seat coverings that kids keep poking holes in and the wife bugs you for 3 years to replace them and you keep arguing it’s best to wait until the kids are all grown up? They feel like very thin leather. Has anyone tried cutting those? Do those fall under the category of vinyl?

Quite likely vinyl. If you want to recover your chairs inexpensively, buy real veg-tanned leather and cut new covers. If you try to cut vinyl on your machine, it might cost you the price you paid for the Glowforge. (Would be some very expensive seat covers.)

That’s definitely not leather. It’s a plastic cover of some sort applied to a fabric backing.


There is such a thing as ‘bonded leather’…but, I have no idea if that’s what that is. Likely it’s what Jules said…

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Oh, I wasn’t planning on cutting them so I can redo the chairs. I already took care of that years ago to save my marriage. I use them for book binding. But literally minutes ago I came across the “copper wire test” with the green flame to test. I tried it out and I’ll be damned… the flame was unmistakingly green, which is a real bummer. Now I have to cut it by hand. So yeah, it’s definitely vinyl. And it stunk.
Thanks for the replies.


you could use the glowforge to cut out templates? make the other cutting easier.

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Yeah, that’s what I’m planning on doing now that I realize I can’t cut the vinyl directly. It’s the next best method :man_shrugging:.

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Posting in Problems and Support opens a support ticket with GF staff. I’ve moved this to the appropriate forum, but they’ll still have to check in to close out the ticket.

This stuff may work for bookbinding. It’s about as thin as the stuff in your photo and very floppy and stretchy. Plus engraves well.

I originally posted this in “Beyond the Manual”. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

It was in Problems and Support when I moved it.

Very strange indeed. I could swear I deliberately and consciously clicked on “Beyond the Manual”. I’ll be more careful next time. Thanks.

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But considering it contains PVC, wouldn’t engraving it produce the same noxious fumes as cutting it?

I was just going to suggest the copper wire test. Good thing you did that before chancing it on the glowforge.

Pretty sure they were suggesting a different product to use for your bookbinding - the Saddle Collection is specifically laser-safe. No PVC.

The stuff in the link I provided is designed to be cut and engraved; it contains no PVC. I meant the stuff in the link to be an alternative to your salvaged vinyl chair upholstery. I was not suggesting you engrave your vinyl chair upholstery.

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Ooooh, I see what you’re saying. Oversight on my part.
I’m not salvaging my chairs’ upholstery. I threw them out ages ago. I go to a local place that sells it and buy a few cheap rolls. But if the price is right, I’ll check out that alternative product that contains no PVC. Would be so much easier to cut it in the machine.

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Maybe you should consider some of that lovely pigskin lining leather from Tandy when it goes on sale. Nothing looks or wears like real leather, and the pigskin lining leather is very thin and flexible.


Is this a place in the US? Because being in Canada, it’s very costly purchasing things from out of the country so I’m always on the lookout for places more local.
Thanks though.

I believe Tandy sells in Canada:

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I live in canada as well and my local tack shop buys from tandy leather so im sure they would be a good place to buy from.