Leland’s recent recolor of the Slam chair collection showcased the importance of color as a design element and how the very different materials used in the chair’s design can be harmonized through the use of color. When a fully upholstered model is desired the color and texture is all in the textile so preserving the form of the chair becomes a top priority. Welts, edge-seams, foam thickness, and the inherent nature of a textile can overwhelm the clean aesthetic of the underlying plastic shell – in addition, the geometry that is formed with polypropylene can also be very hard to upholster.

Leland’s goal was to achieve an in-house solution to upholstering the difficult Slam shape in a single-piece cover instead of relying on outsourced upholstery services overseas. The advantages to our customers are both much shorter lead-times as well as a lower cost.

Our lead upholsterer, Veronica, spent many hours investigating the right sewing needles, the required tension in the stitching as well as a pattern for cutting the textiles. The trick was to accommodate the complexity of being able to pull on a single ‘sleeve’ of material that narrows substantially in the middle and then widens at both ends to fit Slam’s seat-front and back. As one of many in Leland’s factory who innovate in both small and larger ways almost every day as we seek higher-quality solutions, we asked Veronica about these challenges:


Q: Veronica, what were the biggest challenges in developing a new upholstery method for the Slam Chair?

Due to the sculptural contours of Slam’s shell, just getting the textile on without any tearing was the most difficult task.


Q: How did you overcome these obstacles to arrive at the final solution?

Adding the Invisible Zipper to the back so we could close the fabric tightly enough proved to be the best way to preserve the iconic shape of the chair while achieving a much simpler, domestically produced, and cost-effective method.


Q: What’s your favorite type of textile to work with and why?

Camira Blazer - it is 100% wool and inherently stretchy.


Q: What do you enjoy most about working at Leland?

I like to develop new patterns and then see the benefits of the final result.


Q: The Leland factory seems a happy place with many of the team listening to their own music to counter the buzz of all the machinery and equipment. What’s on your playlist at work?

Yes, my thing is 90s R&B and pop Music.


Q: What is your favorite product from Leland to upholster and why?

That would be the new Gemma Stitch chair. I like how all the stapling is on the inside, so when the two pieces are added together it’s all hidden. It’s engineered seamlessly to allow for tight and tailored upholstery – this piece is not about wood or metal finishing – it is all the upholsterer’s art.