Report on Buying Hides: I called both leather suppliers (listed/linked to above) and The Hide & Leather House had the best prices by far! Elk hides, being approximately 20 square yards, are $160.00 each at The Tannery compared to only $100.00 at The Hide & Leather House ... and The Hide & Leather House assured me that these were top-grade hides (the Tannery did not)!
Also, The Hide & Leather House seemed to be much more knowledgeable ... he was concerned that I was using elk hides for seats and said the elk hides, like deer hides, stretch too much for this type of use. I told him I would be using sew-foam to compensate for that and he didn't say any more.
Is the sew-foam going to help keep the elk hides from stretching too much? Or is it possible I'm making a mistake here?