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Thread: New Upholstery

  1. #1
    Original Gearhead Joe Morreale's Avatar
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    New Upholstery

    Six years ago I got leather upholstery for my seats from ebay. They were cheap and I got what I paid for. The listings, that hold the retainers for the hog clips were made out of woven paper. After a couple years they started falling apart. The leather is water buffalo, which is soft and not as durable as cowhide. The bolsters got real rough. Good thing that happened was that when I first got the seats, the zipper broke. The company sent me another set of covers as well as a new seat back.

    While going through some stuff I remembered I had these. I just stripped the old seats and put them on. They had been folded for six years and were full of wrinkles. After working with Katkins I realized how poorly these are sewn, but free covers are free covers. I didn't make any attempts to smooth them out. What stood out to me was the color change. Look at the old driver's sat next to the new passenger one. The started out the same color. I'm sure the leather will shrink a little with time.



    2001 SE British Racing Green - FM frame rails - FM solid sway bar - FM clutch- Mishimoto 53mm radiator - Bilsteins -
    Complete MK Turbo kit with intercooler - 3'' custom exhaust - Custom door panels - Custom "shorty" console

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  3. #2
    🛠 Tool wench 500+ kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    Re: New Upholstery

    Joe, you are 100% accurate on water buffalo. The same can be said for pig hides as well. I am familiar with tanning and hides for upholstery, particularly from overseas sources.

    You may get a much better fitment using a simple steamer on the foams. The upholstery foam starts to collapse over time from wear, oils, and temperature. The steam opens the cells and will help them return to their proper volume.

    I wouldn't expect these to be very well tailored, but certainly decent or better than shredded covers.

    Here are some before/after pics of factory seats I restore for myself.

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    Last edited by kung fu jesus; 07-23-2020 at 08:26 AM.

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    🛠 Tool wench 500+ kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    Re: New Upholstery

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    before/after

    Covers were removed and cleaned, foam repaired and steamed to restore volume and comfort.
    Last edited by kung fu jesus; 07-23-2020 at 08:34 AM.

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  7. #4
    Individual-1 ☚☻☛ Agent☣Orange's Avatar
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    Re: New Upholstery

    What a difference! I was going to suggest steaming. I’ve never done it but I’ve ween it done on all the car restoration shows. Can you rent a steamer somewhere?

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  9. #5
    Original Gearhead Joe Morreale's Avatar
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    Re: New Upholstery

    I did a lot of foam repair, when I did the seats last. I should have puffed the foam with steam. They could have used a quarter inch of foam added too.

    I've gotten so use to using Katskins that when I started on these I just really didn't care. It's hot out and I'm tired of working on the car.
    2001 SE British Racing Green - FM frame rails - FM solid sway bar - FM clutch- Mishimoto 53mm radiator - Bilsteins -
    Complete MK Turbo kit with intercooler - 3'' custom exhaust - Custom door panels - Custom "shorty" console

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    🛠 Tool wench 500+ kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    Re: New Upholstery

    I think the steamer I have was ~$40 off Amazon. I also use it for cleaning, shaping, etc. I've gained 1/4" back on most foams minimum, especially these older seats.

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    Individual-1 ☚☻☛ Agent☣Orange's Avatar
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    Re: New Upholstery

    A steamer will restore collapsed foam?

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    🛠 Tool wench 500+ kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    Re: New Upholstery

    This video shows that better than mine.



    Steaming my MSM cloth seats made a big difference in the cushioning. They feel almost luxurious.
    Last edited by kung fu jesus; 07-25-2020 at 01:45 PM.

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