Upholstery (part 1) Print E-mail
Topics - Interior

Warning: Past performance does not necessarily indicate future results; upholstery results may vary depending on your mood, amount of night’s rest or having your stepmother coming over for the weekend.

We start with the removal of the old upholstery from the seat’s frames. It is important to work very carefully; we don’t want to damage our future models. There are some different ways in how the fabric is fixed to the seat frame:

  1. Tightened with iron wire; cut using a pair of pincers.
  2. Hooked on an iron pin; bend open and loosen.
  3. Tightened with loose metal clamps; use a pair of pincers to cut loose (requires new clamps!).

When the seat cover is loosened, you can roll it off the back of the seat like a sock (inside out). Take care that the seams do not tear! Now that you have loosened the covers, the first step is to systematically mark all seams; we do this so we can copy the tensions in the original fabric to the new material. When al the seams would have been cut loose without marking the seams, the fabric will detension and lose its original model; leaving you with no reference points for stitching the new pieces of fabric together.

  1. Mark the seams with lines from one piece of fabric to the other.
  2. Use arrows to indicate the side to which the seam is folded.
  3. Mark the sides of fabric that are attached to each other with a character, so you will keep the right pieces together when stitching.
  4. A long line indicates a seam perpendicular to the one your marking.

After every segment of the seats cover is marked, you can cut through the seams and loosen the different pieces. Use a knife or another professional piece of equipment from mothers sewing-box. Again, take care not to damage the fabric. When all seams are loosened, you can cut away the redundant material. You will have to cut exactly through the seam (see image with knife). The pieces that are left will be used as models to copy onto the new fabric.

Ah... I see that everything has been cut out and you have it nicely displayed! Now it's time to copy the models made from the old seat cover onto the new fabric. Cut little square holes in the models and stick some tape over the holes; this will stop the models from moving when copying them onto the new fabric:

  1. Make sure you copy ALL marks onto the new fabric.
  2. Remove the models after you have traced their outline; now copy all different marks, such as arrows and notes. 
  3. Use a double pen (see photo) to add some extra material to the fabric for stitching.
  4. Cut out the new pieces of fabric.
Last Updated ( Monday, 01 March 2010 )
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