Upholstery (part 2) Print E-mail

After a dozen times of repeating the methods as described in part one, you should now have a large number of home made puzzle pieces. To prepare the pieces for assembly, use double-sided tape (5 mm) to stick the pieces together at the seams. Start sticking the pieces together from the middle and work both ways; align the marks bit by bit.

It is very likely that you will find that the marks do not align; half a cm is not an exception. This difference is caused by the detension of the old material when you were cutting the parts loose from each other.

To copy the tension into the new fabric you will have to align the marks you drew on the fabric. To do so, bent the material around your finger. Which way, depends on which side you will find the misalignment. In theory it is the as ice-skating: in the inside bend the covered distance is shorter than distance in the outside bend.

When all lines align properly, the two pieces can be stitched together. Please note that normal thread cannot be used for sewing imitation leather. For the best looking and strongest results use:

  • 100% nylon sewing thread (for strength)
  • Rough or thicker thread gives a nicer looking seam.
  • A thicker needle; imitation leather is a tough fabric and at some instances, you will have to go through several layers.
  • If possible use something more professional than a Fischer price stitching-machine...

To make it look even better, we're stitching stripes over the seat and the back of the seats. To give these stripes a slightly ‘raised’ look, a 5 mm foam layer is glued to the back of the fabric, using spray glue. We have chosen to use 6 stripes of 5 cm wide each. Make sure you stitch them in the material before copying the model onto the seat and back of the seat.

Similar to the original seats, we'll be adding a plastic strap between the seam of the seat and the sides of the seat. This strap is best put in place using double-sided tape to prevent it from going anywhere when stitching. To get the rigid plastic through the corners, cut little bits out of the plastic strap.

When the plastic strap is in place, we’ll prepare for stitching the seat and back to the rest of the seat’s covers. Again, stick the pieces together using double-sided tape. Align with the help of the marks you made on the backside of the fabric; meaning you will have to stitch al pieces together inside out!

Before installing the new covers on the seats. Check if the seats are not damaged; holes or bald spots on the bear seat. Fill them up with cotton fibres and glue them to the seat with spray adhesive.

Installing of the seat covers is done in the reverse order of loosening:

  1. Start with the cover inside out on the sea. Align the seams on the original indent visible on the foam.
  2. Start at the corners, carefully fold them around the seat.
  3. Work your way around the seat.
  4. Tighten using the same methods as encountered when loosening.

Our seat frames and spring were sandblasted and powder coated, while we were working on the upholstery. The result is stunning and has some additional advantages; no rust will come down from my seats onto my nicely painted van!

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 May 2009 )
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