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What kind of leather are you guys, or your upholstery guys, using?


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Since there's no upholstery forum, I'm posting this in the general area.

I've used Hirsch, Mel, and a couple of other suppliers for general leather needs.

High end, can get Garrett leather.

I now have a job for which the customer wants excellent quality black leather.

Anyone recommend from personal experience a quality leather supplier, which sells exceptional hides at fair price (I know it will be high, not a problem).

Now, to end this request, I'll explain about some other hides:

"The Pythagorean Indians had 3 squaws who were trying to bear children, one of whom slept on a buffalo hide, one who slept on an elk hide, and one who slept on a hippopotamus hide.

As time went by, the one who slept on the buffalo hide had a son.

Likewise, the one who slept on the elk hide had a son.

Now, interestingly, the one who slept on the hippopotamus hide had twin sons,

Proving that the squaw of the hippopotamus, is equal to the sons of the squaws on the other two hides."

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David, I've noticed that most current leathers don't

have a glossy enough finish to compare to earlier leathers.

I don't get involved in upholstery regularly, but I've seen,

for example, a beautifully restored 1960's Lincoln convertible,

but its new leather interior had an incorrect "matte" finish.

When I had my 1961 Imperial restored in the late 1990's,

most of the black leather samples I obtained were quite dull.

I believe custom dyeing can eliminate this incorrectness.

But do you know why the finishes of standard leathers have

changed? Different chemicals, or a new process? Or simply

because modern cars' leathers aren't shiny as the old ones were?

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Saderma Leather in Hollywood, CA has some really great stuff. They cater primarily to the shoe trade but I have seen costume designers for rock stars, car upholstery folks, jacket makers, etc., in there over the years. I feel like if the quality must be good on their black leather for some celebrities to wear items made from such on the red carpet or stage. I used to buy Kangaroo for book covers, now THAT is one beautiful hide!!! They are very "LA" in the sense that when you call they may be somewhat brusque as they are always busy but hopefully they can assist you. The website isn't very functional so I suggest calling.

http://www.saderma.net/

800-223-9969

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Thanks for suggestions....John_S I can't really answer your question....there are different methods of finishing leather ranging from vat dyeing to just a surface finish....most glossy leather I've seen was surface finished only....like many things, leather is not as simple as one would think, as there are so many ways to finish, different weights, and so forth...

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Yes, I take full responsibility for dropping the bull on this one....and you guys have needled me enough on this thread,

So guess I need to trim my losses so that feelings aren't binding....that'll cushion the blow to my ego, and I can go back, rest assured, and have a fitting end to discussion...

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We're just average guys with no bias, cut from the same cloth and trying to roll width the punches...seams we've covered a lot of territory and probably need to button this one up, tuft as it is to do...we really should just take a nap, weaving such tales can make one distressed....

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Sheesh...I get your point, and as an aside, curtains on this discussion....we need to boot it on...I'd have thought that moderators, from the top down, wood have given us a header and latched onto the fact that this thread is one made to convert, able as it might be, forum readers to our way of ....crap, I give up....as my friend with the furniture store told me, to be sofa king crazy is crazier still...

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And, to get back to the real original post, no joking, I do have some square hide (oops!) samples coming from a few different places...Keleen asked some very intelligent questions when I requested samples, so am hopeful they have a nice product....also notice that they have an ad in the CCCA bulletin....a couple of places I talked to don't sell to hobbyists, only to established businesses....

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Business must be tough for leather dealers. A sales person from Garrett stops in about once every 6 months with the newest samples. I doubt we use 6 hides/year. Most of what we use comes from Hirsch. At the request of a customer we used hides from a mid west supplier on a recent project. Great price but the color varied from hide to hide and we had to cut around many, many defects, even what looked like brands. Do they still brand cattle? Now I'm off to attend a Guernsey auction. Sorry, just couldn't resist.

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A friend of mine with a 1957 Continental Mark II was able to get replacement upholstery from Bridge of Weir in Scotland. They supplied the upholstery for the car originally. The result is beautiful. I'm sure it isn't cheap, but the quality is second to none.

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I've talked to Garrett, and even have samples borrowed from a restoration shop, but they won't sell directly to a small time operator like me...although I can buy it through that shop....very nice leather from what I've seen, premium price...is it a female salesperson? I have the card of the one who does this area, just curious....

I've discussed pricing and quality of leather with the fellow doing the car, and when you look at the project in total, the cost of doing leather that's $4 per square foot vs. $8 to $10 is small in the grand scheme of things....

Some defects aren't a problem, there are ways to work around them, but color variation wouldn't be acceptable...

Hope your auction goes well, and there's no mental angus (hey, we're running out of them!).......

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