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trimacar

Worst button tufted leather job ever, anyone have a picture?

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I'm looking for a picture of a restored button tufted leather seat, which did not come out well.  This would be on an early brass car of course, and the picture will be used (if found) as part of my upholstery seminar next week at the AACA get together.  No names will be mentioned, in order to protect the guilty.

 

Attached is a "before" shot of a poorly done seat cushion, which I took apart and reworked for a friend, then the "after" shot after much resewing, refolding, rework.....it was much worse in person, whoever did it the first time used egg-size lumps of horsehair to stuff, and it was a mess....

 

Thanks!  Who can post a worse job?

post-76888-0-39601000-1454621187_thumb.j

post-76888-0-27953500-1454621247_thumb.j

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)

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You know David- I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the original brass-era jobs were as bad as or worse than the first picture.

 

I see plenty of that type work in restaurant booths too.

 

Then again I grew up in the 70s- the golden age of overstuffed diamond pleated button tufting! which is still not as bad as that heat-stamped diamond-pattern vinyl that was everywhere back then.

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Difficult but fun to do. It helps if you have a mind for geometry. Getting the stuffing right is the hard part. I was almost afraid to look at the "before" pic, fearing that somehow David had found a pic of our first effort at diamond tufting many years ago.

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I may be showing my inexperience in the upholstery department, but that first one doesn't look awful to me. I expected much, much worse. I've seen several cars where it was too deep like that, but it's often hard to say what's authentic so I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

Heck, look at this OEM awfulness:

 

Fullscreen-capture-3152014-12924-PM.bmp.

 

Or this example, which makes my butt sore just looking at it:

 

22279410.jpg

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The original set of pictures wasn't meant to show the "worst" job I've ever seen, it was bad but not awful, lumps and all.

 

When early cars were being built, there were a lot of craftsmen from the carriage trade who did beautiful work.  Most early tufting work would have been very nice.  While it was nice, I will say that attention to detail was not as critical on a production car.  For example, I've seen early car pleats that were mismarked, say off by a half inch or more, and they just went ahead and sewed them and put them in the car.  A lot of times the people doing the upholstery sewing were probably paid by the piece, so pace was more important than accuracy.

 

Matt, at some point in car manufacturing, and I want to think it started in the 1970's, the "wrinkled" look was all the fashion, from cars to couches.  In the dark maroon seats you picture, you can even see where the leather was intentionally puckered along the seam, and there were a lot of wrinkles in the tufts themselves, intentionally done.  I never understood this, as to me wrinkles in the leather on an antique car (pre WWII, not 25 years) were the sign of poor workmanship.

 

Yes, R-32, button tufting takes a lot of patience and a little knowledge, and you are 100% correct that geometry plays a major part in the final result.  I'll touch on that at the seminar next week.  Thanks!  dc

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David will be offering an Upholstery Seminar during the Annual Meeting in Philly next week !

 

Thank you David for stepping up !

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Is there a way to video the seminar? Can't get to Philly but really want to know more about auto upholstery.

 

Wouldn't it be great for an AACA site on YouTube? Members could post all sorts of valuable how-to videos on restoration topics.

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Why did I think of "reech Coreentheean layther" when I saw the maroon job Matt posted... <_<

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 Here is one on the 1913-31 Buick I inspected and made an offer on in November. To me, not to bad considering the heavy, stiff vinyl that was used when the car was restored in 1955

post-121302-0-84286300-1455134520_thumb.. Still not very appealing geometrically and it felt quite uncomfortable to sit upon

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Yes, aside from the obvious vinyl issue (which was very common in the 50's and 60's, the first time my Pierce was restored in 1960, the owner put vinyl so it would wear better, and told me it was more expensive to buy than leather!  It's leather in the car now), a button tufted seat should be comfortable, and that one just LOOKS uncomfortable!!

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if there is a video of the philly upoulstery seminar ill buy one or tell us where to look

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