jan arnett (2)

Calculation how much material for interior

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I will be doing the interior on my 1923 MOON Touring this summer.  I have done three interiors in the past but they have all been kits so this will be a challenge.  The first thing I need to do is calculate how much material I will need.  I haven't decided leather vs leatherette.  I am open to all suggestions and help.  The color will be black with a black top and blue body and black fenders.  I do have the seat covering and side bolsters.  Recommendations as to suppliers will also be appreciated.

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If the car came originally with leather, please

redo it with authentic leather.  Otherwise, it will

be clear to everyone (especially when you sell it)

that short-cuts were taken--and people might wonder,

"where else did he take short cuts?"

 

I've noticed, Jan, that much of the leather available today

is far duller than original leather.  Today's leather often

has almost a matte finish, and I've seen entire interiors

done with that incorrect leather.  But not all leathers,

because a friend did a 1967 Imperial with black leather

with the correct level of gloss.

 

Congratulations on having an interesting car, a 1923 Moon!

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Hi Jan, check out this discussion if you haven't already seen it. https://forums.aaca.org/topic/304534-interior-upholstery-restoration-referals/

The Amish guy mentioned does good work from what I have read around the internet, and he is reasonably close to you. I plan on looking into him when it is time to do the interior of Bob's Moon.

 

About the difference in leather, today's leather is all chrome tanned instead of vegetable tanned, like would have been original. I hope to find something correct, but it will depend on what is available, and how much it costs.

 

By the way, what makes you want to choose black leather? All but one of the original 6-40 advertisements I have found that discuss interior suggest tan leather. The one that mentioned black leather was a 1922. Was your interior black? All of the other ads say genuine, tan Spanish leather, some even including that it was hand crushed. I do not know what Spanish leather is specifically, whether it is literally leather from Spain or a style of leather. I also do not know what hand crushed refers to yet.

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By all means use leather.  You'll put the same labor into either material, so why not spend a little more money and have what's correct?

 

For a touring car, you'll need 5 to 6 hides, depending on the size of the hides.  An average hide is around 50 square feet, but I've had nice hides that were over 70 square feet.  Personally, I'd buy an extra hide anyway, just to have down the road in case something damages the upholstery.

 

Buy automotive leather, not furniture leather.  Automotive leather will have UV protection added in the process, a lot of furniture leather does not have this protection.  Whatever you do, don't buy "bonded" leather, a great sounding name but it's leather hides made from scraps glued together.  "Hand crushed" just means the natural grain of the leather has been enhanced, this usually doesn't apply to automotive leather.  There's another term, "hand", that just means how leather feels when you squeeze it in your hand.  Impossible to describe, but if you ever have a fine piece of leather and feel it, you'd know exactly what a trimmer means when he says a leather has "good hand".

 

I've been using Coast to Coast leather for the last few jobs, they sell some very nice leather.  You may have to get an upholstery shop to buy it for you, as they only like to sell wholesale. Hirsch leather is OK, but I can tell you from personal experience that if you order 6 hides from them, you'll want to exchange 2 or 3 of what they send you right off the bat.  If you want some of the best leather (priced accordingly) Garrett is the place to go, beautiful stuff.  There are numerous suppliers out there, just remember you get what you pay for.  $5 a square foot leather will have defects you have to work around (easier to do when your job has pleats, just plan the defects in the seam, and you can piece together a seat of pleats), the more expensive $10-12 a square foot should be fabulous.

 

If your car has pleats, remember to NOT do them too plumply, if that's even a word.  You need very little extra material to get a nice, rounded pleat.  Try it on some scraps and you'll be surprised, even adding 5/8 inch to the top material measurement will give you a nice pleat.  Use cotton batting to stuff the pleats, if you need methodology contact me and I can explain how to stuff pleats.

 

Use horsehair and cotton, as the original, if you use foam you'll eventually regret it, as foam disintegrates.  These days, the wholesale foam companies sell foam by year, "8 year foam", "10 year foam", and so forth, although 10 is about the highest number.  Foam is now used in furniture and yes, new cars, but both probably have an average good life of 10 years before the foam sags and starts coming apart.

 

Good luck with your project, I always like it when a fellow is doing the upholstery work himself and learning, that's how I got started...

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Here are a few of the ads I have gathered that mention details about the upholstery. The last one with blue ink is for a 1922 6-48 or 6-58, but it mentions the "hand crushed" detail that I brought up earlier. Black leather may have been used in '23, but it only appears in my 1922 articles and brochures. all 1923 articles and brochures that I have collected mention tan leather. Possibly a 1923 could have been ordered with black, or maybe some cars were upholstered in what was left over from the previous year.

60864400_23Moonad.thumb.jpg.80cc9939f0ad45e05d93bf3119b333d8.jpg492508538_1923moon6-40australiaarticle.JPG.7a6a852291193205a4a07e1df6fc15bf.JPG

1748366060_1923MoonAd-NewYourTribune10-1-22.thumb.JPG.ed401548c56a2896b431c67b084310e4.JPG371415965_Moonadfeaturing6-58touring1-7-22.thumb.jpg.4245f09d90165012e81c675d8b508960.jpg

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"Leatherette" today is PVC (Vinyl). It is not the nitrocellulose product of the prewar era. It just doesn't look, feel or smell like anything that was used back then. IMHO get leather.

 

 

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As a sidenote, there are companies that have matching vinyls for their leather's (ex. when we did the 1935 Auburn Phaeton we did it in vinyl and leather just as original (and you really cannot see any difference) - and it was obvious why they used vinyl (other than it being a lower priced luxury car) and that was it leaks like a sieve  in the rain and my guess is they thought the vinyl more weather durable.

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Thank everyone for their help and suggestions  I will be looking at leather all though I am a novice with sewing leather.  I do have the coverings I removed for patterns.The strange thing about this car is that the front seat was done in leatherette, the kick panels are in leatherette and the rear seat and side bolsters are leather.  Some one may have changed the front seat but it matches the rest of the car.  David do you have a source for horse hair. I assume you use sterilized horse hair.  Thanks for your recommendation.

 

Jan

 

PS:  Plumply is a word and it refers to my mid section

 

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