Upholstery Suggestions

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RustyFords
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Upholstery Suggestions

Post by RustyFords » Fri May 08, 2020 1:32 pm

Howdy from Texas.

As a lot of yall know, I'm trying to maintain a WW2/Great Depression vibe with my 24 Touring. Here's a video showing the current condition of the car.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9-tCfGo8wI&t=91s

I just received a whole new set of seat spring from Snyders and am ready to install upholstery. My quandry however, is that I really don't want perfect/brand new seat coverings. They just won't look right on this car. Nor do I want the new distressed vinyl. I just don't like the way it looks. It looks like it's trying too hard to be something it isn't.

So I find myself asking, "What would a farm family have done for upholstery in the throws of WW2 after having revived this old car, out of necessity?"

I've tossed around the idea of cutting up a brown tarp and also maybe some muslin fabric.

If you've followed my (Barn Car Revival) thread, you know how obsessive I've been about little details. For instance, I looked for over a year for old original windshield wing nuts and an old original steering wheel nut rather than use readily available new ones.

I know it's a bit compulsive, but I see it as half car, half art-project so I'm looking to get the details right. It's a running/driving car, but I don't think I'll ever get done tweaking it.

So...all that to ask if any of you have any suggestions for seat fabric. What might you have seen on Route 66 back in the day?

Thanks in advance. :)
1924 Touring


John kuehn
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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by John kuehn » Fri May 08, 2020 2:00 pm

If you could find some old Army blankets that might work. Or maybe find a roll of burlap lay out some large pieces and lay it on the ground. Drive over it a few times so it won’t look so new. Anything that will give it a not new look.


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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Dallas Landers » Fri May 08, 2020 2:12 pm

20200508_140624.jpg
Don, do you have chickens? I ran this seat cover on my pickup for about 3 years. I changed to a vinyl cover because the grandkids wear shorts and dresses and complained it made their legs itch! The things we do for those little ones.


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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Dallas Landers » Fri May 08, 2020 2:14 pm

This feed sack even came with a repair. I had to use it and the subject matter was perfect for a farm truck.

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Rich Eagle
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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Rich Eagle » Fri May 08, 2020 2:16 pm

I like what you are doing with it. Burlap bags might be the answer. Maybe some with a logo on it.
I did mine with new vinyl and let the dirt take over. Can't drive it with good cloths however.
Best wishes.
Rich

Like Dallas said.
When did I do that?

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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri May 08, 2020 2:17 pm

You don't have to drive over burlap. It won't look new very long. In fact I would expect it to wear out pretty quickly with frequent sitting. Burlap feed sacks last because they mostly just sit and aren't subjected to wear. I like the army blanket idea much better. Those are wool, and I think they would survive a lot of sitting better than burlap.
The inevitable often happens.
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1923 Touring


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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by John kuehn » Fri May 08, 2020 2:51 pm

I can remember going to the local army surplus store and seeing pup tents years ago. I was looking at the guns in cosmoline in crates and selling pretty cheap. But do remember seeing the tents in pile. That would make good material for seat covers for sure if you could still find them.

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perry kete
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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by perry kete » Fri May 08, 2020 4:03 pm

I may have some old army blankets here if your interested I can go look for them. Just cover the postage. Can't promise condition but last time I used them they were not bad.
1922 Coupe & 1927 Touring

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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Jim_PTC_GA » Fri May 08, 2020 6:03 pm

I did the rear seat in a delivery/ Hack I'm building with some leftover duck canvas I had from doing the top. I mixed rustolieum black paint with water and painted them with a roller and let dry before cutting and covering the foam seats. They defiantly look distressed and are quite comfortable. I wanted that look for the cargo area.
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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by John kuehn » Fri May 08, 2020 7:32 pm

When I mentioned old Army blankets in an earlier post I got to thinking where you can find them. Ebay has them and they are not real expensive. Seems like they are still fairly plentiful and not real expensive. Much cheaper than buying an upholstry kit for sure.
If you want a vintage look they are on there.


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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by jiminbartow » Fri May 08, 2020 7:39 pm

Purina burlap feed sacks. The red checkerboard design looks really cool. Look up images of “Purina burlap feed sacks” onLine. You can probably obtain them from a feed supply place, or from a farmer, if you know one. Jim Patrick

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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Mark Gregush » Fri May 08, 2020 10:54 pm

Here is what they are selling or on eBay, you might check Etsy also.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=PU ... 1&_fosrp=1
Find one or two like this and put some horses under your butt :lol: (Also good for sowing your wild oats)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Bridle ... OSwxDFeeTi~
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Allan » Sat May 09, 2020 8:34 am

Don, when the top and seat covers I fitted to Henrietta, made from 1922 materials from a previous restoration, I have a very used pale canvas tarpaulin put aside for the job. We have used an old white canvas to cover the seats on an old beater my son learned to drive at the farm. Henrietta's original top was beige canvas, so using this old tarpaulin material will be closer to original than the very used black top fitted right now. The tarp was gift from a farm clearing sale. The vendors had spread it over a truck tray and displayed all the small sundries on it. After the auction, I asked if I could buy the tarp, and they gave it to me. It has a couple of tears, some oil stains and the odd repair, all in keeping with Henrietta's appearance.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Russ T Fender » Sat May 09, 2020 9:27 am

On my original depot hack they took an old floor mat and used it for a seat back.
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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by WayneJ » Sat May 09, 2020 11:15 am

You might find something you like by doing an eBay search on "Pendleton blankets" and also "vintage blankets".
Wayne Jorgensen, Batavia, IL
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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by RustyFords » Sun May 10, 2020 3:24 pm

Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. Lots to ponder.
1924 Touring


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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Allan » Sun May 10, 2020 10:54 pm

Don, The job is made easy on our Adelaide built bodies, as the seat springs are built on a timber base frame. The outer perimeter of the base is rebated so that when the upholstery material is pulled under the seat, the cut edge sits in the rebate and the base of the seat is still flat on the seat riser in the car. You could add the same type of wooden frame to your seat springs.
The really neat thing is the way the factory fitted the seat covering on the cushions. The material at each corner is pulled down at the middle of the curve and tacked down. Then the sides are drawn down and tacked. When you get to the corners there are two simple folds/tucks to be made and the job is done. Just a matter of trimming off the excess material which does not sit in the rebate.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.


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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by OilyBill » Mon May 11, 2020 12:30 am

You might also look for flour sacks, which I think are of cotton. You might have to do some stitching with those, however. I don't know how large they came. You could try and look for some 100lb. flour sacks. like would be used in a large bakery.

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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by TRDxB2 » Mon May 11, 2020 12:59 am

You might want to take a look at this site. The fabric is suitable for upholstery and (polyester blend) they have flower sake designs - you may need a full yard no doubt https://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/farmhousedesigns the also have matching wallpaper so be careful when ordering :P
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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by david_dewey » Mon May 11, 2020 1:16 am

Having had many a "temporary" upholstery over the years, the feed sacks won't last two weeks, and without long pants on, will be itchy. The army blankets, or similar product will last longer, but also itchy & hot in the summer. Tent (or duck) canvas will wear like iron, and not be itchy. If it looks too nice while you are putting it on, it will patina quickly and be just fine; you can even do it "no sew" style, or as fancy as you want to. I like the idea of a wood frame on the bottom cushion, much more in keeping with the "fix it" than using the crimped in original style--also easier to "adjust" if need be. Don't forget, when they first put on the "new" upholstery, it looked pretty good then, and then aged.
T'ake care,
David Dewey

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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by RustyFords » Thu May 14, 2020 10:08 pm

I picked up these old leather couches for free.

There’s a lot of nice aged leather there. I’ll go with this first and see how I like it.

Nice thing about these is that there are already a lot of the shapes present that I’ll need as well as the other materials like cotton batting, etc.
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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Randy SR » Fri May 15, 2020 3:11 pm

i'm using an old Navajo style blanket as a seat cover on my '26 roadster. It was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law (who passed away in 1987, so i've had it a while!) It looks very period-correct, I think.


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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Scott_Conger » Fri May 15, 2020 3:21 pm

If that blanket really has age on it, and it sounds like it may. You might wish to sell it to someone who will appreciate it and then reupholster the car plus put money in the bank at the same time.
Scott Conger

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Re: Upholstery Suggestions

Post by Jeff Perkins » Sun May 17, 2020 9:50 pm

I used one of those $10 blankets you could buy in Mexico years ago in a speedster I had.
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