Upholstery Quandary

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First Name: Bob
Last Name: Coiro
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Upholstery Quandary

Post by Jugster » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:13 am

I'm in a bit of a quandary as to how to solve an upholstery problem with my '15 Touring. See, my upholstery looks okay; it doesn't have any rips or threadbare spots or anything like that. The problem is, whoever did the last upholstering job overstuffed the seats to the point where I lost about three inches of hip-room from each side and now I can't fit two normal sized adults up front. Also, the driver sits off-center from the steering wheel. In addition, the top of the backrest is more stuffed than the bottom, which causes the driver to sit bolt upright or bent slightly forward.

I figure the choices are to either have an upholstery shop restuff the seat and, hopefully, preserve the vinyl covering (a job quoted by the only shop in town as costing somewhere between $1,000 and 2,000), or getting a kit from a company like Cartouch and having it installed. I have no idea what that kind of project would cost. Any thoughts or advice on this?
—Bob Coiro

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Re: Upholstery Quandary

Post by Allan » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:09 am

Bob, if it fits with overstuffing, there will be plenty of material left if you remove some of the stuffing. Removal does depend on how the seat covers are made. Buttons can get in the way, sewn in diamonds likewise. You have nothing to lose in trying if you are contemplating fitting a replacement kit.

I have done this a number of times with straight pleated upholstery. In fact, I found it easier to fit the unstuffed covers and then stuff them when in place. That way adjustments can be made as you progress.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.

John kuehn
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Re: Upholstery Quandary

Post by John kuehn » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:52 pm

There is to much stuffing in you Touring going by your description. Since it may not be the original upholstrey you may have enough to tack back if you remove some of the stuffing and that will depend how it was put in. I have a 21 Touring that I installed a kit from Classtique with not having any real experience in upholstrey and it came out fine. Classtique has instructional videos online and instruction sheets that come with the kit. No sewing is needed. What needed is a good tack hammer and maybe a staple gun if you prefer to use that in some places. You will also need to make a wooden framework to install the covers on the seat springs. It’s easily made and not a problem.
It’s your choice of course on what you want to do but if the upholstrey has to be replaced it’s not that hard to do. It’s taking you time and getting advice from others and of course reading the instruction sheets and looking at the available videos. Lots of inexperienced guys have installed a kit and if I can do it you can too. Good luck with whatever you do.

Wayne Sheldon
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Re: Upholstery Quandary

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:35 pm

I agree with Allan B and John K. Removing excess stuffing should leave you with enough material to tack back down even with some loss of the edge due to tack/staple pulling. I would suggest loosening the bottom, leaving the top/outer edge in place, and lift the upholstery just enough to remove and reshape the stuffing as needed. My main concern is the can of worms you could be opening? I have, over the years, seen some really nice cars with some really awful and nasty bad stuff hidden between the paint and the upholstery! Whatever you do find, I suspect with some forum advice and a little patience, you can fix just fine.
I did the seat in my '15 runabout, all from start to finish using leftover materials from a restoration I did over thirty years ago. I patch-worked the leftover modern version imitation leather into a large enough piece, shaped to fit the stitching in the seams of the diamond pleats. Sewed it all up on a badly overworked home type sewing machine. Did the buttons (for which I altered some modern blazer/sweater buttons to look kind of like the original type). Stuffed and installed and fit, all without a pattern or original to follow. (Boy! Talk about the really nasty hidden within?) But I think it looks alright. Got the diamond pleats a little too close to the top, otherwise it would look very nice. I can live with it.
If I can do all that? I think you can fix yours. By the way, I see a lot of model Ts with way over stuffed seats. I don't like that look myself either.

One other thing. Do be careful of your back! You missed too much of the past two years because of back issues. Be careful and don't mess it up.

John kuehn
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Re: Upholstery Quandary

Post by John kuehn » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:14 pm

I have to add that you may or may not be surprised what you will see when you start lifting up or replacing the upholstery in your Touring. If your car hasn’t been “restored” don’t be to surprised what you will find. When the time comes whenever to lift up the upholstery on my 21 Touring the next owner will see a metal knockout I brazed on to cover a bullet hole that somebody applied to the body side panel way back when! You can’t tell from the outside though. I leveled it out nice with just a bit of body filler. Just don’t tell anybody!

Original Smith
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Re: Upholstery Quandary

Post by Original Smith » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:56 am

It looks to me like you will have enough to redo it correctly. One thing to remember is don't use fabric covered upholstery buttons. They are plain steel, painted black. I suggest only doing business with Classtique, no one else.
While at Hershey, I saw a 1913 with the wrong seat cushions. They hung over the front and rear seat risers about 1 1/2"! It's hard for me to understand how anyone could do that, when the correct way should be obvious.

Mark Osterman
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Re: Upholstery Quandary

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:02 pm

Picked up the seat upholstery from Mike at Classtique when I was at Hershey on Thursday. Anxious to install it.

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