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Old 01-04-2011, 12:03 AM
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Automotive Upholstery........

by Don Taylor was given to me as a Christmas gift. Has anyone read it? Browsing through it, I read one part where he says that he really does not like using the old seat covers for patterns because they are probably stretched.

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Old 01-04-2011, 12:17 AM
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Yes, I have the book. Every upholsterer has their own way of doing things. That doesn't make another way wrong, only different. They might be stretched, but that would be obvious just looking at the seats. I'd say it's more likely the original foam had shrunk. In my experience, I'd trust the original seat cover but not a cover someone else made. There are all kinds of things you need to take into account when making your patterns. I'd be more worried about making the pattern from a cloth seat and trying to do the new seat cover out of vinyl or leather or Ultraleather, or vice versa. It's a lot better to have the seat cover a little too large than too small. If they are a little large you can always add foam or other padding to fill them up or cut the covers down. Besides, most beginners wouldn't know where to start making a pattern from scratch, especially a seat cover that was more than basic.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:20 AM
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I have the book, along with Custom Auto Interiors by Taylor and Ron Mangus. I have read it at least 100 times, as it sits in my "office" at the house. I still browse both books daily. The books, the Sid Chavers DVD's, and this website are gold. There is no place within 200 miles of me to take a class on upholstery, and an apprenticeship is impossible due to the fact I have a job and family. I just finished my second complete seat job...I will post some pics soon. I am REALLY grateful to DanTwoLakes, even though we have never met or spoken, because he GIVES AWAY experience and knowledge on this page, and the tutorials have given me the confidence to try. JCAR
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:34 AM
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Thank you for the compliment.

I don't believe you can learn upholstery from a book. I think you really need hands on experience with a teacher. It's kind of like how they teach surgeons to do operations.....see one, do one, teach one. Upholsterers throughout the country have different jargon, and unless you know what the jargon is you can't understand.

I have read these books and find the Taylor - Mangus book especially confusing. I don't think they completely explain anything, but that may be from editing by whoever published the book. There isn't even a satisfactory explanation of what they refer to as "chipboard". It's called different things in different parts of the country. I call it cardboard, but there are a dozen different names for it. It's also pretty much obsolete with the newer synthetic products available to upholsterers now days. The main thing I use "chipboard" for is making patterns. I rarely use it for anything else. The other thing that is basically obsolete is 1/4" luan plywood to make panels out of. Plastics are a much better choice for panels.

You are right, though, there are very few apprenticeships available. This is mainly because most upholsterers don't want to train people to take business away from them.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:23 AM
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DanTwoLakes

I have been reading this thread since I found it. I really appreciate the way you explain and post pics on how to do things it is very helpful. I was fortunate to have been able to take an upholstry class at a local college. The teacher even helped me find the equipment that I purchased.I will never operate a shop but I do enjoy doing my own work and am glad that there are some that will share their knoledge. thanks Dan
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